ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Newberry College football team had 10 players earn All-South Atlantic Conference honors, the league office announced today. Junior safety Ron Parker (St. Helena Island, S.C.) was named the league's defensive player of the year.
Parker was second in the conference with 8.3 tackles per game, and also led the league with six interceptions. He returned one interception for a touchdown and forced two fumbles. He earned SAC Defensive Player of the Week honors after scoring the game-winning touchdown on a 57-yard interception return.
Parker is the second consecutive Newberry player named the SAC Defensive Player of the Year following Will Newell's win in 2008. He is the third Newberry athlete to win the honor in program history, as Parker and Newell are joined by Charlie Coles' win in 1978.
Joining Parker on the All-SAC first team are wide receiver David Smith (Union, S.C.), offensive lineman Matt Holmes (Johnston, S.C.), defensive lineman Lance Clark (Florence, S.C.) and linebacker Andre Moyd (Andrews, S.C.).
Second team honorees include quarterback Brandon Gantt (Lexington, S.C.), wide receiver Kelton Tindal (Sumter, S.C.), running back S.J. Worrell (Madison, Ga.), defensive back Kamaal McIlwain (Van Wyck, S.C.) and return specialist Antonio Patton (Woodruff, S.C.). Parker was named the league's statistical champion in interceptions per game (0.60), while Patton was the league's champion in punt return average (12.7 yards per return).
The team was the league champion in total defense, allowing only 302.3 yards of offense per game, and was also named the statistical champion in passing defense, allowing only 131.2 yards per game through the air.
Smith finished the season with 46 catches for 648 yards and four touchdowns. His average of 4.60 catches per game was fifth best in the conference and his 64.8 receiving yards per game ranked second in the league. Holmes earns all-SAC honors for the second straight season after being named to the second team in 2008. Holmes and the "Roach Patrol" allowed only 11 sacks in 10 games this season, with an average of 30.6 passing attempts per sack. The offensive line only loses one player to graduation this season, as Holmes will return in 2010.
Clark had 38 tackles to earn all-SAC honors for the second consecutive season after being named to the second team in 2008. He made 38 total tackles this season, with 6.5 tackles for loss. Moyd was Newberry's second leading tackler with 51 tackles after moving to linebacker from cornerback this season. He ranked in the top 25 in the conference in stops and recovered three fumbles, which tied for second in the league. He also forced two fumbles this season.
Three of Newberry's five first team honorees will return for the 2010 season as Clark, Holmes and Parker are all juniors.
Gantt finished the season second in the league in total offense with 2,324 passing yards and 287 rushing yards for a total of 2,611 offensive yards. He is only the fourth player in Newberry history to have 2,500 or more yards of total offense in a season and had the third best season in that category in school history. A two-time ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, Gantt ended his career with 4,484 yards of total offense, which ranks fifth in Newberry history and his 3,716 passing yards are fourth best in the school's history. He also accounted for 22 touchdowns this season and earned SAC Offensive Player of the Week on three occasions.
S.J. Worrell was Newberry's leading rusher with 650 yards and six touchdowns in his final season. His 237-yard SAC Offensive Player of the Week performance against Catawba was the second-best rushing game in Newberry history. He was fourth in the conference in rushing yardage, 10th in the league in total offense and all-purpose yardage and eighth in the conference in touchdown scoring. Tindal finished his career with the third-most receiving yards in school history with 1,898 yards.
McIlwain is on the all-SAC team for the second straight year after being named to the first team in 2008 as a sophomore. He ranked third in the league in passes defended with an interception and 10 pass breakups. He also blocked extra points in back-to-back games against Mars Hill and Wingate. Patton was the league leader in punt return yardage at 12.7 yards per return and ranked third in the league in interceptions with five.
South Atlantic Conference football champion Carson-Newman College led the way with 16 selections on the 2009 SAC All-Conference Football Team, as well as capturing Offensive Player of the Year, Freshman Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year and the Jacobs Blocking Trophy awards.
The Eagles had seven named to the first team, including quarterback Alex Good, who rushed for 1,020 yards and passed for 1,452 yards. He shared the Offensive Player of the Year award with Mars Hill running back Jonas Randolph, who led the league in rushing yards (1,804), all-purpose yards (1,879) and touchdowns (19).
