Southland Weekly Release (PDF) | Sam Houston State Game Notes (PDF) | Conference
Big Sky Weekly Release (PDF) | Montana State Game Notes (PDF)
NCAA Playoff Bracket (PDF) | NCAA Interactive Bracket | NCAA
NCAA Division I Football Championship Quarterfinals
Friday, Dec. 7
Sam Houston St. at No. 3 Montana St., 7 p.m., CT (ESPN2 and
Saturday, Dec. 8
No. 5 Ga. Southern at No. 4 Old Dominion, 11 a.m., CT (ESPN)
Wofford at No. 1 North Dakota St., 2 p.m., CT (ESPN3)
Illinois St. at No. 2 Eastern Washington, 5 p.m., CT (ESPN3)
All times Central
News & Notes
Sam Houston State to Face Montana State: Sam Houston State picked up an 18-16 second-round win over Cal Poly last Saturday in Huntsville to advance to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship. The unseeded Bearkats,
ranked No. 5 in both polls, travel to Bozeman, Mont. on Friday, to take on No. 2/2 Montana State. The Bobcats are the No. 3 national seed and advanced by virtue of their 16-10 victory over Stony Brook last Saturday. The Bearkats and Bobcats, who also met in
the quarterfinals last year in Huntsville, play Friday at 7 p.m., Central, on ESPN2.
Southland History in Division I Playoffs: The Southland Conference schools own a 49-54 all-time record in the Division I playoffs, highlighted by McNeese State’s 14 all-time appearances. Sam Houston’s quarterfinals appearance is the 22nd
time a Southland team has reached that round and the third time in the last four years. The Bearkats beat Montana State 49-13 in the quarterfinals last year before beating Montana 31-28 in the semifinals to punch their ticket to the national championship game.
Both of those games were played in Huntsville. Stephen F. Austin played Montana in the quarterfinals in 2009. Sam Houston State also made a quarterfinals appearances in 2001 and 2004, giving the Bearkats four quarterfinal appearances in their history. The
Southland has not had a team make it to the quarterfinals in consecutive seasons since McNeese State reached the round four consecutive years between 1992-95. If Sam Houston can beat Montana State on Friday, they’ll become the 10th Southland Conference team
to advance to the semifinals. The Southland last had semifinal teams in consecutive years when Sam Houston State played Montana State in 2004 and former league member Texas State played Northern Iowa in 2005. The Southland reached the semifinal round four
consecutive years from 1995-98. Last year, Sam Houston became the first Southland representative in the championship game since McNeese State in 2002. Southland teams have played in seven national title games at the Division I level (1984, 1986, 1987, 1989,
1997, 2002 and 2011) with the only win coming by former member Louisiana-Monroe against Marshall in 1987.
Sam Houston, Montana State Met in 2011 Quarterfinals: Led by wide receivers Richard Sincere and Torrance Williams and quarterback Brian Bell, Sam Houston State defeated Montana State 49-13 to advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Division
I Football Championship. The Bearkats scored 14 points in the second quarter and 21 in the third quarter as Sam Houston rolled up 428 yards rushing and 501 total yards. The Bearkats’ defense limited Montana State to 77 yards rushing, recovered a fumble, intercepted
a pass and blocked a field goal as the Bobcats totaled 349 yards offense. Sincere rushed 11 times for 160 yards including a long run of 52 yards. He also caught two passes for 43 yards, including a 40-yard scoring pass from Bell, who completed 5 of 12 passes
for 73 yards. Sam Houston State’s 428 rushing yards marked the third highest single-game rushing total in Bearkat history. The school record is 501 yards against Tarleton State in 1974. It had 443 yards against East Texas the same year.
Southland is Host for Division I Title Game: The Southland Conference, in conjunction with the City of Frisco and Hunt Sports Group, is the host of the 2013 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game, which will be played at Jan. 5, 2013
at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas, which has been home to the league since 2006. This marks the third year for the game to be played in Frisco. Last year, North Dakota State defeated Southland entrant Sam Houston State 17-6, while Eastern Washington came
from behind to score three times in the final 17 minutes on its way to a 20-19 win over Delaware. Both winners in Frisco have been first-time champions.
