Sam Houston football earns conference recognition

Joseph Brown | The ItemSam Houston sophomore Joseph Wallace wraps up the Stephen F. Austin quarterback for a sack during the Battle of the Piney Woods earlier this season. Wallace was one of 14 Bearkats to earn a spot on the All-WAC First Team on Tuesday. 

HUNTSVILLE — No. 1 Sam Houston is on a roll.

The Bearkats just finished the regular season undefeated for the second time in a row, and will now head to the FCS playoffs as the top seed.

Plenty of Sam Houston’s contributors are now getting conference and national recognition for their efforts. Head coach K.C. Keeler was named the WAC Coach of the Year, and defensive lineman Kamren Washington has earned the WAC Freshman of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday.

Stephen F. Austin’s Xavier Gipson was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Year and Tarleton’s Devin Hafford was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Keeler earns his first WAC Coach of the Year honor and his seventh overall, spanning four different conferences, after leading the Bearkats to 21-straight victories, including a perfect 10-0 this fall. Holding a career record of 253-95-1, including 79-22 in eight seasons at Sam Houston, he is the only coach in FCS history to win national titles at two different institutions, having won the 2003 title at Delaware before leading the Bearkats to the 2020 title in May.

Washington, a defensive lineman from Mansfield, held his own on the talented Bearkat defensive line, finishing the season with 13 tackles and a sack. His best game came on Oct. 9 against Lamar, making four tackles in a 41-7 win over the Cardinals. He recorded a tackle in nine of 10 games he played in this season.

Nearly the entire Sam Houston starting lineup earned a spot on the All-WAC first team or second team. 14 Bearkats were put on the first team, while nine were on the second team.

Honorees from Sam Houston included:

First Team All-WAC

• QB - Eric Schmid, R-Jr.,

• RB - Ramon Jefferson, R-Jr.

• WR - Jequez Ezzard, Gr.

• TE - Isaac Schley, Gr.

• OL - Reece Jordan, Gr.

• OL - Prince Pines, So.

• OL - Colby Thomas, Sr.

• DL - Jahari Kay, Sr.

• DL - Trace Mascorro, Sr.

• DL - Joseph Wallace, Sr.

• LB - Markel Perry, R-Jr.

• LB - Trevor Williams, Jr.

• DB - Zyon McCollum, Sr.

• KR - Jequez Ezzard, Gr.

Second Team All-WAC

RB - Noah Smith, So.

WR - Ife Adeyi, So.

WR - Cody Chrest, Gr.

OL - Eleasah Anderson, R-Jr.

OL - Ethan Hagler, So.

DL - Jevon Leon, So.

LB - Tim Hart, R-Sr.

DB - Tristin McCollum, Sr.

P - Matt McRobert, Sr.

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