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Bucs' Sanders SoCon coach of the year

Joe Avento • Nov 20, 2018 at 6:28 PM

JOHNSON CITY — He began his first season with his team picked to finish eighth in the nine-team Southern Conference. Instead, it finished tied for first, and now he’s winning awards.

Randy Sanders, whose East Tennessee State football team is preparing for the playoffs, was named the SoCon’s coach of the year on Tuesday.

Twelve ETSU players claimed SoCon honors, including seven as first-team members of the two all-conference teams picked by the league’s coaches and media.

Center Matt Pyke won the Jacobs Blocking Award, which goes to the league’s top lineman, and running back Quay Holmes was the freshman of the year.

Under Sanders, hired last December to replace Carl Torbush, the fourth-year program finished the regular season 8-3. The 6-2 record in conference games gave the 22nd-ranked Bucs a share of the SoCon championship along with Wofford and Furman.

Sanders was named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award as coach of the year on Monday.

More good news for Sanders is that he still gets to coach this week. While most of the 125 Football Championship Subdivision teams are putting away their shoulder pads and helmets, ETSU is one of 24 getting ready for the playoffs.

The Bucs hit the road Saturday for a first-round game at Ohio Valley Conference champion Jacksonville State in Alabama. The game will be carried by ESPN3 beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Pyke, who has started all 44 games of his career, was a first-team all-conference pick.

Holmes was also a first-team selection at running back and second-team pick at kick returner, where he averaged 29.1 yards per attempt.

Holmes has scored 15 of ETSU’s 33 touchdowns this season. He has more than 1,300 all-purpose yards, including 820 rushing yards on 187 carries with 13 touchdowns. He is also tied as the team’s leading receiver with 32 receptions for 242 yards and two scores.

Also making first-team All-SoCon were safety Tyree Robinson, defensive end Nasir Player, linebackers Dylan Weigel and Jared Folks, and cornerback Jeremy Lewis. Lewis was on the media team and Folks was on the coaches’ team.

Second-team selections were kicker JJ Jerman, tight end Evan Wick and defensive tackle Tre’mond Ferrell. Running back Jacob Saylors and offensive lineman Tremond Shorts made the all-freshman team.

Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges, who broke the FCS career passing record in a 38-27 victory over ETSU, was the offensive player of the year. Chattanooga defensive lineman Isaiah Mack won the award as the top defensive player.


