Football places 11 on All-SAC teams

ROCK HILL, SC — Catawba College led the way with 11 players selected to the All- South Atlantic Conference football teams, including seven on the first team. The teams are selected by the league's eight head coaches and was announced Monday by the conference. The Tribe also took home four of the league's top honors as senior Shawn Sanders was named the Defensive Player of the Year, Rodney Wallace was named Co-Offensive Freshman of the Year, junior Nick Means was named the football SAC Scholar Athlete and David Bennett and his staff were selected as Coach of the Year. Sanders, a linebacker from Raleigh, NC, became the fifth straight Catawba defender to earn the Player of the Year award. He anchored a Catawba defense that allowed just 10.9 points and 244.3 yards per game. He had 69 tackles, including 16 for loss. He also had 5.5 sacks, 18 quarterback hurries and forced three fumbles. Presbyterian's Todd Cunningham was voted the league's Player of the Year on Offense for the third straight year. The Harlon Hill trophy finalist ranks first all-time among Division II in total offense with 11,235 yards. He is also the SAC career leader in career touchdown passes and touchdowns responsible. This season, he has thrown for 3,514 yards and 32 touchdowns. Wallace, a tailback from Bamberg, SC, who set a school record for yards rushing by a freshman, and Carson-Newman quarterback Shane Kelly, who threw for 790 yards and seven touchdowns, were named Co-Offensive Freshmen of the Year. Mars Hill College cornerback Maurice Jackson, who set a school record with nine interceptions, the second-most in the conference, was named Defensive Freshman of the Year. Means, a junior wide receiver from Thomasville, NC, was honored as the SAC Scholar Athlete for football. It is awarded based on athletic performance, academic achievement and community involvement. On the field, Means was a first team All-SAC selection, leading the Indians in receptions with 36 this season for 592 yards and five scores. He holds a 3.49 GPA while majoring in business and has been active in the community be his volunteer projects with the March of Dimes, Special Olympics and the homeless shelter. Catawba coach David Bennett was chosen Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year. Bennett along with his staff led the Indians to a 9-1 season and a third consecutive bid to the NCAA Division II playoffs. Mars Hill tight end David Cassell received the Jacobs Blocking Trophy. Catawba's strong suit on defense this season was its linebacking corps. The unit was made up of three seniors and a junior and all four were awarded with All-SAC honors. Sanders and Shawn McBride, of Sumter, SC, were first team picks, while junior Todd McComb, of Thomasville, NC, and Darris Morris, of Batesburg, SC, were second team selections. The four led Catawba in tackles and accounted for 12 of the Tribe's 22 sacks and made 45 stops for losses. Three others from the defense were also honored. Senior Corey Reese, of Dunwoody, GA, was named first team All-SAC at defensive back, while fellow secondary mate, junior Ryan Norman, of Norcross, GA, was a second team selection. Junior Richard Scott, of Alcolu, SC, was named to the first team unit as a defensive lineman. Reese led the team with three interceptions, while Norman broke up a dozen passes and recorded 30 tackles. Scott made six stops for losses and forced a fumble. On offense, sophomore lineman Cole Beane, of Belmont, NC, and Means were first team selections, while senior Mark Sintich, Alpharetta, GA, earned second team honors. Beane paved the way for an offense that averaged 200 yards rushing and 33 points per game, both among the top 30 in NCAA Division II. Sintich made the most of his five catches, taking two for scores. Senior kicker Matt Gross, of Hendersonville, NC, was named first team All-SAC after leading the league with 14 field goals. He connected on 36-of-38 PAT's and 14-of-21 field goals to lead the Tribe with 78 points. A complete lists of the 2001 South Atlantic All-Conference Team follows: 2001 All-SAC Football Teams First Team Offense QB: Todd Cunningham, PC WR: D.J. Humphries, PC WR: Kevie Smith, PC WR: NICK MEANS, CAT OL: Mike Rigdon, C-N OL: Alan Dunn, TC OL: COLE BEANE, CAT OL: Jeremy Phillips, L-R OL: Bakari Wilkerson, C-N RB: Travis McFadden, MHC RB: Antwon Oliver, C-N RB: Aaron Claridy, TC TE: David Cassell, MHC LS: Charlie Gunnels, MHC K: Paul Czerniak, TC & MATT GROSS, CAT Defense DL: Asinia Knight, MHC DL: Brad Lindamood, L-R DL: Nacomma Maxwell, PC DL: RICHARD SCOTT, CAT DB: Todd Geter, NEW DB: Maurice Jackson, MHC DB: COREY REESE, CAT DB: D.J. Starling, TC LB: Khalid Abdullah, MHC LB: SHAWN McBRIDE, CAT LB: Steve Josue, C-N LB: SHAWN SANDERS, CAT P: Paul Czerniak, TC RS: Donald Amaker, TC Second Team Offense QB: Caleb Slover, TC WR: Kevin Wolcott, TC WR: Kendal Brown, NEW WR: Kennard France, L-R OL: Andrew Oetzel, MHC OL: Matt Dewitt, NEW OL: Mike Hill, PC OL: Doug Holmberg, TC OL: Jeremy Durham, NEW RB: Jameil Surratt, L-R RB: Randy Bell, C-N RB: Chad Tackett, NEW TE: MARK SINTICH, CAT LS: Justin Anderson, C-N K: Robby Milam, C-N Defense DL: Germon Spence, C-N DL: J.R. Brown, NEW DL: Harry Levin, MHC DL: Keon Talbert, PC DB: Artivest Martin, L-R DB: RYAN NORMAN, CAT DB: Ryan Bowers, PC DB: Chad Clonch, WIN LB: TODD McCOMB, CAT LB: Russell Rothar, PC LB: William McMillan, L-R LB: DARRIS MORRIS, CAT P: Mike Field, C-N & Richard Straup, WIN RS: Paris Edwards, L-R Player of the Year OFF: Todd Cunningham, PC DEF: SHAWN SANDERS, CAT Freshman of the Year OFF: RODNEY WALLACE, CAT & Shane Kelley, C-N DEF: Maurice Jackson, MHC SAC Scholar Athlete: NICK MEANS, CAT Coach of the Year: DAVID BENNETT, CAT Jacobs Blocking Trophy: David Cassell, MHC #######

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