Football Picked Seventh in SAC Poll
ROCK HILL, SC -- The South Atlantic Conference has released the 2012 football preseason coaches poll and the preseason all-conference teams. Lenoir-Rhyne was tabbed in the top spot in the poll, while Tusculum led the way with nine selections on the preseason All-SAC teams.
Catawba was slated seventh in coaches poll, receiving 18 points. The Indians finished in a tie for sixth place last season. Catawba also had seven players named to the preseason All-SAC teams.
L-R received four of the eight first-place votes in the preseason coaches’ poll and totaled 46 points. The Bears went 7-3 overall and 6-1 in the SAC last season, splitting the league title with Mars Hill.
2011 SAC co-champion Mars Hill is second in the 2012 preseason poll with 35 points and two first-place votes. The Lions are coming off the best season in program history, in which they won eight games and earned their first-ever bid to the NCAA Division II Football Championship.
Newberry and Wingate tied for third in the 2012 preseason poll with 33 points, and each received one first-place vote. Both programs went 4-3 in the conference last season.
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.
After earning a share of the SAC title last season, Mars Hill heads into 2012 with eight preseason All-SAC selections, including five on the First Team. The Lions were picked second in the SAC preseason coaches’ poll.
Defensive lineman Troy Harris, who was a 2011 All-American after recording nine sacks, leads MHC’s first-team selections.
Carson-Newman also 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, led by the SAC’s fourth-leading tackler from last season, linebacker Rudy Cabral.
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 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.
2012 SAC Football Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Lenoir-Rhyne, 46 (4)
2. Mars Hill, 35 (2)
3. Newberry, 33 (1)
Wingate, 33 (1)
5. Carson-Newman, 26
6. Tusculum, 24
7. Catawba, 18
8. Brevard, 9
2012 Pre-Season All-SAC Football Teams
First Team Offense
QB – Bo Cordell, Tusculum
RB – Tryon Douglas, Carson-Newman
RB – Isaiah Whitaker, Lenoir-Rhyne
RB – John Gadson, Newberry
WR – Dimitri Holmes, Mars Hill
WR – Chris Bowden, Wingate
WR – Eric Watts, Brevard
TE – Brandon Ellington, Wingate
OL – Kevin Day, Carson-Newman
OL – Nick Allison, Mars Hill
OL – Alex Taylor, Carson-Newman
OL – Garrett Johnson, Brevard
OL – Lequawn James, Newberry
PK – Logan Cornelius, Tusculum
RS – Michael Green, Lenoir-Rhyne
First Team Defense
DL – CJ Barksdale, Catawba
DL – Brandon Martin, Lenoir-Rhyne
DL – Damein Lee, Catawba
DL – Troy Harris, Mars Hill
LB – Rudy Cabral, Mars Hill
LB – Apollo Stretch, Newberry
LB – Demetrius Green, Lenoir-Rhyne
LB – Jared Seate, Wingate
DB – Michael Green, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB – David Davis, Newberry
DB – Marvin James, Mars Hill
DB – Jumal Rolle, Catawba
P – Eric Watts, Brevard
LS – Skylar West, Tusculum
Second Team Offense
QB – Jon Richt, Mars Hill
RB – Kelvin Jeter, Brevard
RB – Corron Boston, Lenoir-Rhyne
RB – Brian Marshall, Tusculum
WR – Jason Brown, Carson-Newman
WR – Nate Charest, Catawba
WR – Bryan Caffrey, Wingate
TE – Wesley Powell, Tusculum
OL – Andrew Velazquez, Brevard
OL – Lucas Mathis, Carson-Newman
OL – Ethan Winn, Catawba
OL – Neil Dwyer, Mars Hill
OL – Israel Pickens, Tusculum
PK – Matthew Sierk, Wingate
RS – Jason Livingston, Newberry
Second Team Defense
DL – Marvin Lawson, Brevard
DL – Mam Nyang, Mars Hill
DL – Adim Obata, Newberry
DL – DeShon Collins, Carson-Newman
LB – Cory Johnson, Catawba
LB – Brian Alexander, Tusculum
LB – Rufus Jenkins, Brevard
LB – Richie Kazazian, Wingate
DB – Luke Harris, Tusculum
DB – Oliver Davis, Carson-Newman
DB – Timmy Rogers, Wingate
DB – Tarvin Jones, Carson-Newman
P – JoJo Morris, Newberry
P – Andy Rosetti, Tusculum
LS – DJ Davis, Catawba