ROCK HILL - The Newberry College football team has the second-most honorees on this year's Preseason All-South Atlantic Conference football teams, which were released by the conference office Tuesday.
Newberry has 10 total honorees (four first team, six second team) to rank behind only preseason favorites Lenoir-Rhyne. Newberry was predicted to finish third in the league by the head coaches in Monday's preseason poll release.
Representing the scarlet and gray on the first team are offensive lineman Stephen Nance (Rock Hill, S.C.), defensive lineman Alstevis Squirewell (Great Falls, S.C.), linebacker Taylor McDonnell (Bluffton, S.C.) and punter Kyle Clark (Beaufort, S.C.).
Newberry's contingent on the second team includes running back Romelo Doctor (Summerville, S.C.), offensive lineman Hayden Wilks (Chesterfield, S.C.), tight end Zach Edmunds (Springfield, Va.), long snapper Andrew Smith (Savannah, Ga.), defensive lineman Jalen Hunter (Seneca, S.C.) and defensive back Arnez Gray (Greenwood, S.C.).
Nance, a rising senior from Northwestern HS in Rock Hill, was noted as one of the league's top linemen in 2014, providing excellent blocking in both the passing and running phases of Newberry's multiple offense. Nance started every game for the Wolves and earned second team all-SAC honors in 2014.
Squirewell, a rising senior from Great Falls HS, was a first team all-SAC honoree in 2014 and also earned second team all-Super Region II honors from the Beyond Sports Network. He was Newberry's second-leading tackler with 66 total stops on the year. He finished second in the SAC with 16.5 tackles for loss and tied for sixth in the league with 4.5 sacks. His 42 solo stops ranked seventh in the conference. He had a season high of 11 tackles in the home games against Lenoir-Rhyne and Carson-Newman, forcing a fumble against the Bears and notching two sacks against the Eagles.
McDonnell, a rising senior from Bluffton HS, was a first team all-SAC honoree and third team all-Super Region II pick by the Beyond Sports Network. He finished third on the team with 64 total tackles. He also had 13.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown. His 37 solo stops ranked in the top 15 in the conference. McDonnell had a season high of 10 tackles against Catawba with three tackles for loss in that game as well as the Wingate game.
Clark, a rising senior from Beaufort HS, was a first team all-SAC selection in both 2013 and 2014 and earned ECAC Division II All-Star honors last year. He was named DAKTRONICS second team all-Southeast Region in 2013 and 2014 and earned third team all-region honors from the Beyond Sports Network in 2014.
He led the league and earned the SAC Statistical Championship with a 39.3 yards per punt average on 54 punts. His 64-yard punt against Lenoir-Rhyne was the longest punt in the conference this season. Clark had seven punts over 50 yards and 30 punts inside the opponents' 20-yardline, while no other punter in the Super Region had more than 22 punts inside the opponents' 20.
Doctor, a rising junior from Ashley Ridge HS in Summerville, averaged 5.4 yards per carry as a sophomore with a team-best five rushing touchdowns for 447 total rushing yards. He had 103 rushing yards on nine carries with two touchdowns at Brevard. He also racked up 102 rushing yards against Wingate. Including his freshman year, he has 793 rushing yards on 145 carries for an average of 5.5 yards per carry with 10 career touchdowns.
Wilks, a rising senior from Chesterfield HS, is one of the most consistent players on the offensive line. His durability and tenacity have been a strength for the Wolves in the last two years, as he has started in 22 of Newberry's 23 games in that span. He has the most starts of any returning offensive player this season.
Edmunds, a rising senior from Springfield, Va., and graduate of Hargrave Military Academy, has been a constant at the tight end position for Newberry for the last two years. In various roles as a blocker and receiver, Edmunds rarely comes off the field. In 2014, he had nine catches for 100 yards with a pair of touchdowns against Limestone. He is also expected to feature in numerous special teams packages.
Smith, a rising senior from the Saint Andrew's School in Savannah, Ga., was the second team all-SAC long snapper in 2014. He did a great job handling all long snaps, also showing great speed downfield on punt coverage after the snap.