Upcoming Division I Championship Dates
Dec. 14-15: Semifinal Games, Campus Sites
Jan. 5, 2013: Championship Game; Noon, CT; ESPN2; FC Dallas Stadium, Frisco, Texas
Sam Houston State in the Playoffs: Sam Houston State is making its sixth appearance in the Division I playoffs. Last year marked the Bearkats’ only appearance in the championship game after a semifinal appearance in 2004. That came after
a quarterfinal berth in 2001 and first-round appearances in 1986 and 1991. Sam Houston improved to 7-5 in the Division I playoffs after its 18-16 win over Cal Poly in a second-round game in Huntsville last week. Its 58.3 win percentage is the best among current
league members. The Bearkats were 3-1 in the playoffs last season and have a 6-0 all-time record at home in NCAA Division I playoff games. Sam Houston has won its last 14 games at Bowers Stadium, where it was perfect in just four home games this season. The
Bearkats are 1-5 away from Bowers in the playoffs all time, including a 1-4 record in true road games to go with last year’s neutral site loss in the national championship game. Sam Houston State has not played a road game in the playoffs since 2004. After
winning a 54-24 decision against Western Kentucky in the first round that year, the Bearkats won 45-34 at Eastern Washington before a semifinal loss at Montana (34-13).
Sam Houston State Holds on against Cal Poly: Miguel Antonio kicked field goals of 20, 32 and 26 yards and running back Timothy Flanders rushed 17 times for 101 yards as No. 5 Sam Houston State held off No. 12 Cal Poly for an 18-16 victory
last Saturday in Huntsville. Cal Poly quarterback Andre Broadous rushed for 54 yards and passed for 113 more. The Mustangs cut the margin to two points on a 50-yard halfback reserve pass by Ryan Taylor to Willie Tucker with 1:34 to play. But Sam Houston’s
Trey Diller recovered the on-side kick attempt and the Bearkats ran out the clock. Keshawn Hill scored the Bearkats’ only touchdown on an 18-yard pass from Brian Bell with 0:31 left in the third quarter to end a nine-play, 83-yard drive.
About Montana State: Montana State is 11-1 overall and finished in a three-way tie atop the Big Sky Conference standings with a 7-1 record. The Bobcats are 6-1 at home this season and are 18-3 at home during the past three seasons. MSU coach
Rob Ash earned his 50th career win at Montana State last week. Montana State defensive end Caleb Schreibeis, a candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award, leads the nation with eight forced fumbles. Montana State’s Jody Owens was named the Big Sky Defensive Player
of the Year. Quarterback DeNarius McGhee has named the offensive player of the year for the second time in three seasons. He has completed 67.5 percent of his passes for 2,726 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions. McGhee has thrown a touchdown pass
in each of the 36 games he has played, and has 70 total in his career. Montana State is converting 49.5 percent of its third downs, which ranks 11th in the nation and third among remaining playoff games. Montana State’s defense is fourth in the nation in third-down
conversion percentage, allowing opponents to convert just 28.98 percent of the time. Montana State has 14 players on its roster from Texas. Montana State has allowed eight rushing touchdowns this season and allows only 98.2 rushing yards per game, which ranks
seventh in the nation. Montana State’s 11 wins are its most in a season since winning 12 in its 1984 national championship season. MSU won 12 games in 1976 en route to a Division II national title.
Common Opponent: Both teams beat Stephen F. Austin this season. Sam Houston beat the Lumberjacks 51-43 at at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Oct. 6, while Montana State beat SFA 43-35 on Sept. 15 in Bozeman.
Sam Houston vs. Montana State Series: Friday’s contest marks the sixth meeting between Sam Houston State and Montana State. The Bearkats hold a 3-2 edge in the series. Montana State was Sam Houston’s first opponent in the university’s football
home, Elliott T. Bowers Stadium. The Bearkats opened the facility in 1986 with a 23-6 victory over the Bobcats. Montana State won in Bozeman 52-48 in 1987 and 15-10 back in Huntsville in 1989. Sam Houston kicked off its 1991 Southland championship season with
a 26-23 come-from-behind win in the season opener in Bozeman. Sam Houston trailed 20-0 after seven minutes. The Bearkats won 49-13 in Huntsville in last year’s quarterfinals.
