Ellington named SAC Football Defensive Player of Year; nine earn All-SAC honors


ROCK HILL, SC -- Catawba had nine players selected to the 2006 All-South Atlantic Conference Football teams announced by the league office on Monday. Heading the list is junior defensive end Ron Ellington (Charlotte, NC), who was named the SAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Ellington was joined on the first team by Charles Morman (Rockingham, NC). Second team honors went to Jamelle Cuthbertson (Charlotte, NC), Marcus Huntley (Morven, NC), Brent Johnson (Hickory, NC), Lance Johnson (Hickory, NC), Will Reedy (Oviedo, FL), Lester Sconyers (New Bern, NC) and Shane Timmons (Denton, NC).

Ron EllingtonEllington, a product of Independence High School, who was also a first team All-SAC pick last season, led the league in sacks with eight and half this season and totaled 17 for losses. He ranked second in the SAC and 16th in NCAA II in sacks and sixth in NCAA II with four caused fumbles. Ellington posted a team-leading 74 tackles and had one interception and a fumble recovery. Morman, a senior defensive back from Richmond Senior High School, shook off an early season ankle injury and had a team-high three interceptions. He also had a team-best nine pass break-ups with five against Tusculum. Two of his interceptions came in the season finale at Lenoir-Rhyne, including the game-saver inside the final half minute.

A sophomore tailback, Cuthbertson, who starred at Harding High School, is one of seven Catawba Indians on the second team. He started the final two games of the season and ran for 161 and 218 yards in those wins. He finished the season with 421 yards, good enough to rank fifth in the SAC. Cuthbertson scored four touchdowns and averaged 6.5 yards per carry.

Huntley, a senior nose guard from Anson County High School, was another standout on the defensive line for the Tribe. He registered 31 tackles and recovered a fumble after being slowed most of the season with an injury. Huntley is a three-time All-SAC pick and was the league’s Freshman of the Year in 2003. Brent Johnson, a junior wide receiver from Hickory High School, caught a team-high 47 passes for 672 yards. He ranked third in the league in both categories. Johnson also led the team with six touchdowns and even completed two-of-three passes for 35 yards. In a game against Tusculum, he tied a school record with 12 catches for 196 yards.

Lance Johnson, a senior wide receiver from Hickory High School, was selected as the return specialist. He led the league and ranked 24th in NCAA II will a 25.7 average on kickoff returns and added 77 yards on nine punt returns. He was the team’s number two receiver with 37 catches for 495 yards and three touchdowns and finished third in the SAC in all-purpose yards.

Reedy, a senior offensive lineman from Oviedo High School, started all 10 games at center for the Tribe. He battled through a series of injuries all season and missed only a handful of plays. Reedy was also All-SAC as a junior. Sconyers, a senior linebacker from New Bern High School, earns honors for the second time after he ranked fifth on the team with 54 tackles in 2006. He posted a sack and had seven stops for losses. Sconyers recovered one fumble and his lone interception preserved a 21-14 win over Presbyterian, stopping a Blue Hose drive at the goal line inside the final minute.

Timmons, a junior tight end from South Davidson High School, is honored for the second straight year. He caught five passes for 36 yards and had a touchdown grab in the win over Carson-Newman. Newberry senior quarterback Josh Stepp, who threw for a league-high 21 touchdowns, was named the SAC's Offensive Player of the Year. A senior from Pelion, SC, he completed 159 passes of 247 attempts for 2,052 yards. He threw just three interceptions for an efficiency rating of 159.8. He also rushed for 369 yards and five touchdowns. Lenoir-Rhyne freshman quarterback Justin Sanders was named Offensive Freshman of the Year.

Sanders, from Monroe, NC, threw for 1,319 yards and rushed for 458 yards in his rookie campaign. Carson-Newman freshman linebacker Brian Brown, from Hartwell, GA, was named Defensive Freshman of the Year. Brown registered 72 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss. The Jacobs Blocking Trophy Award, presented to the top offensive lineman, tight end or blocking back in the league, went to Newberry junior offensive right tackle Heath Benedict, a First-Team All-Conference selection. Newberry head coach Zak Willis, who guided the Indians to a 10-1 overall record and the school's first-ever football championship, was named Coach of the Year.

The SAC Scholar Athlete for football went to Tusculum College senior kicker Glen Black, who carries a 3.83 GPA as an accounting major, with minors in management and mathematics. 2006 All-SAC Football Teams First Team Offense QB - Josh Stepp, Newberry WR - Tymere Zimmerman, Newberry WR - Justin Durant, Presbyterian WR - Dan Brooks, Wingate RB - Ronnie Edwards, Lenoir-Rhyne RB - Alex Haynes, Newberry RB - Patrick King, Tusculum TE - Chris Conklin, Wingate OL - James Periminis, Carson-Newman OL - Heath Benedict, Newberry OL - Marchant Faustin, Newberry OL - Michael Bujnak, Tusculum OL - Brandon Manshack, Wingate PK - Ryan Lukshis, Newberry RS - Donald Brown, Wingate First Team Defense DL - Ron Ellington, CATAWBA DL - Benjamin McDowell, Lenoir-Rhyne DL - Adrian Samples, Tusculum DL - Kenwin Cummings, Wingate LB - Nathaniel Smith, Mars Hill LB - Will Newell, Newberry LB - Antwan Thomas, Presbyterian LB - Kenny Wells, Tusculum DB - Charles Mormon, CATAWBA DB - Derrell Mills, Newberry DB - Chad Burgess, Presbyterian DB - Kevin Molony, Presbyterian DB - David Jones, Wingate P - John Gregory, Tusculum LS - Robbie Kelly, Tusculum Second Team Offense QB - Anthony Metzelaars, Wingate WR - Brent Johnson, CATAWBA WR - Jamichael Caldwell, Tusculum WR - Gary Tatum, Wingate RB - Jamelle Cuthbertson, CATAWBA RB - Deshon Rodell, Newberry RB - S.J. Worrell, Presbyterian TE - Shane Timmons, CATAWBA OL - Nate Skellenger, Carson-Newman OL - Will Reedy, CATAWBA OL - J.P. Gunter, Lenoir-Rhyne OL - Matt Vogel, Mars Hill OL - Gavin Mauldin, Tusculum PK - Glen Black, Tusculum RS - Lance Johnson, CATAWBA Second Team Defense DL - Anthony Toribio, Carson-Newman DL - Marcus Huntley, CATAWBA DL - Aaron Cotteral, Lenoir-Rhyne DL - Jonathan Breaux, Newberry LB - Eric Rice, Carson-Newman LB - Lester Sconyers, CATAWBA LB - Justin Jones, Presbyterian LB - Stuart Sheppard, Wingate DB - Brandon Walden, Carson-Newman DB - Octavius Love, Tusculum DB - Donald Brown, Wingate P - David Brentz, Carson-Newman LS - Sean Foley, Presbyterian





COACH OF THE YEAR - Zak Willis, Newberry


SAC SCHOLAR ATHLETE - Glen Black, Tusculum

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