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Shepherd Football garners preseason recognition

By Staff | Jun 20, 2016

SHEPHERDSTOWN The Shepherd University football team has garnered preseason recognition from the Lindy’s Sports and Sporting News publications.

Shepherd is ranked second by Lindy’s Sports and fifth by Sporting News preseason polls.

Additionally, selected senior quarterback Jeff Ziemba (Newark, Del./St. Mark’s), junior offensive lineman Lavonte Hights (N. Chesterfield, Va./Meadowbrook) were first team choices, while senior wide receiver Billy Brown (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) was a second team selection to the Lindy’s 2016 All-Division II Team. Ziemba also was chosen as Most Valuable Player and the Concord-Shepherd game at Ram Stadium on Oct. 28 was one of the top five NCAA II games listed for this season.

Brown was also named to the 2016 Sporting News Preseason All-America Team.

Ziemba, a Harlon Hill award finalist and MEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2015, completed 235-of-373 passes for 3,414 yards and 30 touchdowns and was intercepted only five times. He was ranked fifth nationally in passing efficiency (163.7), 12th in passing touchdowns (30), 21st in passing yards per completion (14.53), and 24th in points responsible for (188).

Hights keyed an offensive line that enabled the Rams to average 37.4 points a game and rank second among NCAA II schools in team passing efficiency (168.26).

Brown had 89 receptions for 1,492 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Rams last season. All three marks set Shepherd single season records. He ranked second nationally in receiving yards.

The Rams will open the 2016 season on Sept. 3 when they host West Virginia Wesleyan at noon at Ram Stadium.