Sam Houston State and the Big Sky: The Bearkats are 8-7 against the current members of the Big Sky Conference: Cal Poly (1-0), Montana (2-3), Montana State (3-2), Northern Arizona (1-1) and Northern Colorado (1-1). The Bearkats are 4-2 against
the Big Sky in the playoffs. They beat Northern Arizona in the first round of the 2002 playoffs before losing to Montana in the quarterfinals. Montana beat Sam Houston in the semifinals in 2004, but Sam Houston has a three-game win streak against the Big Sky,
having beaten both Montana State and Montana in last year’s run to the national championship game, and Cal Poly last week in the second round of the playoffs. Should the Bearkats beat the Bobcats Friday, they could see another Big Sky opponent next week if
Eastern Washington wins its home game Saturday against Illinois State. That would also mean Sam Houston would have to beat the three teams that shared the Big Sky championship this year in order to get back to the national championship game in Frisco.
Sam Houston State vs. Montana State
2011: at Sam Houston State 49, Montana State 13
1991: Sam Houston State 26, at Montana State 23
1989: Montana State 15, at Sam Houston State 10
1987: at Montana State 52, Sam Houston State 48
1986: at Sam Houston State 23, Montana State 6
Fritz, Ash Share Regional Coach of the Year Honors: Sam Houston State head coach Willie Fritz and Montana State’s Rob Ash have been named as NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision Region Five Co-Coaches of the Year by the American
Football Coaches Association. Fritz guided the Bearkats to a 9-3 record and Sam Houston’s second consecutive Southland Conference championship and NCAA Division I Football Championships playoff berth. The Bearkats finished the regular season ranked No. 5 nationally.
The back-to-back Southland titles and FCS playoff appearances in 2011 and 2012 are a school first. In three years at Sam Houston, Fritz has guided the program to a 29-9 overall record, the most victories in any three-year period in the university’s 97 seasons
of football. Fritz is a repeat winner of the AFCA Regional Coach-of-the-Year honor, receiving the award in 2011 after a 14-1 season that saw the Bearkats reach the national championship game.
Taylor Named AFCA All-American: For the second year in a row, Sam Houston State safety Darnell Taylor has been named to the American Football Coaches Association All-America team. Taylor is a repeat AFCA All-America performer. He also is
a two-time Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year after winning first-team all-conference honors at safety. Taylor leads the Bearkat defense in tackles this season with 91 including 63 solos stops and two quarterback sacks. Sam Houston ranks No.
3 in the nation in rush defense, No. 14 in scoring defense and No. 15 in total defense. The Bearkats led the Southland Conference in rushing, total defense and scoring defense. The senior from Mesquite, Texas, broke the school record for most solo tackles
in a career with a four-year total of 228. The old record of 215 was set by former NFL New York Jet veteran linebacker Stan Blinka who was an NAIA All-America selection for Sam Houston in 1975-78.
Magical Playoff Run in 2011 for Bearkats: Sam Houston State came out of the regular-season unscathed with a perfect 11-0 record to earn the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division I Football Championship. The Bearkats received a first-round bye
in the playoffs, and opened their postseason Dec. 3 with a 34-27 win over Stony Brook. Sam Houston State followed with back-to-back wins over long-time Southland nemeses Montana State (49-13) and Montana (31-28 in a game that saw running back Tim Flanders
rush for 287 yards) to become the first Southland team to play for a national championship since McNeese State in 2002. The Bearkat win also ran their win streak to 16 games (dating back to the final two games of the 2010 season) before falling to North Dakota
State in the national championship game.
Sam Houston State Reached 2011 Title Game: An unrelenting defense limited Sam Houston State to its lowest total offense and point total of the season ending the Bearkats’ dream season as North Dakota State posted a 17-6 victory in the NCAA
Division I National Championship Game Jan. 7, 2012. The Bison and the Bearkats both ended the season with 14-1 records but North Dakota State took home the trophy after a hard-fought battle at FC Dallas Stadium. Sam Houston was held to 95 yards rushing and
115 passing for a total offense output of 220 yards. The Bearkats came into the contest averaging 421.1 yards per game offensively. Running back Tim Flanders led the Bearkat offense with 21 carries for 84 yards as he set a Southland Conference record for most
rushing yards in one season (1,642). He broke the former record of 1,593 yards set by Claude Mathis of Texas State in 1997.
