NEWBERRY — Ten student-athletes from defending South Atlantic Conference champion Newberry have been named to the league’s preseason all-conference teams after a vote of SAC Media Relations Directors.
The preseason SAC favorites led the league with seven selections to the first team. Six student-athletes named all-conference following the 2016 season were honored by the league.
First Team Offense
Markell Castle (WR) – Castle led the South Atlantic Conference with 976 receiving yards, one yard from tying for second place in single-season school history, and caught seven touchdown passes on the season. The junior from York had five 100-yard games, including a 181-yard effort in the season-opener against Florida Tech that included a one-handed grab named the No. 2 play on SportsCenter’s Top 10. He enters the season seeking his fourth consecutive game with 100 receiving yards and a touchdown and was a first-team selection a year ago.
Dakota Mozingo (OL) – Newberry’s starting center for 10 games in 2016, Mozingo is a senior from Rock Hill. He totaled 40 pancake blocks, graded out in winner in seven contests, and had an average grade of 84 percent. He is also a member of Newberry’s Order of the Gray Stripe and earned second-team laurels last season.
Baptiste Staggers (TE) – Staggers is a senior from North Charleston that finished the 2016 season with 24 catches for 260 yards and four touchdowns. He had a long reception of 50 yards and had as many as 64 yards during a game. He caught at least one pass in every regular season game, including a 16-yard scoring play against Wingate that was critical in the Wolves’ title-clinching victory. He was a first team all-SAC selection in 2016 and is a member of the Order of the Gray Stripe.
First Team Defense
Josh Parker (DL) – A second team preseason all-SAC selection in 2016, the senior from Little Mountain finished the season with 36 tackles from his backup defensive end position. He had two sacks among his four tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including a 14-yard sack at Limestone, and tallied a season-high six tackles in three consecutive games in October.
Jamarcus Henderson (DL) – Henderson finished second on the team with 65 tackles, including conference highs with 22.0 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks that ranked seventh in Newberry single-season history. The junior Union native and 2016 first team all-SAC selection had at least one tackle for loss in 10 games this season, notched six or more stops on seven occasions, and led the team with nine quarterback hurries.
Will Elm (LB) – The junior Irmo native and Order of the Gray Stripe member recorded 62 tackles as an outside linebacker to finish third on the team and earn second-team recognition. Forty-six of his tackles were solo stops, good for fourth in the league. He counted one sack among his 3.0 tackles for loss and broke up two passes. All but 15 of his tackles were solo efforts. He netted at least seven tackles in a game four times, including 11 against Wingate and a season-high 13 at Mars Hill.
Joe Blue (LB) – A junior from Dillon, Blue earned first team all-conference accolades after becoming the SAC’s third-leading tackler with 91 stops on the season and leading the league with 62 solo stops. He led the Wolves in tackles seven times in 2016 and finished second on the team in three others, accumulating as many as 12 tackles in a game and reaching double figures five times. All 11 of his tackles at North Greenville were solo stops. His season also included a pair of sacks, 7.0 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble, and an acrobatic, tip-drill interception against Virginia Union. He is also a member of the Order of the Gray Stripe.
Second Team Offense
Tyler Anderson (OL) – A multitalented player, Anderson started at three different positions during his redshirt freshman season in 2016 but found a home a right tackle, where he made six starts. The Anderson native graded out above 80 percent in every game and above 90 percent three times, including when matched up against senior Wingate defensive end Ray Edwards, the SAC Defensive Player of the Year and a Second Team All-American. He recorded 28 pancake blocks on the season.
Austin Turner (OL) – A senior from Lexington, Turner made 10 starts last season at right guard and tied All-American left tackle Bobby McNeil for the team lead with 48 pancake blocks. He helped the balanced Wolves’ offense score 30 passing and 29 rushing touchdowns in 2016 while setting school records in scoring, passing yards, completions, completion percentage, passing touchdowns, total offense, all-purpose yards, and total touchdowns.
Shea Rodgers (PK) – Rodgers led the Wolves in scoring with 57 points in 2016, going 42-for-48 on PAT opportunities and a perfect 5-for-5 on field goal attempts. The junior Indian Land native also handled the bulk of punting and kickoff duties for the Wolves last season.