Newberry College junior safety Ron Parker was named the Defensive Player of the Year. Parker was second in the conference with 8.3 tackles per game, and also led the league with six interceptions. He returned one interception for a touchdown and forced two fumbles.
Tusculum College quarterback Bo Cordell was named the Offensive Freshman of the Year. Cordell threw for 3,458 and 23 touchdowns in his rookie season.
Carson-Newman College defensive lineman Qua Jackson was named Defensive Freshman of the Year. He had 6.5 tackles for loss for -28 yards, two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble in his first season.
The Jacobs Blocking Trophy went to Carson-Newman offensive lineman Michael Tribue. The Jacobs Blocking Trophy is presented to the top lineman in the league. Tribue anchored an offensive line that averaged 354 yards rushing per game.
Carson-Newman Coach Ken Sparks was named Coach of the Year, winning the award for the 12th time in his career. Sparks guided the Eagles to an undefeated conference season for the eighth time in his career.
Tusculum College tight end Jarrell NeSmith received the Football Scholar-Athlete Award for the third year in a row. The 2008-09 SAC Presidents Award winner has a 3.86 GPA and is a pre-medicine major.
Carson-Newman had four first-team selections on offense, with five more offensive players named to the second team. The Eagles had three defensive players named to the first team, with four more named to the second team.
Newberry College had 10 All-Conference selections. Newberry had five on offense, including a pair on the first team, and five more on the defense, with three of those on the first team, including Parker.
Wingate University and Tusculum College each placed seven on the All-Conference team. The Bulldogs had two first-team picks on offense and one on defense.
The Pioneers had four first-team picks on offense, and one more first-team selection on defense. NeSmith, who led the conference in receiving yards per game, was one of the Pionerrs' first team selections.
Mars Hill College had six All-Conference selections, with two named to the first-team offense, including Randolph, and two more earning first-team honors on defense.
Catawba College and Brevard College each had five representatives on the All-Conference team. Catawba had two first-team selections, with one on offense and one on defense.
Brevard had two first-team selections, both coming on the defensive side of the ball, including linebacker Stanley Jones, who led the league in tackles for the second year in a row.
Lenoir-Rhyne had two All-Conference picks, with defensive back Marcus Shuford named to the first team defense.
NeSmith is a member of the Tusculum President's List, Dean's List, Charles Oliver Gray List, South Atlantic Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll and the TC Athletic Director's Honor Roll.
On the field, he earned All-America honors in 2008 from three organizations. This season, he caught 56 passes for 678 yards and three touchdowns. His 88-yard reception earlier this season at Urbana University is the longest pass play in Tusculum history.
NeSmith was also honored by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), earning a spot on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® Football Team. He was recently named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Football Team and will be eligible for All-American honors again.
NeSmith was named to the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame 2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Team and is one of 16 national finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy. Earlier this fall, he was also a Southeast Region representative for the 2008-09 Division II Commissioner's Scholar Athlete Award and was a national semifinalist for the American Football Coaches Association's Good Works Team.
In the community, NeSmith has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-a-Highway and Drug Awareness program at Holston Homes for Children in Greeneville, Tenn. He also volunteers with the Lunch Buddies program at Doak Elementary School, which provides mentoring relationships between the Tusculum football players and the school children. He has spoken to youth and high school students on the importance of education and college life at South Greene High School and the Chucky Mullins center.