Central Arkansas Made Second Appearance in Division I Playoffs: Central Arkansas made its second appearance in the NCAA Division I playoffs this year after becoming the Southland Conference automatic qualifier. The Bears received a bye in
the opening round of the playoffs, but dropped a 24-16 decision at No. 5 seed Georgia Southern last Saturday. Georgia Southern’s junior quarterback Jerick McKinnon rushed for a career-high 316 yards and scored a pair touchdowns to lead the Eagles into the
quarterfinals this week against Old Dominion. The Eagles, a perennial powerhouse with six FCS national championships, stuck to what they do best Saturday, piling up 404 yards on the ground. The Bears’ offense fell behind 24-9 at halftime, with several missed
opportunities in the opening half. UCA, which received an at-large playoff berth in 2011, finished with 394 yards of total offense but All-Southland Conference first-team quarterback Wynrick Smothers was just 16 of 41 for 251 yards and no touchdowns. Senior
running back Jackie Hinton ended his career with 53 rushing yards, including a 19-yard touchdown, and caught four passes for 36 yards. Smothers added a team-high 79 rushing yards. The Bears are now 1-2 in the NCAA Division I playoffs.
Flanders Repeats as Southland Conference Player of the Year: Timothy Flanders, a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, was named the Southland Conference player of the year for the second consecutive season. He leads the conference with
1,252 rushing yards on 204 carries for an average of 6.1 yards per carry and 104.3 yards per game. The junior from Midwest City, Okla., has scored 17 touchdowns and leads the Southland in scoring with an average of 9.0 points per game. He also has 11 receptions
for 93 yards and a touchdown, accounting for 112.1 all-purpose yards per game, which ranks third in the Southland. In conference play, Flanders averaged 6.7 yards per carry and 119.6 yards per game. Flanders’ third-quarter rushing touchdown at Texas A&M in
the regular-season finale was the 52nd rushing touchdown on his career, tying Lamar’s Charles McDaniel (1971-74) for the conference record. Flanders has 55 total touchdowns in his career to rank second behind former Central Arkansas running back Brent Grimes
(2006-09) who totaled 59. Flanders, who has topped 100 yards 23 times in his career, ranks No. 5 in the Southland with 3,844 career yards. He is the first Sam Houston player to repeat as the conference player of the year. Only two other players have won the
award in consecutive years. Former Texas State running back Claude Mathis earned the award in 1996 and 1997 and former Stephen F. Austin quarterback Jeremy Moses was voted the league’s top player in 2009 and 2010. Other players from Sam Houston to be named
player of the year include Chris Chaloupka (1999), Josh McCown (2001) and Dustin Long (2004).
Smothers Named Offensive Player of the Year: Wynrick Smothers is the second UCA player to be named the league’s offensive player of the year, joining his current position coach Nathan Brown, who claimed the award in 2007. The junior from
Destrehan, La., completed 64.9 percent of his passes (277 of 427) for 3,103 yards and was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award. Averaging 258.6 passing yards per game, Smothers has thrown 31 touchdowns against nine interceptions and ranks second in the conference
with a pass efficiency rating of 145.7. He has added 449 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 109 carries to account for 296.0 total yards of offense per game. He threw for a season-high 358 yards and five touchdowns in a win over Murray State and topped
300 yards two others time with 318 against Sam Houston State and 358 yards in the regular-season finale against Eastern Illinois. He tossed four touchdown passes in each of his last two regular-season games, including in the championship-clinching victory
over Northwestern State.
Taylor Repeats as Defensive Player of the Year: Darnell Taylor is the fifth player in Southland history to be named the league’s defensive player of the year in back-to-back years and the first since former Central Arkansas defensive end
Larry Hart in 2008 and 2009. Taylor has made 91 tackles this season, which ranks sixth in the Southland. The senior from Mesquite, Texas, has made 63 solo stops and has assisted on another 28. A finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, Taylor has two tackles
for loss (both sacks) for 13 yards and has returned two interceptions 40 yards while breaking up five passes and getting credit for another seven passes defended and one quarterback hurry. He also forced one fumble and recovered another. He recorded 51 tackles
in conference games and recorded double-figure tackles totals against Central Arkansas (15), Stephen F. Austin (10), Texas A&M (12) and Cal Poly (12). Taylor is the school’s career leader with 228 solo tackles, moving in front of NAIA All-American Stan Blinka,
who had 215. Taylor ranks seventh in total tackles at Sam Houston with 329. The Bearkats rush defense is ranked third nationally, allowing just 88.67 yards per game, and 15th in total defense, giving up only 312.2 yards per game. The Bearkats’ scoring defense
is limiting opponents to just 18.8 points per game, the 14th best total in the FCS.
Conque Earns Second Coach of the Year Honor: Clint Conque picked up his second coach of the year honor after leading Central Arkansas to a 9-3 overall record and a share of its first Southland Conference championship with a 6-1 league ledger.
