NEWBERRY — The Newberry Wolves lead the South Atlantic Conference with 11 all-conference picks — seven first team all-conference selections and four second team picks.
On the first team are running back Romelo Doctor, offensive lineman Landon Martin, defensive linemen Alstevis Squirewell and Jalen Hunter, linebacker Taylor McDonnell, punter Kyle Clark and long snapper Andrew Smith.
Second team selections are quarterback Raleigh Yeldell, tight end Zach Edmunds, offensive lineman Hayden Wilks and defensive back Arnez Gray.
Newberry’s 11 all-SAC honorees is tied with Carson-Newman for the most in the league this year, while the Wolves’ seven first team honorees is the most in the conference.
Additionally, Newberry won numerous statistical championships, including the titles in total defense (302.5 yards allowed per game) and rushing defense (153.5 yards per game.)
Kyle Clark won his third straight punting average title at 42.6 yards per punt, while Cole Watson was the SAC Statistical Champion in punt return average (10.9).
Romelo Doctor, a junior from Summerville and Ashley Ridge HS, is the state of South Carolina’s leading rusher with 1,176 yards to go with six rushing touchdowns. He ranks third in the conference in overall rushing yards and his 114.9 yards per game is the second-most in conference play. He has seven games this season of over 100 yards rushing and is also the team’s fourth-leading receiver with 21 catches for 205 yards and two touchdowns.
He is a finalist for the S.C. Football Hall of Fame’s Collegiate Player of the Year and was an ECAC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance at Catawba. Going into the North Alabama playoff game, he ranks fourth in school history in single season rushing yardage and needs 132 yards to reach No. 1 in the school records in that category.
Landon Martin, a senior from Seneca, is the leader of the offensive line which has paved the way to the Wolves’ four-game win streak to close the regular season. In his senior campaign, Martin graded out at 91% and had 44 knockdown blocks.
Alstevis Squirewell, a senior from Great Falls, earns first team all-conference honors for the second consecutive season. From his defensive end position, he notched 50 tackles with 4.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He also earned AstroTurf SAC Player of the Week honors for his one-handed pick six interception to seal the win over Tusculum.
Jalen Hunter, a senior from Seneca, ranked third on the team in tackles from his position at defensive tackle. He had 56 total tackles, a sack, 6.5 tackles for loss, a trifecta sack/FF/FR against Jacksonville and a fumble returned for a touchdown at Lenoir-Rhyne.
Taylor McDonnell, a senior from Bluffton, earns first team all-conference honors for the second straight year. The two-time AstroTurf SAC Defensive Player of the Week ranks second in the league with 58 solo tackles, fifth in the league with four sacks and leads the conference with three fumble recoveries. He had nine solo tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks – with one for a safety — in the Wolves’ playoff-clinching win at Wingate.
Kyle Clark, a senior from Beaufort, earns first team all-conference honors for the third consecutive season. He is the first Newberry player to earn three consecutive first team all-conference honors since Newberry Hall of Fame receiver Tymere Zimmerman did so from 2004-06.
He led the conference in punting average for the third consecutive season, averaging 42.5 yards on 57 punts, placing 20 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yardline. Heading into the postseason, he ranks 10th nationally in Division II for the season, has the ninth-best career average in the nation and has placed 63 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yardline over his three-year stint as the punter.
He was named the D2Football.com National Special Teams Player of the Week, along with AstroTurf SAC Special Teams Player of the Week, for his 45.6 yard punting average in the win over Tusculum. He had two punts over 60 yards in that game and downed four punts inside the TC 5-yardline.
Andrew Smith, a senior from Savannah, Ga., and the St. Andrew’s School, earns all-South Atlantic Conference honors for the second time. He was a second team honoree last season. In addition to strong snaps on punts and placements, he has always been excellent in coverage as well.
Raleigh Yeldell, a junior from Edgefield and Strom Thurmond HS, earns his first career all-conference honor after rebounding from an early season injury. He completed 128-of-197 passes (65.0%) for 1,454 yards, 13 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He also had 65 carries for 346 yards and six touchdowns.
He passed for over 200 yards in each of his last five regular season games and won a pair of weekly honors. He was the AstroTurf SAC Offensive Player of the Week honors after passing for 265 yards and four touchdowns in the Bishops Trophy win at Lenoir-Rhyne. He earned ECAC Player of the Week honors after completing 24-of-28 passes for a career-high 2797 yards and five touchdowns in the rout of Brevard.
His rushing touchdown with 34 seconds on the clock was the game-winning score in the season opener at Florida Tech, and was likely the deciding play in the Wolves’ playoff berth.
Zach Edmunds, a senior from Springfield, Va., and Hargrave Military Acad., earns his first career all-conference honor. In addition to his excellent blocking skills, he caught 14 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Edmunds is the first Newberry tight end to earn all-South Atlantic Conference since Benji Nichols in 1984.
Hayden Wilks, a senior from Chesterfield, earns his first career all-conference honor. Wilks graded out at 92% with 57 knockdowns, not allowing a sack all year.
Arnez Gray, a senior from Greenwood and Emerald HS, earns second team all-conference honors for the second straight year. He is Newberry’s second-leading tackler with 57 stops, also earning two tackles for loss. He has two forced fumbles, an interception and five pass breakups.
This release was provided by Newberry College.