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Malik Simmons
Malik Simmons was named Piedmont Division Freshman Offensive Player of the Year for the South Atlantic Conference.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Football Garners Eight to All-Conference Teams

Lenoir-Rhyne had eight players selected to the All-Conference squad as announced by the South Atlantic Conference and TE Malik Simmons was named the Offensive Freshman of the Year in the Piedmont Division. Simmons gives the Bears two consecutive Offensive Freshmen of the Year awards as Dwayne McGee won last year.

Leading the way were a pair of First Team Piedmont Offense selections in WR Kelin Parsons and OL Xavier Jennings. Each player earns their first career All-Conference selection. Parsons was the top WR on the Bears this season, finishing the year with 41 catches for 668 yards and three touchdowns. On the ground, Parsons added five carries for 72 yards and two touchdowns. The highlight of his season came at Erskine when he accounted for three total touchdowns, two receiving and one rushing. Parsons had back-to-back 100 yard receiving games against Barton and Newberry late in the season. Jennings has started every game at left tackle since arriving on campus in the COVID 2020-21 season and anchored a strong offensive line that went three straight games without allowing a QB sack.

On the First Team Piedmont Defense were standouts Andre Jefferson, Jon Ross Maye and C’Darius Kelley. Jefferson broke the single-game sack record with 5.5 sacks against Tusculum on his way to a 13-sack season for the redshirt sophomore. He finished the year with 53 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and was SAC Defensive Player of the Week against Tusculum. Maye was the leader on the LR defense with 75 total tackles and added eigth tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks to go with two interceptions and a fumble recovery. For the second time in his career, Maye registered 15 tackles in a game with the latter coming against Wingate. Kelley was the top CB on the team and had 28 tackles and four pass breakups as opponents largely avoided his side of the field.

Reigning SAC Player of the Year RB McGee was named Second Team All-Piedmont and finished the campaign with 861 yards rushing, 11 touchdowns and an average of 4.7 yards per carry. McGee had four 100-yard games and finished with 165 yards of total offense against Limestone. C Blake Jefferson was also Second Team All-Piedmont and ran his consecutive start streak to 35 in a row while being the leader on the LR offensive line.

Devin Hibbitt was the lone LR representative on the All-Piedmont Second Team Defense thanks to a breakout season in his first year as a starter. Hibbitt finished with 56 tackles, third on the team, and added four tackles for loss and three interceptions. Hibbitt picked off two passes against Wingate and added a career-high 13 tackles to earn the SAC Defensive Player of the Week honor.

Simmons earns the division’s top offensive rookie honor thanks to his penchant for finding the end zone. The TE finished the year with 10 catches for 177 yards but five of those catches were touchdowns, including a 70-yarder against Wingate.

FIRST TEAM PIEDMONT OFFENSE
QB – Dre Harris, Newberry
RB – Mario Anderson, Newberry
RB – Jordan Terrell, Barton
RB – Tre Stewart, Limestone
WR – Deshun Kitchings, Newberry
WR – Kelin Parsons, Lenoir-Rhyne
WR – Drew Dixon, Limestone
OL – Evan Surgeon, Wingate
OL – Cameron Thomason, Limestone
OL – Luke Bond, Limestone
OL – Xavier Jennings, Lenoir-Rhyne
OL – Jordan Campbell, Newberry
TE – Tommy Washington, Newberry
PK – Ethan Evans, Wingate
LS – Blake Arnoult, Newberry
RS – Kujuan Pryor, Catawba

FIRST TEAM PIEDMONT DEFENSE
DL – Devante Gambrell, Newberry
DL – Marquise Fleming, Wingate
DL – DJ Horne, Wingate
DL – Andre Jefferson, Lenoir-Rhyne
LB – Jaquan Edwards, Wingate
LB – Shane Perry, Barton
LB – Jon Ross Maye, Lenoir-Rhyne
LB – Chandler Matthews, Limestone
DB – Tre Morrison, Wingate
DB – C’Darius Kelley, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB – Ahmond Glass, Limestone
DB – Marcus Morgan, Newberry
P – Ethan Evans, Wingate

SECOND TEAM PIEDMONT OFFENSE
QB – Dustin Noller, Limestone
RB – Dwayne McGee, Lenoir-Rhyne
RB – Alexander Wilson, Wingate
RB – Anthony McAfee, Limestone
WR – Kujuan Pryor, Catawba
WR – Jelani Baker, Limestone
WR – Kameron Johnson, Barton
OL – Blake Jefferson, Lenoir-Rhyne
OL – Noah Mangum, Newberry
OL – Kody Varn, Newberry
OL – Hunter Jolly, Wingate
OL – Alex Buschow, Barton
TE – Herman McCray, Limestone
PK – Clayton Crile, Catawba
LS – Keaton Chambers, Limestone
RS – Deshun Kitchings, Newberry

SECOND TEAM PIEDMONT DEFENSE
DL – Sirod Cook, Wingate
DL – Joseph Gregory, Limestone
DL – Malik Devine-Brown, Newberry
DL – Juwan Moye, Newberry
LB – Luke Taylor, Newberry
LB – AJ Valentine, Newberry
LB – Davon Gilmore, Wingate
LB – Devin Hibbitt, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB – Quayon Gilbert, Barton
DB – Dequan Mosley, Wingate
DB – Zy Brown, Catawba
DB – Jeremiah Lomax, Limestone
P – Clayton Crile, Catawba

Piedmont Offensive Freshman of the Year
Malik Simmons, Lenoir-Rhyne

Piedmont Offensive Player of the Year
Mario Anderson, Newberry

Piedmont Defensive Freshman of the Year
Jordon Thomas, Wingate

Piedmont Defensive Player of the Year
DJ Horne, Wingate