Shepherd football dominates all-conference honors
After stamping out still another unbeaten season and defeating every Mountain East Conference rival, Shepherd reaped the lion’s share of individual honors given out by the league.
The Offensive Player of the Year was Shepherd quarterback Connor Jessop, who threw 40 touchdown passes in 11 games, had 3,532 passing yards and completed 249 out of 394 passes with nine interceptions.
The Defensive Player of the Year was Shepherd end Myles Humphrey, who had 12.5 sacks and 58 tackles. Humphrey set the Shepherd career record for sacks.
Monte Cater, whose 31-year tenure at Shepherd includes the last three seasons where the Rams had a combined record of 37-3 (all three losses coming in playoff games), was named the MEC Coach of the Year.
The conference’s coaches voted on the all-league selections and honors.
Named to the first-team offense were Shepherd running back Jabre Lolley (1,141 rushing yards, a 101 yards per game average and 15 touchdowns), wide Receiver Ryan Feiss (95 catches in 11 games, 1,391 receiving yards and nine TD catches), tight end D.J. Cornish (36 catches, 561 yards and six TDs) and offensive linemen Levonte Hights and Jaime Colon.
Selected by the league coaches as first-team all-conference defensive players were Humphrey, linebacker James Gupton (87 tackles and five sacks), free safety Tre Anderson (38 tackles, four interceptions) and cornerback DeJuan Neal (30 tackles and two interceptions).
Receiver Wanya Allen, offensive lineman Kendre Batson and defensive lineman Elijah Norris were placed on the second team.
Shepherd’s honorable mention players were punter Ruan Venter, linebacker Chrys Lane and defensive end/linebacker Bruno Anyangwe.
Shepherd had a 10-0 regular season record and was ranked second in the nation in the NCAA DIvision II Coach’s Poll. The Rams received the No. 2 seed in the Super Region One playoffs where seven teams were selected for post-season play.
With the myriad of All-Region and All-America teams to be named in the coming months, Shepherd seniors Gupton, Humphrey and Jessop will all receive numerous accolades. Feiss, a junior, should also gain recognition both from the region and nationally.
Humphrey and long snapper Nick Barmoy will likely be named to various all-academic teams as the post-season laurels pour in.
Shepherd’s record for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 regular seasons was 30-0, and there was another unbeaten season in 2013.