FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Seven Huntingdon Hawks earned All-Conference honors with the release of the USA South All-Conference football awards on Tuesday.
Offensive lineman Chris Hering, running back Eric Thomas, linebacker Trey Hayes and kicker Chase Young were named first-team All-Conference and quarterback Michael Lambert, offensive lineman Adam Mann and defensive back Jarrett White were named second-team All-Conference. Thomas was also named second-team All-Conference as a return specialist.
"We're proud of all of these guys," Huntingdon head coach Mike Turk said. "To have seven guys recognized says a lot about the work these guys put in and the impact they made all season. This is a good group that worked hard and we're excited to see them earn this recognition."
Of the Hawks' seven All-Conference selections, five are seniors and have earned recognition for multiple seasons. This is the third consecutive season Hering and Hayes have earned first-team All-Conference honors. They join former Hawks Anthony White and Chael Pridgen as the only Hawks to earn first-team USA South honors for three seasons.
Hayes and Young are the first Hawks to receive All-Conference recognition in each of their four seasons. Before earning first-team honors the past three seasons, Hayes was the USA South Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2015. Young earned first-team All-Conference honors as a sophomore and senior and second-team recognition as a freshman and junior.
A four-year starter at linebacker, Hayes was a preseason All-America this season and has earned All-Region honors the past two seasons. He led the Hawks and was third in the USA South with 88 tackles this season. He also had nine tackles for loss, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble this season. He finished as Huntingdon's all-time leading tackler with 310 career tackles.
Young rewrote the record book for Huntingdon and USA South kickers during his four seasons. He was 8-for-10 on field goals this season and 41-for-43 on extra points. He made his final eight field goal attempts of the season and his only two missed attempts came from beyond 40 yards.
Young is the USA South's all-time leading scorer with 310 points, holds the USA South and Huntingdon career records for extra points made (208) and field goals made (34), holds the conference and Huntingdon records for extra points made in a season (63 in 2015) and holds the Huntingdon record for field goals made in a season (13 in 2017).
Hering, a preseason All-America this season and an All-Region selection last season, was a three-year starter on the Hawks' offensive line. As a senior, he anchored a line for an offense that averaged 35.9 points and 470.2 yards per game. He also helped pave the way for the third 1,000-yard rusher (Thomas) in Huntingdon history.
Thomas rounds out Huntingdon's first-team selections. In a nine-game season, the sophomore rushed for 1,020 yards and 11 touchdowns on 142 carries (7.2 yards per carry). He led the USA South in rushing touchdowns this season and was second in rushing yards.
Thomas was second in the conference in kick return yards (462) and kick return average (28.9 yards). He led the conference and set a Huntingdon record with an average of 172.1 all-purpose yards per game.
Two seniors and a sophomore represent Huntingdon on the second-team. In his first season as a starter, Lambert led the USA South in passing yards (2,086) and passing efficiency (146.2) and was second in passing touchdowns (19).
Mann and White closed their Huntingdon careers by earning All-Conference recognition for a second straight year. Mann teamed with Hering to provide leadership and experience on the offensive line and White recorded 27 tackles and led the secondary with two interceptions.
Junior running back Kobe Smith was named to the USA South's All-Sportsmanship team.
The All-Conference selections bring Huntingdon's total to 51 All-Conference performers in the past four seasons and 64 selections since joining the conference in 2013.
The complete All-Conference awards are listed below.
USA South All-Conference Football Awards
Offensive Player of the Year: Vontre Howard, Methodist
Defensive Player of the Year: Antonio Johnson, N.C. Wesleyan
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Dalton Cole, Brevard
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Joseph Ledbetter, Averett
Coach of the Year: Shaun Hayes, Maryville
Quarterback: Jacob Wright, Averett
Running Back: Vontre Howard, Methodist
Running Back: Eric Thomas, Huntingdon
Receiver: Marcus Campbell, LaGrange
Receiver: Bubba Craven, Brevard
Receiver: Trey Lancaster, N.C. Wesleyan
Tight End/H-Back/Fullback: Ben Dorfman, N.C. Wesleyan
Offensive Line: Breon Foust, N.C. Wesleyan
Offensive Line: Michael Head, Averett
Offensive Line: Chris Hering, Huntingdon
Offensive Line: Kyle Larson, Maryville
Offensive Line: D.J. Twitty, Methodist
Defensive Line: JaCorey Jackson, Maryville
Defensive Line: Tavon Johnson, Maryville
Defensive Line: Joseph Ledbetter, Averett
Defensive Line: James Peagues, Greensboro
Linebacker: Dejon Brooks, Averett
Linebacker: Trey Hayes, Huntingdon
Linebacker: Antonio Johnson, N.C. Wesleyan
Defensive Back: Kasseem Bagley, Greensboro
Defensive Back: Pierre Chadwick, Maryville
Defensive Back: Hunter Hinson, Averett
Defensive Back: Quentin Jackson, Brevard
Return Specialist: Bradley Jefferson, Averett
Kicker: Chase Young, Huntingdon
Punter: Cole Westberry, Averett
Quarterback: Michael Lambert, Huntingdon
Running Back: Sean Bowman, Averett
Running Back: Elijah Chenier, Maryville
Receiver: Tyler Benjamin, LaGrange
Receiver: Josh Carter, Methodist
Receiver: Oran Davis, Averett
Tight End/H-Back/Fullback: Terry Stewart, Maryville
Offensive Line: Malachi Farmer, N.C. Wesleyan
Offensive Line: Wyatt French, N.C. Wesleyan
Offensive Line: Traven Johnson, Methodist
Offensive Line: Adam Mann, Huntingdon
Offensive Line: Akeem Peterson, LaGrange
Defensive Line: Trenton Cumby, Maryville
Defensive Line: Axel Easter, Brevard
Defensive Line: Romello Herbin, Averett
Defensive Line: Tymondre Isaac, Averett
Linebacker: Seth Brendle, Averett
Linebacker: Bo Hering, Maryville
Linebacker: Jamal Ware, Maryville
Defensive Back: Bradley Jefferson, Averett
Defensive Back: Nate Jones, Methodist
Defensive Back: Octavius Ross, Averett
Defensive Back: Jarrett White, Huntingdon
Return Specialist: Eric Thomas, Huntingdon
Kicker: Cole Westberry, Averett
Punter: Ralph Roman III, Brevard
Paul Wiles, Averett
Martigus Henley, Brevard
Ja'Von Bowers, Greensboro
Kobe Smith, Huntingdon
Akeem Peterson, LaGrange
Adam Diggs, Maryville
Jonathan Strahl, Methodist
Quinn Tobias, N.C. Wesleyan