Hunter, a rising senior from Seneca HS, has the fifth-most tackles amongst Newberry returners from a defensive tackle position. He had 37 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks as a junior. In his sophomore season of 2013 he had 47 stops with three tackles for loss and a sack, including 13 tackles in the playoff game at Carson-Newman.
Gray, a rising senior from Emerald HS in Greenwood, was a second team all-SAC defensive back in 2014 as a junior. From his safety position, he finished sixth on the team and first amongst secondary players with 46 tackles in 2014. He also had two interceptions and three other pass breakups, ranking him in the top 10 in the conference in INTs. He had a season-high of eight tackles against Lenoir-Rhyne and forced a fumble in the Tusculum game.
Newberry starts its season on September 5 at Florida Tech before kicking off a three-game homestand on September 12 against Division I-FCS foe Jacksonville.
The open practice schedule for preseason camp will be released in the coming days. Players report for the preseason on August 12.
SAC Digital Media Week continues Wednesday with an online chat with all eight SAC head football coaches at www.theSAC.com. Newberry head coach Todd Knight will join the chat at 11:05 a.m.
2015 Preseason All-South Atlantic Conference Football Teams
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
QB – De’Andre Thomas, Carson-Newman
RB – Jamel Harbison, Mars Hill
RB – Shaikel Davis, Mars Hill
RB – Michael Patrick, Lenoir-Rhyne
WR – Justin Houston, Tusculum
WR – Jordan Berry, Wingate
WR – Carlos Tarrats, Catawba
OL – Josh Turner, Brevard
OL – Joe Ray, Lenoir-Rhyne
OL – Stephen Nance, Newberry
OL – Tyler Scott, Carson-Newman
OL – Dale Howard, Lenoir-Rhyne
TE – Marquez Williams, Mars Hill
K – Alex Noboa, Brevard
RS – Lonnie Williams, Carson-Newman
LS – Dusty Nance, Carson-Newman
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL – Alstevis Squirewell, Newberry
DL – Chris Green, Lenoir-Rhyne
DL – Christiaan Davis, Mars Hill
DL – Lendre Sparrow, Lenoir-Rhyne
LB – Rodney Singleton, Lenoir-Rhyne
LB – Eric Mapoles, Wingate
LB – Taylor McDonnell, Newberry
LB – Kyle Kitchens, Catawba
DB – Jerry Miclisse, Carson-Newman
DB – Brandon Hathaway, Wingate
DB – Marcus McDaniel, Catawba
DB – Marcus Kincaid, Lenoir-Rhyne
P – Kyle Clark, Newberry
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
QB – Mike Sheehan, Catawba
RB – Romelo Doctor, Newberry
RB – Damien Baker, Carson-Newman
RB – David Burgess, Catawba
WR – TraShaun Ward, Carson-Newman
WR – Keyshaun Taylor, Mars Hill
WR – Victor Brannan, Lenoir-Rhyne
OL – Dan Gallman, Carson-Newman
OL – Mathu Gibson, Wingate
OL – Hayden Wilks, Newberry
OL – Joe Hillin, Mars Hill
OL – Lewis McCormick, Catawba
TE – Zach Edmunds, Newberry
K – Chad Hollandsworth, Catawba
RS – Justin Houston, Tusculum
LS – Andrew Smith, Newberry
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL – Jalen Hunter, Newberry
DL – D’Andre Johnson, Tusculum
DL – Johnny Maxey, Mars Hill
DL – Landon Allen, Brevard
LB – Brandyn Bartlett, Tusculum
LB – Jordan Forney, Lenoir-Rhyne
LB – Jamal Lacky, Catawba
LB – L’Keith Brown, Tusculum
DB – Arnez Gray, Newberry
DB – Chris Shaffer, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB – Eien Jacob, Carson-Newman
DB – Nortavius Otis, Wingate
P – Caleb Berry, Catawba AND Mikey Destephens, Lenoir-Rhyne