Eight Recognized on SAC Preseason Football Teams


ROCK HILL, S.C. ( -– Catawba placed eight players on the 2016 South Atlantic Conference Preseason All-Conference Football Teams, including four on the defensive first team.  The teams are chosen by the league’s Football Media Relations Directors and announced by the SAC on Tuesday.

Raleigh Yeldell of Newberry was picked as the first team quarterback.  Yeldell led the South Atlantic Conference with a completion percentage of 62 percent.  He threw for 13 scores and 1,504 yards, while gaining 399 yards on the ground and punching in six rushing touchdowns in 2015.

The running back corps consisted of Tusculum’s Isaac Robinson, Romelo Doctor of Newberry and Lawrence Pittman from Wingate.  Robinson scored eight touchdowns on 855 yards, while Doctor ran for 1,235 yards and six touchdowns.  Pittman closed out his 2015 season with 1,227 yards on the ground and 11 scores.

Mars Hill’s Keshaun Taylor and Gilbert Johnson highlighted the trio of wide outs on the first team.  Taylor topped the League a season-ago with 1,183 receiving yards, 107.5 receiving yards per game and 10 touchdowns.  Johnson, the 2015 SAC Offensive Freshman of the Year, was right behind Taylor as he hauled in nine touchdowns and led the League with 19.7 yards per catch.

Jordan Berry from Wingate rounded out the list of first team wide receivers.  Berry hauled in five touchdowns and amassed 540 yards of receiving a season ago.

The first team offensive line consisted of a pair of Carson-Newman Eagles in Austin Lewis and Dan Gallman.  Mars Hill also put two players on the first team offensive line as Joe Hillin and Bryce King earned the honor.  Jaleel Roberts of Lenoir-Rhyne wrapped up the list of first team offensive lineman.

At the tight end position, Jake Jensen from Wingate earned first team honors.  Jensen caught 12 balls for three touchdowns and 121 yards a season ago for the Bulldogs.

Carson-Newman’s Lonnie Williams was picked as the first-team return specialist as he posted 561 yards of return for the Eagles during the 2015 season.  He returned 24 kicks to average 23.4 yards per return.

Will Tommie from Tusuclum was tabbed the first-team placekicker, while teammate Ian O’Grady earned first-team long snapper honors. 

Carson-Newman posted a pair of players on the first team defensive line in Phalen Booker and Brian Bembry.  Catawba’s C.J. Barksdale and Andre Foulks from Wingate rounded out the list of first-team honorees.

Booker turned in 40 tackles for the Eagles to go along with 10.5 tackles for loss and six sacks during the 2015 campaign.  Bembry added 33 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and three sacks for the Eagles’ defense.  Barksdale led the first team defensive linemen as he recorded 70 tackles.  He also chipped in six tackles for loss and a pair of sacks for the Catawba Indians.  Foulks notched 58 tackles for the Bulldog defense as well as eight tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

Kyle Kitchens of Catawba, the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, headlines the first team linebackers.  Teammate Jamal Lackey, Brandyn Bartlett from Tusculum and Carson-Newman’s Sha’heem Stupart also received first team linebacker honors. 

Kitchens, a 2016 Preseason All-American, lead the League with 12 sacks a season ago.  He also posted 23 tackles for loss and 65 total tackles.  His one interception was a big one as he returned it 90 yards for a touchdown.  Lackey led the Catawba Indians with 81 total stops and chipped in 4.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss, while Bartlett topped the trio of first team linebackers and ranked No. 2 in the South Atlantic Conference with 94 tackles during the 2015 campaign.  Stupart led the Eagles with 91 total tackles and came away with 5.5 tackles for loss from his linebacker position.

Kyle Dugger of Lenoir-Rhyne, the 2016 SAC Defensive Freshman of the Year, was joined on the first team defensive back list by Case Woodard of Catawba, Cameron Thomas from Tusculum and Carson-Newman’s Jerry Miclisse.

