By Daniel Whitehead
ROANOKE, Va.—After helping the Southern Virginia University football team to its best record in program history, four Knights were named to the Roanoke Times College Division All-State football team Friday afternoon.
Sophomore defensive lineman Sam Mellor and safety Matthew Gregory were listed on the first team defense, while junior defensive lineman Keaton Epps was named to the second team defense. On the offensive side, senior Dee Sanford was recognized on the second team offense as both a wide receiver and return specialist.
"All four had a great fall for us and are very deserving of the honor," said Southern Virginia head coach DeLane Fitzgerald. "All season they were great leaders and did everything they could to help us to eight wins this season. They are excellent representatives of this university."
Mellor started all 10 games this season and earned 22 solo tackles, 14 assisted tackles and 7.5 sacks on the year, second-most in program history for a single season. The Colfax, Wash., native had one fumble recovery and one safety this season as well as 80 yards resulting from tackles for loss, the most in program history for one season.
Gregory, a Staunton, Va., native, had 35 solo tackles and 19 assisted tackles in 2013 in addition to one fumble recovery, four interceptions and five pass breakups. A 2013 All-USCAA first team recipient, he earned 67 yards off of interceptions on the year, second-most in school history for a single season. He also achieved two picks apiece in Southern Virginia wins over Apprentice and Alfred State.
In his first year at Southern Virginia, Epps started all 10 games this season and had 26 solo tackles and 21 tackle assists in 2013, including 5 sacks. The Wake Forest, N.C., native forced two fumbles and achieved five pass breakups. In addition to being named to the 2013 All-USCAA first team, he earned a spot on the USCAA All-Academic team as well as garnering CoSIDA Academic All-District honors.
Sanford earned 62 points for the team this season on nine receiving touchdowns, a punt return touchdown and a two-point conversion. The Hattiesburg, Miss., native logged 672 receiving yards and was also a key component of the special teams unit, registering 17 punt returns for a program-best 214 yards for the season. Having scored two receiving touchdowns in three separate games, his nine for the year ranks second-most in program history for a single season.
DIV. II, DIV. III, NAIA AND USCAA
ROANOKE TIMES ALL-STATE COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAM
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Will McGhee, Randolph-Macon
QB | Nash Nance | Hampden-Sydney | Jr.
RB | Jordan Anderson | Virginia State | Sr.
RB | Will McGhee | Randolph-Macon | Sr.
WR | James Long | UVa-Wise | Sr.
WR | Holton Walker | Hampden-Sydney | Jr.
TE | Joey Druhan | Hampden-Sydney | So.
G | Ryan Ferrell | E&H | Sr.
G | Micah Fleet | W&L | Jr.
C | Ronnie Ransome | Virginia State | So.
T | Will Ferrell | Hampden-Sydney | Sr.
T | Connor Hollenbeck | W&L | Sr.
PK | Chandler DeHaven | Bridgewater | So.
RS | James Long | UVa-Wise | Sr.
QB | Kyle Boden | E&H | Sr.
RB | Tae Gilbert | Ferrum | Jr.
RB | Marshall Hollerith | W&L | Fr.
WR | Rudy Rudolph | Christopher Newport | Jr.
WR | Dee Sanford | Southern Virginia | Sr.
TE | Miles Green | Shenandoah | Fr.
G | Robert Beckwith | Christopher Newport | So.
G | C.J. Wade | Hampden-Sydney | Sr.
C | Sean Douglass | Bridgewater | So.
T | Bobby Jones | W&L | Sr.
T | Nate Turner | Randolph-Macon | Jr.
PK | Mason Studer | Christopher Newport | Jr.
RS | Dee Sanford | Southern Virginia | Sr.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tyler Ikwild, Hampden-Sydney
DL | Shaun Copening | Christopher Newport | Jr.
DL | Ronald Lewis | Virginia State | Jr.
DL | Sam Mellor | Southern Virginia | So.
DL | Tom Solak | Randolph-Macon | Jr.
LB | Brock Bullock | Apprentice | Sr.
LB | Tyler Ikwild | Hampden-Sydney | Sr.
LB | Byron Mitchell | Shenandoah | Sr.
DB | Cameron Barlow | Christopher Newport | So.
DB | Matthew Gregory | Southern Virginia | Jr.
DB | Zach Morgan | Hampden-Sydney | Sr.
DB | Sean Smith | Virginia State | Sr.
P | Tracy Murden | Randolph-Macon | Sr.
DL | Keaton Epps | Southern Virginia | Jr.
DL | Scott Markland | Hampden-Sydney | Jr.
DL | Jake Payne | Shenandoah | So.
DL | Shaq Thomas | Hampden-Sydney | So.
LB | Josh Doggett | Hampden-Sydney | Jr.
LB | Evan Moog | Christopher Newport | Sr.
LB | Andrew Palmer | Bridgewater | Sr.
DB | Willie Bailey | Virginia Union | Fr.
DB | Frank Brooks | Bluefield | So.
DB | Eric Long | Randolph-Macon | So.
DB | John Moore | Hampden-Sydney | Jr.
P | Zach Nedzbala | E&H | Jr.