2018 All-Southern Conference Football Team

COACHES

Offensive player of the year — Devlin Hodges, Samford, R-Sr., QB

Defensive player of the year — Isaiah Mack, Chattanooga, Sr., DL

Freshman of the year — Quay Holmes, ETSU, RB

Jacobs Blocking Award — Matt Pyke, ETSU, Sr., OL

Coach of the year — Randy Sanders, ETSU

First team offense

QB — Devlin Hodges, Samford

RB — Quay Holmes, ETSU

RB — Andre Stoddard, Wofford

OL — Tyler Davis, The Citadel

OL — Matt Pyke, ETSU

OL — Bo Layton, Furman

OL — Zach Weeks, Western Carolina

OL — Justus Basinger, Wofford

TE — Owen Cosenke, Western Carolina

WR — Kelvin McKnight, Samford

WR — Bryce Nunnelly, Chattanooga

First team defense

DL — Nasir Player, ETSU

DL — Ahmad Gooden, Samford

DL — Isaiah Mack, Chattanooga

DL — Miles Brown, Wofford

LB — Noah Dawkins, The Citadel

LB — Jared Folks, ETSU

LB — Dylan Weigel, ETSU

DB — Aron Spann III, The Citadel

DB — Tyree Robinson, ETSU

DB — Brandon Dowdell, Chattanooga

DB — Kareem Orr, Chattanooga

First team special teams

PK — Grayson Atkins, Furman

P — Matthew Campbell, The Citadel

RS — Dejuan Bell, Furman

Second team offense

QB — Tyrie Adams, Western Carolina

RB — Tee Mitchell, Mercer

RB — Lennox McAfee, Wofford

OL — Andy Godwin, Furman

OL — Austin Sanders, Mercer

OL — Antwan Johnson, Samford

OL — Noah Ramsey, Chattanooga

OL — Cole Strange, Chattanooga

TE — Evan Wick, ETSU

WR — Marquise Irvin, Mercer

WR — Chris Shelling, Samford

Second team defense

DL — Joseph Randolph II, The Citadel

DL — Tremond Ferrell, ETSU

DL — Jaylan Reid, Furman

DL — Derek Mahaffey, Chattanooga

DL — Thad Mangum, Wofford

LB — Adrian Hope, Furman

LB — LeMarkus Bailey, Mercer

LB — Aaron Harris, Samford

LB — Marshall Cooper, Chattanooga

DB — Jeremy Lewis, ETSU

DB — Aaquil Annoor, Furman

DB — Marvin Tillman, Western Carolina

DB — JoJo Tillery, Wofford

Second team special teams

PK — JJ Jerman, ETSU

P — Luke Carter, Wofford

RS — Rohan Martin, VMI

All-Freshman Offense

Haden Haas, The Citadel

Clay Harris, The Citadel

Quay Holmes, ETSU

Jacob Saylors, ETSU

Tremond Shorts, ETSU

Corey Watkins, Furman

David Durden, Mercer

Robert Riddle, Mercer

DeMarcus Ware, Samford

Marshall Gill, VMI

Jakob Herres, VMI

All-Freshman Defense

Chris Beverly, The Citadel

Mason Kinsey, The Citadel

Adrian Hope, Furman

Nathan East, Samford

Nelson Jordan, Samford

Jordan Montgomery, Samford

Devonnsha Maxwell, Chattanooga

Ethan Caselberry, VMI

Brett Howell, VMI

Colin Loftis, VMI

Ronald Kent Jr., Western Carolina

All-Freshman Special Teams

Matthew Campbell, The Citadel

Quay Holmes, ETSU

Dejuan Bell, Furman

Mitchell Fineran, Samford

MEDIA

Roy M. “Legs” Hawley offensive player of the year — Devlin Hodges, Samford, R-Sr., QB

Defensive player of the year — Isaiah Mack, Chattanooga, Sr., DL

Freshman of the year — Quay Holmes, ETSU, RB

Wallace Wade coach of the year — Randy Sanders, ETSU

First team offense

QB — Devlin Hodges, Samford

RB — Quay Holmes, ETSU

RB — Andre Stoddard, Wofford

OL — Tyler Davis, The Citadel

OL — Matt Pyke, ETSU

OL — Austin Sanders, Mercer

OL — Zach Weeks, Western Carolina

OL — Michael Ralph, Wofford

OL — Justus Basinger, Wofford

TE — Owen Cosenke, Western Carolina

WR — Kelvin McKnight, Samford

WR — Bryce Nunnelly, Chattanooga

First team defense

DL — Joseph Randolph II, The Citadel

DL — Nasir Player, ETSU

DL — Ahmad Gooden, Samford

DL — Isaiah Mack, Chattanooga

DL — Miles Brown, Wofford

LB — Dylan Weigel, ETSU

LB — Adrian Hope, Furman

LB — Mitchell Chancey, Western Carolina

DB — Jeremy Lewis, ETSU

DB — Tyree Robinson, ETSU

DB — Kareem Orr, Chattanooga

DB — Marvin Tillman, Western Carolina

DB — George Gbesee, Wofford

First team special teams

PK — Grayson Atkins, Furman

P — Matthew Campbell, The Citadel

RS — Dejuan Bell, Furman

Second team offense

QB — Tyrie Adams, Western Carolina

RB — Tee Mitchell, Mercer

RB — Tyrell Price, Chattanooga

OL — Bo Layton, Furman

OL — Antwan Johnson, Samford

OL — Nick Nixon, Samford

OL — Blake Jeresaty, Wofford

OL — Josh Burger, Wofford

TE — Evan Wick, ETSU

WR — Marquise Irvin, Mercer

WR — Kris Thornton, VMI

Second team defense

DL — Tre’mond Ferrell, ETSU

DL — Jaylan Reid, Furman

DL — Derek Mahaffey, Chattanooga

DL — Solomon Clark, Western Carolina

LB — Noah Dawkins, The Citadel

LB — Jared Folks, ETSU

LB — Marshall Cooper, Chattanooga

DB — Aron Spann III, The Citadel

DB — Aaquil Annoor, Furman

DB — Malique Fleming, Mercer

DB — Brandon Dowdell, Chattanooga

DB — A.J. Smith, VMI

Second team special teams

PK — JJ Jerman, ETSU

P — Luke Carter, Wofford

RS — Quay Holmes, ETSU

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