Dugger finished the 2015 season with six interceptions, six break ups and 43 tackles, while Woodard came away with five picks, 12 break ups and 52 total stops.  Thomas posted five interceptions for the Pioneers to go along with 10 pass break ups and 52 tackles.  Miclisse led the first team honorees with 67 tackles.  He also chipped in a pair of interceptions and three pass break ups.

Michael DeStephens from Lenoir-Rhyne rounds out the list of first-team picks at the punter slot.

Catawba's second team selections include quarterback Mike Sheehan, running back David Burgess, wide receiver Keyon West and long snapper Stephen Bartlett.

Sheehan accounded for 20 touchdowns last season, rushing for 12 and passing for eight.  He completed 60% of his passes for 1,605 yards and added aznother 694 yards on the ground.  Burgess shook off an early season injury to gain 461 yards rushing with a pair of scores.  He also caught 14 passes.

West was second on the squad with 24 receptions.  He totaled 253 yards and had a pair of touchdown grabs.  Bartlett has started as long snapper for each of his first three seasons.

2016 South Atlantic Conference First and Second Team Preseason All-Conference

QB – Raleigh Yeldell, Newberry
RB – Isaac Robinson, Tusculum
RB – Romelo Doctor, Newberry
RB – Lawrence Pittman, Wingate
WR – Keshaun Taylor, Mars Hill
WR – Gilbert Johnson, Mars Hill
WR – Jordan Berry, Wingate
TE – Jake Jensen, Wingate
OL – Austin Lewis, Carson-Newman
OL – Dan Gallman, Carson-Newman
OL – Joe Hillin, Mars Hill
OL – Jaleel Roberts, Lenoir-Rhyne
OL – Bryce King, Mars Hill
RS – Lonnie Williams, Carson-Newman
LS – Ian O’Grady, Tusculum
PK – Will Tommie, Tusculum

QB – Mike Sheehan, Catawba
RB – Antonio Wimbush, Carson-Newman
RB – Montavious Taylor, Carson-Newman
RB – David Burgees, Catawba
WR – Cole Watson, Newberry
WR – Keyon West, Catawba
WR - Evan Altizer, Tusculum
TE – Grant Janeway, Carson-Newman
OL – Daniel Owens, Wingate
OL – Bobby McNeil, Newberry
OL – Tyler Stasky, Newberry
OL – Branden Dagley, Brevard
OL – Patrick Benson, Tusculum
RS – Cole Watson, Newberry
LS – Steven Bartlett, Catawba
PK – Carson Wise, Carson-Newman

DL – C.J. Barksdale, Catawba
DL – Phalen Booker, Carson-Newman
DL – Andre Foulks, Wingate
DL – Brian Bembry, Carson-Newman
LB – Kyle Kitchens, Catawba
LB – Brandyn Bartlett, Tusculum
LB – Jamal Lackey, Catawba
LB – Sha’heem Stupart, Carson-Newman
DB – Case Woodard, Catawba
DB – Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB – Cameron Thomas, Tusculum
DB – Jerry Miclisse, Carson-Newman
P – Michael DeStephens, Lenoir-Rhyne

DL – Jamarcus Henderson, Newberry
DL – Ray Edwards, Wingate
DL – Josh Parker, Newberry
DL – Chris Green, Lenoir-Rhyne
LB – L'Keith Brown, Tusculum
LB – Will Elm, Newberry
LB – Jordan Forney, Lenoir-Rhyne
LB – Carl Mattox, Mars Hill
DB – Chris Carpenter, Catawba
DB – Marcus Kincaid, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB – Jason Williams, Carson-Newman
DB – Kameron Johnson, Wingate
P – Kevin Weber, Brevard

Today's Events

No events scheduled until September 3


«June 2022»

Mouse over the red calendar dates to display events on those days. Click to open the full-size calendar.


Football Team Photo