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Jones, Cooley, Lollis sweep Mid-South Conference football awards

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Mid-South Conference Western Division Coach of the Year Phil Jones

Mid-South Conference Western Division Coach of the Year Phil Jones

Nov. 18, 2008

Louisville, Ky. - After earning a trip to its first ever postseason competition and taking a share of the Mid-South Conference Western Division title, the Shorter College Hawks football team was given yet another reason to celebrate an impressive season on Tuesday afternoon. In the year-end conference divisional awards, Phil Jones was named Coach of the Year, A.J. Cooley was named Offensive Player of the Year, Logan Lollis was named Defensive Player of the Year, and the Hawks placed nine on the All-Conference team, three more than any other school.

Coach Jones began his fourth season with the Hawks this year, after beginning the program from scratch in the inaugural 2005 season. After coaching the team to 7-4 records the previous two seasons, he excelled in the NAIA this year with nine wins and only two losses, one of which was to NCAA Div. I-FCS Western Carolina.

"First and foremost, there's never been any doubt that he is a great coach," said Bill Peterson, who came to Shorter as an assistant coach under Jones in 2005, and has since become Shorter's Athletic Director. "This merely confirms what we at Shorter have always known. He is a great Christian example to these men and a great friend to all of us."

Chris Chapman, who was named All-Conference at the slotback position, has been with the team all four seasons and has seen first hand the coaching success of Jones.

"He doesn't just help you grow as a player, but also as a person," said Chapman. "He has taught me what a team really is."

Named Offensive Player of the Year, Cooley leads the No. 1 rushing offense in the country with an astounding 1496 yards on 245 carries, averaging 136 yards a game, with 21 touchdowns. Additionally, he was named MSC and NAIA Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 22 after running for 249 yards and four touchdowns against North Greenville College.

Lollis, named Defensive Player of the Year, recorded a team-leading 98 tackles and seven sacks this season, tacking on three interceptions for 43 yards. He was named MSC Defensive Player of the Week on Oct 29 after recording 11 tackles and a sack against Union College. This is the second year in a row a Shorter Hawk has received this honor (Ryan Gloer last season)

The nine players named to the All-Conference team marks the highest number ever chosen from the Hawks as first team selections. Budd Keith (defensive back), Logan Lollis (linebacker), Will Oliver (defensive back), and Andrew Schrampfer were the defensive selections, while Chris Chapman (slot back), A.J. Cooley (running back), Lukas Gonzalez (placekicker), Raymone Nesbitt (running back), and Zach Morrison (lineman) were the offensive selections.

When the NAIA national poll was released on Sunday morning, Shorter had jumped seven spots to No. 12 - the highest ranked team in the Mid-South Western Division and good for the conference's automatic playoff berth. The Hawks will travel to another Mid-South school for their first playoff game in history on Sat. Nov. 22 at 12 p.m. - the No. 8-ranked and Mid-South Eastern Division champions, the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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