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Lucas Named Coach of the Year; Four Lions Named All-Louisiana
BATON ROUGE – Southeastern Louisiana University head football coach Mike Lucas was honored Thursday as he was named Coach of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
The team was announced after a series of nominations from the football playing sports information directors and subsequent voting from a panel of LSWA members. The result was one of the most diverse teams in recent history as nine schools had at least one first team member.
Lucas, who joins former Southeastern legend and 1981 recipient Oscar Lofton in claiming the state’s top coaching honor, received 12 of 18 votes in outdistancing McNeese State’s Matt Viator and LSU’s Les Miles. Lucas, who completed his third season at the helm, was joined on the team by first-team selection Mark Newbill at linebacker, second-team selection Re’Keem Wilson at defensive back and honorable mention picks David Ward (offensive line) and Simmie Yarborough (wide receiver).
Lucas led a Southeastern team that was picked to finish last in the Southland Conference to a 6-5 record, the program’s first winning season since 2004. In the process, the Lions were in contention late in the season for their first conference championship since 1961. Southeastern posted its best ever finish since joining the Southland in 2005 (4-3) that included a pair of historic victories.
The Lions rallied from a 24-point fourth quarter deficit at Texas State for a 51-50 overtime victory – their first ever win against the Bobcats in 13 games – before posting a 27-0 victory at Northwestern State for Southeastern’s first win in Natchitoches since 1976 and the first shutout victory since 1984 (a span of 95 games).
Newbill, a junior from Monroe, finished as one of the top tacklers in the Southland Conference with 110 stops on the season. The first-team All-Southland Conference selection added 10 tackles for loss with two sacks and an interception for the Lions.
Wilson, a junior from Franklinton, led the Southland Conference with four interceptions on the season and was a first-team All-Southland Conference selection. He finished tied for fifth on the team with 48 tackles while breaking up a team-high seven passes.
Ward, a junior from Sugar Hill, Ga., was a staple on the left side of the line starting all 11 games at left guard. The three-year starter spent the entire 2008 season as the Lions’ starting left tackle before moving back inside after starting the 2006 campaign at guard.
Yarborough, a sophomore from Brookhaven, Miss., led the Southland Conference with 12 touchdown receptions while pacing Southeastern with 57 receptions for 803 yards. Yarborough tied a single-game record with 13 catches in Southeastern’s season-opener against Texas A&M-Commerce, caught nine passes at Ole Miss and eight passes with three touchdowns against Sam Houston State.
McNeese State’s quarterback Derrick Fourroux, who guided the Cowboys to the post-season playoffs, was named the state’s Offensive Player of the Year, while LSU linebacker Kelvin Sheppard won a close vote among three players to be named the state’s Defensive Player of the Year. McNeese also had the Freshman of the Year in defensive back Malcolm Bronson.
Fourroux was named the Southland Conference co-Player of the Year and led the team to his third league championship in his career. He set nine school records for passing and total offense. He became the first McNeese player to ever total 10,000 career total offensive yards. In 2009, Fourroux completed 206-of-322 passes for 2,477 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also rushed for 636 yards and averaged 259.4 yards per game.
Sheppard led the Tigers in total tackles with 103 and had three straight games with 13 tackles. The junior was the leader of the LSU defense that ranked 12th in the nation in scoring (16.0 points per game) and No. 4 in the SEC in rushing defense (134.2 yards per game). Sheppard had 8.5 tackles for loss with a sack and an interception.
Bronson was the only freshman chosen on the first team as one of the four defensive backs. Bronson, the Southland Conference Freshman of the Year, led the team in tackles with 89 that including four tackles for loss. He totaled 11 tackles versus Central Arkansas and 10 tackles against Appalachian State.
The first team offense consisted of 10 seniors and just one underclassman, a junior from Louisiana Tech in the offensive line. Joining Fourroux on the offensive first team were: offensive linemen Ciron Black of LSU; Brad Bustle and center Chris Fisher of Louisiana-Lafayette; Ramon Chinyoung of Southern; and, the lone junior, Rob McGill of Louisiana Tech. The top vote getter at tight end was Dennis Morris of Louisiana Tech with LSU’s Brandon LaFell and Southern’s Juamorris Stewart getting the nod at wide receiver. The first team running backs were Toddrick Pendland of McNeese State and Daniel Porter of Louisiana Tech.
Joining linebackers Newbill and Sheppard and defensive back Bronson on the first team defense were linemen Christian Anthony, Grambling; Desmund Lighten, McNeese State; Aaron Morgan of Louisiana-Monroe; and, D’Anthony Smith of Louisiana Tech. The other defensive backs were Greg James of Louisiana-Monroe along with Chad Jones and Patrick Peterson of LSU.
The three specialists were kicker Josh Jasper of LSU, punter Patrick Dolan of Nicholls State and return specialist Trindon Holliday of LSU.