The head coaches in the conference select the All-Conference teams. A complete list of the 2009 South Atlantic All-Conference Team follows:
2009 All-SAC Football Teams
Quarterback - Alex Good, Carson-Newman
Wide Receiver - David Smith, Newberry
Wide Receiver - Ryan Tallent, Tusculum
Wide Receiver - Reggie Hubbard, Carson-Newman
Running Back - Jonas Randolph, Mars Hill
Running Back - Buck Wakefield, Carson-Newman
Running Back - Vince Jordan, Wingate
Tight End - Jerrell NeSmith, Tusculum
Offensive Line - Michael Tribue, Carson-Newman
Offensive Line - Terence Crosby, Catawba
Offensive Line - Josh Sims, Mars Hill
Offensive Line - Matt Holmes, Newberry
Offensive Line - Ben Benshoof, Wingate
Placekicker - Gareth Rowlands, Tusculum
Long Snapper - Skylar West, Tusculum
Defensive Line - Zeke Andrews, Carson-Newman
Defensive Line - Melquan Fair, Catawba
Defensive Line - Lance Clark, Newberry
Defensive Line - Antwan Murchinson, Mars Hill
Linebacker - Stanley Jones, Brevard
Linebacker - Andre Moyd, Newberry
Linebacker - Brian Brown, Carson-Newman
Linebacker - Josh Baker, Mars Hill
Defensive Back - Ron Parker, Newberry
Defensive Back - Mario Russell, Carson-Newman
Defensive Back - Marcus Shuford, Lenoir-Rhyne
Defensive Back - Michael Gist, Brevard
Punter - John Gregory, Tusculum
Return Specialist - Perry Floyd, Wingate
Quarterback - Brandon Gantt, Newberry
Wide Receiver - Kelton Tindal, Newberry
Wide Receiver - Delric Ellington, Wingate
Wide Receiver - Brandon Bunn, Catawba
Running Back - S.J. Worrell, Newberry
Running Back - Marcus Foster, Tusculum
Running Back - Nate Inman, Carson-Newman
Tight End - Ryan Webber, Wingate
Offensive Line - Tilmon Hollingshed, Carson-Newman
Offensive Line - Hannibal Ruiz, Tusculum
Offensive Line - Harrison Smith, Lenoir-Rhyne
Offensive Line - Charlie Byers, Brevard
Offensive Line - Adam Baxter, Carson-Newman
Placekicker - Carlos Lopez, Carson-Newman
Long Snapper - Miles Hite, Carson-Newman
Defensive Line - Josh Jefferson, Brevard
Defensive Line - Maurice Harris, Mars Hill
Defensive Line - Brandon Harmon, Carson-Newman
Defensive Line - Brandon Sutton, Catawba
Linebacker - Cory Johnson, Catawba
Linebacker - Elliette Jackson, Carson-Newman
Linebacker - Prince Simunyu, Brevard
Linebacker - Aaron Plyler, Wingate
Defensive Back - Tylan Merkerson, Wingate
Defensive Back - P.J. Woods, Carson-Newman
Defensive Back - Keadran Pinckney, Mars Hill
Defensive Back - Kamaal McIlwain, Newberry
Punter - Chris Jones, Carson-Newman
Return Specialist - Antonio Patton, Newberry
Co-Offensive Players Of The Year - Jonas Randolph, Mars Hill, and Alex Good, Carson-Newman
Defensive Player Of The Year - Ron Parker, Newberry
Freshman Offensive Player Of The Year - Bo Cordell, Tusculum
Freshman Defensive Player Of The Year - Qua Jackson, Carson-Newman
Coach Of The Year - Ken Sparks, Carson-Newman
Jacobs Blocking Trophy - Michael Tribue, Carson-Newman
Rushing per game - Jonas Randolph, Mars Hill, 180.4
Passing Avg. per game - Bo Cordell, Tusculum, 342.1
Total Offense per game - Bo Cordell, Tusculum, 331.8
Receptions per game - Ryan Tallent, Tusculum, 5.90
Receiving yards per game - Jarrell NeSmith, Tusculum, 67.8
All-Purpose yards per game - Jonas Randolph, Mars Hill, 187.9
Interceptions per game - Ron Parker, Newberry, 0.60
Pass Efficiency - Alex Good, Carson-Newman, 159.2
Punt Return Avg. - Antonio Patton, Newberry, 12.7
Kick Return Avg. - Perry Floyd, Wingate, 30.4
Punting Avg. - John Gregory, Tusculum, 41.5
Scoring Avg. (TDs) - Jonas Randolph, Mars Hill, 11.4
Scoring Avg. (Kick) -Carlos Lopez, Carson-Newman, 7.0
Field Goal Pct. - Carlos Lopez, Carson-Newman, 88.9
Tackles per game - Stanley Jones, Brevard, 10.5
Sacks per game - Melquan Fair, Catawba, 0.90
Tackles for loss per game - Prince Simunyu, Brevard, 1.32
Scoring offense - Carson-Newman, 38.8
Scoring defense - Carson-Newman, 20.1
Passing offense - Tusculum, 355.1
Passing defense - Newberry, 131.2
Rushing offense - Carson-Newman, 354.0
Rushing defense - Carson-Newman, 104.8
Total offense - Carson-Newman, 489.5
Total defense - Newberry, 302.3