Hayes tabbed Coach of the Year; 11 total Scots honored by USA South

Hayes tabbed Coach of the Year; 11 total Scots honored by USA South

The USA South Athletic Conference released the 2018 Football All-Conference awards on Tuesday, as 11 total Scots were honored by the league.

Maryville College's Head Coach Shaun Hayes was named the 2018 USA South Coach of the Year following MC's historic season.

Hayes led the Scots to their first-ever undefeated conference record, as the squad claimed the program's first outright USA South Championship.

"You know, it's an individual award, but behind every head coach, there's a lot of great assistant coaches, a lot of great kids and a lot of great people including the support staff in Eric Etchison, Kandis Schram, our President, Dr. Bogart, and others," Hayes said. "My name may be on the award, but this is Maryville College's award. This is still the team's award. It is exciting. It's a blessing, but I don't want to get it confused. If it wasn't for everyone's hard work, dedication and sacrifice, this award wouldn't be possible. This is our team's award."

Hayes led the Scots to only their second NCAA postseason bid this season, as Maryville finished the year with a 7-3 record. That marks only the 17th seven-plus win season in the Orange and Garnet's 116-year history.

Because of the success, nine athletes were named to either First-Team or Second-Team All-Conference.

"We kind of felt like we would have a lot of All-Conference from a statistic standpoint, because we played as a team," Hayes said. "There's so many people that touched the ball, and there's so many people that had tackles. That's why we were so good, overall, in conference play. There was not an individual that you were really concerned about. Possibly Elijah Chenier, but you know, if you look at him, you have to worry about this offensive line. He's playing phenomenal. You've got Mac Seagle, and you've got two quarterbacks that can run and receivers that can make plays with the football. We were just very versatile. Having nine overall All-Conference players is phenomenal, but the ultimate All-Conference award is the trophy that is still sitting in my office. That's all the guys cared about, but I'm very happy for the ones that were recognized."

Offensively, a trio of Scots were named to the USA South's award list.

Highlighting that list was Offensive Lineman Kyle Larson as a First-Team Selection. Larson was key in a more than 200-yard per game average over 10 games this year. Maryville averaged 210.6 yards per contest, as they had 17 rushing scores.

Larson led the way for Elijah Chenier who rushed for 942 yards this season, while earning USA South Second-Team honors as a back. The senior broke MC's All-Time Career Rushing Yardage record this year, as he ends his career with 3,299 yards. He had five touchdowns on the season.

Tight end Terry Stewart earned Second Team accolades this year, as the junior had 142 yards and a pair of touchdowns this year.

MC's defensive unit saw a total of six players earn All-Conference, while three earned first-team bids.

"We were so good defensively this year," Hayes said. "The one guy that was the glue in all of it was Bo Hering, and I know statistically, he may not have the stats to be recognized as a first-team member. Is it impressive to have it on paper? Yes, but if you ask anybody that we played this year, they would have said that defense was impressive week to week. It only got better. Credit goes to Coach Brummett. He did a great job with those guys, and they played physical and fast every play. The three that were recognized for first team, it doesn't surprise me at all. They were the heart and soul of our football team in how they played and prepared every week. It's well deserved."

It started up front with a pair of defensive lineman that earned First-Team All-Conference in JaCorey Jackson and Tavon Johnson. The duo helped hold opposing offenses to just 76.5 yards per contest on the season.

Jackson had 26 tackles, including 5.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss this year. Johnson added 18 tackles with a sack and a fumble recovery.

Defensive back Pierre Chadwick was named First Team, as he had a trio of interceptions on the year. The senior added 27 tackles, one forced fumble and eight pass breakups.

Fellow senior Trenton Cumby was named to the Second-Team list as a defensive lineman. Cumby had 36 tackles, three sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. He also had an interception and a pass breakup on the year.

Bo Hering and Jamal Ware each were named Second-Team All-Conference linebackers for Maryville College. Hering ranked second on the team with 40 tackles this season, as he had a pair of sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss. He had one interception and a fumble return to his credit.

Ware had 34 tackles this year, as he had five tackles for loss. He also added a pair of interceptions.

MC's Adam Diggs was named to the USA South All-Sportsmanship squad following his senior campaign.

"What a phenomenal kid," Hayes said. "He's every parent's dream that you want your son or daughter to turn out to be. The role that he was in this year, and for him to be able to still be a captain, but not named captain, that was special for me to watch and see. He kept our team focused, and his overall day-to-day personality, win, lose or draw, Adam was always respectful and dedicated to doing what was right."

Methodist University's Vontre Howard was named the USA South Player of the Year, while N.C. Wesleyan College's Antonio Johnson earned Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Brevard College's Dalton Cole was the Offensive Rookie of the Year, as Joseph Ledbetter of Averett University earned Defensive Rookie of the Year.