Eight Lions Named Preseason All-SACAugust 7, 2012
ROCK HILL, S.C. – The 2012 SAC football preseason All-Conference Team was released on Tuesday, with eight Mars Hill student-athletes earning recongnition on preseason teams.
Five Lions earned First-Team All-Conference honors, while three were placed on the second team. First-Team Offense members included wide receiver Dimitri Holmes and offensive lineman Nick Allison. First-Team Defense members included defensive lineman Troy Harris, linebacker Rudy Cabral and defensive back Marvin James. Quarterback Jon Richt, offensive lineman Neal Dwyer and defensive lineman Mam Nyang all earned second-team honors.
Holmes was the Lions leading receiver last season, with 65 receptions for 861 yards and nine touchdowns. Allison was an anchor on the Lions offensive line, which helped produce 239 yards rushing per game.
Defensive First-Team Harris was a 2011 All-American honoree after recording nine sacks. Cabral was the Lions top tackler in 2011, with 106 tackles to his credit. James picked off two passes and had 35 tackles last season.
Second-team selection Richt returns to quarterback the Lions after a season in which he threw for 1,899 yards and 18 touchdowns. Dwyer will team with Allison and the rest of the Mars Hill offensive line to protect Richt and open up holes in the running game. Nyang had 57 tackles last season, including six sacks, as an anchor on the Lions defensive line.
Mars Hill is coming off a season in which it won a share of the SAC-title and earned a playoff berth. The Lions were picked to finish second in the conference in the preseason coach's poll.
The Lions open the season on Aug. 30 at Western Carolina, and open conference play at home against Brevard on Sept. 15.
Despite being picked No. 6 in the preseason SAC coaches poll, Tusculum had three players named to the preseason All-SAC First Team and a league-high six earn spots on the Second Team.
Headlining Tusculum’s All-SAC selections was first-team quarterback Bo Cordell, who returns this season after missing most of 2011 with a foot injury. Cordell, the 2010 SAC Offensive Player of the Year, enters 2012 seventh on both the SAC’s all-time passing yards and total offensive yards list.
Carson-Newman had eight players selected to the preseason All-SAC team, including first-teamers Tyron Douglas (running back), Alex Taylor (offensive lineman) and Kevin Day (offensive lineman).
Douglas averaged 6.6 yards-per-carry last season for the Eagles and scored 12 touchdowns.
Catawba, Newberry and Wingate all had seven players named to the preseason All-SAC Team.
Of Newberry’s selections, four were named to the First Team, including 2011 All-America linebacker Apollo Stretch, who led the SAC by averaging 10.5 tackles per game last season.
Catawba and Wingate, meanwhile, both had three preseason All-SAC First Team picks. Leading Wingate’s selections is preseason All-America wide receiver Chris Bowden, who is coming off a 2011 season in which he hauled in 76 receptions for 1,064 yards and nine touchdowns.
All three of Catawba’s first-team players are on the defensive side.
Lenoir-Rhyne, which was voted No. 1 in the SAC preseason coaches’ poll after splitting last year’s conference title with Mars Hill, placed six on the All-SAC Team, including a league-high five first-teamers.
Three of L-R’s first-team picks – linebacker Demetrius Green, defensive back Michael Green and defensive lineman Brandon Martin – have also been named preseason All-Americans.
Five Brevard players were also named to the preseason All-SAC Team, including Eric Watts, a first-team selection at both wide receiver and punter.
The preseason All-SAC Team is voted on by the league’s media relations directors.