Conque previously won the honor in 2008 after guiding the Bears to a conference-best 6-1 record, though the team was ineligible for postseason play and the conference championship in the midst of its transition from Division II. UCA made its first NCAA Division
I playoff appearance as an at-large selection last year in only its second year of eligibility and earned the league’s automatic qualifier into this year’s playoffs by virtue of its 24-20 victory over Sam Houston State in September. In his 13th season at UCA,
Conque, who is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, boasts a 98-54 overall record, which includes a 46-25 record since joining the Southland in 2007. He has guided the Bears to a 29-13 mark in conference play during that same span. Ten of his 13 teams
have finished with a winning record and five have won at least nine games. His 2005 team tied a school record with 11 wins, while his 2008 team won 10 games.
Howard Named Southland’s Inaugural Offensive Lineman of the Year: Corey Howard became the first winner of the offensive lineman of the year after garner the most votes among all offensive linemen on the all-conference ballot. Howard, a senior
from Wichita Falls, Texas, has played all three positions on an offensive line this season enabling the Bears’ quarterback to throw for 258.6 yards per game and an offense that averages 133.5 yards rushing. The Bears offense ranks fourth in the Southland in
total offense, averaging 400.1 yards and 34.8 points per game, a figure that ranks second in the Southland and 12th nationally. Howard is a four-year starter who has started at least eight games each season.
Woodard Becomes Second Bear to be Named Freshman of the Year: Jonathan Woodard was tabbed freshman of the year and is only the second UCA player to earn the award in school history, joining Jestin Love, who shared the award in 2010. Woodard,
a defensive end from Brentwood, Tenn., finished fourth in the conference with seven sacks and was the only freshman among the conference’s top 20 players in the category. Woodard concluded the regular season tied for seventh in the conference in tackles for
loss with 11.0 tackles for losses of 51 yards. The defensive lineman recovered three fumbles on the season. The freshman scored a touchdown against Stephen F. Austin on a 72-yard fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter. Woodard registered three tackles
for loss in a Central Arkansas 34-14 victory over Nicholls State.
Lamar’s Johnson is Newcomer of the Year: Kevin Johnson earned the newcomer of the year award following a historic year for the Cardinals. The Oklahoma State transfer totaled 13 touchdowns this season, including two kickoff returns for touchdowns
while finishing third in the conference in total touchdowns. Johnson, a receiver from Houston, Texas, accounted for four touchdowns in a Lamar win against McMurry to match a Lamar single-game records for touchdowns and points scored. The sophomore scored nearly
half the time he caught the ball with 10 touchdowns on 19 receptions with an average of 16.3 yards per reception. His 10 receiving touchdowns equal the second best single-season in Lamar history. Johnson notched a 23.1 yards per kick return average against
conference opponents including one touchdown. He finished eighth in the conference with 86.1 purpose yards per game including a rushing touchdown in Lamar’s victory of Prairie View A&M.
Sam Houston State Leads League with 16 All-Conference Selections: Sam Houston State led all conference teams 16 student-athletes on the two all-conference squads. Running back Timothy Flanders was a first-team running back, while Darnell
Taylor was a first-team defensive back. They were joined on the first team by tight end T.J. Jones, offensive linemen Kaleb Hopson and Chris Rogers, all-purpose player Richard Sincere, defensive lineman J.T. Cleveland, linebacker Darius Taylor, defensive back
Dax Swanson and punter Matt Foster. The Bearkats’ six second-team honorees include quarterback Brian Bell, receiver and kick return specialist Trey Diller, defensive lineman Gary Lorance and defensive backs Kenneth Jenkins and Bookie Sneed. Sam Houston added
seven honorable mention selections.
Central Arkansas Lands 13 All-League Picks: Quarterback Wynrick Smothers, offensive lineman Corey Howard and defensive end Jonathan Woodard were joined on the first team by seven other Bears, including receivers Jesse Grandy and Dominique
Croom, kicker Eddie Camara, linebacker Seth Allison and Love at defensive back. Grandy also picked up first-team honors as both a kick return and punt return specialist. Three UCA players earned second-team mention, including running back Jackie Hinton, offensive
lineman Cole Caruthers and defensive lineman Matt Hornbuckle. Another four players earned honorable mention honors.
