According to the Shepherd Rams athletic page, 17 members of the Shepherd Rams football team were selected to the all-MEC team.
This means that the players selected were the best in the conference at their position, and their strong play is being recognized.
Freshman linebacker James Gupton finished All-MEC Second Team at linebacker; however, he was selected as the conference defensive freshman of the year. Gupton led the Rams in tackles with 69. He also had one interception, though he turned it into a touchdown, returning it 61 yards at homecoming against Glenville State.
Players selected to All-MEC First Team included senior offensive lineman Hussam Ouri and Isaiah Shelton, junior defensive lineman Shaneil Jenkins, senior linebacker Levi Barber, sophomore linebacker Octavius Thomas and sophomore defensive back CJ Davis. Ouri, Shelton and Barber were three of the four team captains for the Rams this season. The other team captain, senior defensive back David Carter, was second team for the conference.
Jenkins finished second on the team in sacks, recording 7.5 sacks this season, 10.5 tackles for loss, breaking up two passes and forcing two fumbles.
Thomas was second on the team in tackles with 51 on the season. He had 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception, three passes broken up and one fumble recovery, which would be returned for a touchdown. That fumble recovery came in week four against West Virginia Wesleyan.
Davis led the Rams in interception, grabbing five this season. All five of his interceptions came in the first five games of the season. He also broke up 12 passes and had 38 tackles on the season. In addition to his defensive presence, he returned both kickoffs and punts, recording two special teams touchdowns this season. He finished on All-MEC Second Team for kick returns and punt returns.
Players selected for All-MEC Second Team included sophomore quarterback Jeff Ziemba, sophomore running back Jabre Lolley, junior running back Allen Cross, sophomore wide receiver Billy Brown, junior fullback Jon Hammer, senior offensive lineman Dameon Hairston, freshman defensive lineman Myles Humhprey, senior defensive lineman Bernard Wolley and senior linebacker De’Ontre Johnson.
Ziemba had an incredibly efficient season, completing nearly 66 percent of his passes and throwing two interceptions during the season. He also threw for 2248 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Lolley and Cross were the main running backs for the Rams this season. Lolley ended the year with 767 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground, while Cross had 601 yards and eight rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown.
Brown ended up leading the Rams in receiving yards, 676, and receiving touchdown, six. He did most of that during the final three games of the year, reeling in 395 yards and five touchdowns in those three games alone.
Humphrey missed two games earlier in the year, but still managed to lead the teams in sacks with 8.5. Much like Billy Brown, he had a strong end to the season, recording 2.5 sacks against Glenville State and three sacks in the final game against Concord. He had 13 tackles for loss and one fumble recovery.
Wolley accompanied Humphrey and Shaneil Jenkins on the defensive line, finishing the season with five sacks, breaking up two passes, forcing two fumbles and recovering one.
Johnson was third on the team in tackles with 49. He did a little bit of everything, including four tackles for loss, five passes broken up and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
All stats came from the Shepherd Rams athletics page.
For the full list of players on the All-MEC teams, go to shepherdrams.com