All-Louisiana College Football Team
As Selected by the LSWA
First Team Offense
OL/Ciron Black, LSU/Sr./Tyler, Texas/2nd team A-A; 1st team All-SEC
OL/Brad Bustle, Louisiana-Lafayette/Sr./Blacksburg, Va./1st team All-SBC
OL/Chris Fisher, Louisiana-Lafayette/Sr./Lafayette, La. /1st team All-SBC
OL/Rob McGill, Louisiana Tech/Jr./Metairie, La. /1st team All-WAC
OL/Ramon Chinyoung, Southern/Sr./Houston, Texas/1st team All-SWAC
TE/Dennis Morris, Louisiana Tech/Sr./Shreveport, La. /1st team All-WAC; 623 yds, 12 TDs
WR/Brandon LaFell, LSU/Sr./Houston, Texas/2nd team All-SEC; 705 yds, 10 TDs
WR/Juamorris Stewart, Southern/Sr./Baton Rouge, La. /AFCA A-A, 1,022 yds, 11 TDs
RB/Toddrick Pendland, McNeese/Sr./Newton, Texas/1st SLC, 1,059 yds, 17 TDs
RB/Daniel Porter, Louisiana Tech/Sr./Baton Rouge, La. /2nd team All-WAC, 1,132 yds, 11TDs
QB/Derrick Fourroux, McNeese/Sr./Erath, La./SLC co-POY, 2,477 yds, 20 TDs
First Team Defense
Pos. /Name, School/Cl/Hometown/Notes
DL/Christian Anthony, Grambling/Jr./Birmingham, Ala. /Bayou Classic MVP, 76 tackles, 8 sacks
DL/Desmond Lighten, McNeese/So./Monroe, La. /1st team All-SLC, 77 tackles, 2 fumbles for TD
DL/Aaron Morgan, Louisiana-Monroe/Sr./Amite, La. /1st team All-SBC, 52 tackles, 9 sacks
DL/D’Anthony Smith, Louisiana Tech/Sr./Pickering, La. /1st team All-WAC, 51 tackles, 3.5 sacks
LB/Cardia Jackson, ULM/Sr./Monroe, La. /SBC Defensive POY/117 tackles, 2 sacks
LB/Mark Newbill, Southeastern/Jr./Monroe, La. /1st team All-SLC, 110 tackles, 2 sacks
LB/Kelvin Sheppard, LSU/Jr./Stone Mountain, Ga. /103 tackles, 8.5 TFL
DB/Malcolm Bronson, McNeese/Fr./Jasper, Texas/1st team All-SLC, SLC FOY, 89 tackles
DB/Greg James, Louisiana-Monroe/Sr./Monroe, La. /1st team All-SBC, 73 tackles, 4 int.
DB/Chad Jones, LSU/Jr./New Orleans, La. /2nd team All-SEC, 66 tackles, 3 int.
DB/Patrick Peterson, LSU/So./Pompano Beach, Fla. /1st team All-SEC, 47 tackles, 2 int., 13 PBU
First Team Special Teams
Pos. /Name, School/Cl/Hometown/Notes
K/Josh Jasper, LSU/Jr./Memphis, Tenn. /16-19 FGs, 32-32 PATs, 2 50-yarders
P/Patrick Dolan, Nicholls/Jr./Mobile, Ala. /1st team All-SLC, 42.7 avg., 64 long
RS/Trindon Holliday, LSU/Jr./Houma, La./2nd in nation PR avg, 17.7 ypr, PR TD vs. Ark.
Offensive Player of the Year – Derrick Fourroux, McNeese State
Voting – Fourroux 12, Bryant Lee (SU) 3, Frank Goodin (ULM) 1, Daniel Porter (Tech) 1, Simmie Yarborough (SLU) 1
Defensive Player of the Year – Kelvin Sheppard, LSU
Voting – Sheppard 6, Christian Anthony (GSU) 5, Cardia Jackson (ULM) 5, D’Anthony Smith (Tech) 2
Freshman of the Year – Malcolm Bronson, McNeese
Voting – Bronson 10, Ari Johnson (GSU) 3, Ryan Griffin (TU) 2, Paul Harris (Northwestern St.) 2, No vote 1.
Coach of the Year – Mike Lucas, Southeastern
Voting – Lucas 12, Matt Viator (McNeese) 4, Les Miles (LSU) 2
Second Team Offense
OL – Casey Richter, McNeese; Mitch Doyle, ULM; Aric Flowers, Nicholls; Brett Thompson, ULM; Revay Smith, Grambling.
TE – LaDarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette
WR – Jeremy Williams, Tulane; Jordan Rideaux, La. College
RB – Andre Anderson, Tulane; Frank Goodin, ULM
QB – Bryant Lee, Southern
Second Team Defense
DL – Albert Smith, Northwestern St.; Drake Nevins, LSU; Troy Evans, ULM; Adam Kwentua, Tulane.
LB – Adrian Cole, La. Tech; Perry Riley, LSU; Antwyne Zanders, Louisiana-Lafayette.
DB – Jason House, Southern; Re’Keem Wilson, Southeastern; Deon Young, La. Tech; Tank Calais, La. Tech.
Second Team Special Teams
K – Matt Nelson, La. Tech.
P – Spencer Ortego, Louisiana-Lafayette
RS – Phillip Livas, La Tech.
OL – David Ward, SLU; WR – Simmie Yarborough, SLU
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