Flanders, Smothers Were Finalists for Walter Payton Award: Sam Houston State running back Timothy Flanders and Central Arkansas quarterback Wynrick Smothers were among the 20 finalists for the Walter Payton Award, which is presented annually
to the top player in the Football Championship Subdivision. Three of the finalists – Wofford fullback Eric Breitenstein, Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke and Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet – will vie for this year’s award, which will be
announced Dec. 17 in Philadelphia, Pa. Smothers finished 11th in the balloting, while Flanders finished 13th. Former Stephen F. Austin quarterback Jeremy Moses is the only player in conference history to win the Payton Award.
Alford, Taylor are Finalists for Buck Buchanan Award: The Southland Conference also has two finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award, which goes to the top defensive player in the FCS. Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Robert Alford and
Sam Houston State defensive back Robert Alford are up for the award this year. Alford tied for Southland Conference lead with four interceptions and was second with 12 passes defended. He made 39 total tackles, including 35 solo stops, 5.0 tackles for loss
and eight pass breakups. The senior from Hammond, La., has been invited to Senior Bowl. Southeastern, which was picked to finish no better than fifth in the preseason polls, was third with a 5-2 league mark and finished the year 5-6 overall. Taylor has made
91 tackles this season, which ranks sixth in the Southland. The senior from Mesquite, Texas, has made 63 solo stops and has assisted on another 28. A finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, Taylor has two tackles for loss (both sacks) for 13 yards and has returned
two interceptions 40 yards while breaking up five passes and getting credit for another seven passes defended and one quarterback hurry. He also forced one fumble and recovered another.
Conque is Among Finalists for Eddie Robinson Award: After guiding Central Arkansas to its first Southland Conference championship, Bears’ head coach Clint Conque was named the league’s coach of the year. UCA’s 13th-year coach is also a finalist
for the Eddie Robinson Award, which is presented to the top coach in the FCS. UCA finished the season with a 9-3 overall record and tied Sam Houston State for first in the league with a 6-1 record. The Bears beat the Bearkats 24-20 in each team’s conference
opener Sept. 22 to clinch the tie-breaker for the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA playoffs. Conque boasts a 98-54 overall record, which includes a 46-25 record since joining the Southland in 2007.
Two Southland Teams Ranked in FCS Top 25 Polls: Sam Houston State slipped two spots to No. 5 in both the Sports Network and FCS Coaches polls at the end of the regular season after falling 47-28 at Texas A&M Nov. 17. Central Arkansas moved
up two spots in both polls to No. 8 in the Sports Network and FCS Coaches polls after its 48-30 home-field win over then-No. 24 Eastern Illinois. It marks the highest ranking this season for the Bears. Sam Houston started the season No. 1 in the Sports Network
poll, but after back-to-back September losses fell to No. 10 before climbing as high as No. 3 entering the final game of the season. McNeese State received votes in the final regular-season Sports Network ranking. The Cowboys finished 7-4 overall and 4-3 in
league play. The Cowboys were the only Southland team to register a win against a team in the Football Bowl Subdivision, beating Middle Tennessee 27-21 in the season opener.
Two from Southland Earn CoSIDA Academic All-District Honors: Two Southland Conference football student-athletes – Northwestern State senior kicker John Shaughnessy and Lamar junior punter Kollin Kahler – were selected to Capital Once Academic
All-District Teams and are now eligible for the Division I Academic All-America ballot. Shaughnessy, with a 3.69 grade point average in biology, was voted to the All-District 6 Team. Shaughnessy, a Shreveport-Byrd product, plans to attend medical school. Kahler,
a former standout at Waco High School, was voted to the All-District 7 Team. An exercise science major, Kahler is maintaining a 3.90 grade point average. Both players will appear on the ballot for Academic All-America honors. To be eligible for the CoSIDA
Academic All-America awards program, a student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA, have reached sophomore athletic eligibility and have completed one full calendar year at the nominating institution.
Are You Southland Strong? The Southland Conference has launched a new marketing campaign known as “Southland Strong.” The motto encompasses a positive mindset and confident outlook for everything that happens in the Southland. It is about
competitiveness and success in the conference, in the NCAA, in professional sports and many other great achievements by member institutions and student-athletes. But it is more than just excelling in competition; it is also about being successful in the classroom
and in the workforce. Southland Strong is also about great works by the league’s athletic departments reaching out and giving back to the local communities and student-athletes providing leadership through their endless efforts with local charity and youth
groups. The conference encourages its member institutions and student-athletes to help promote the campaign by joining the social media conversation by using the #SouthlandStrong hashtag to tell why someone or something is Southland Strong.