FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Two Huntingdon Hawks earned individual awards and 12 Huntingdon players earned All-Conference recognition with the release of the USA South All-Conference football awards on Thursday.
Freshman linebacker Linell Tarver was named Defensive Rookie of the Year and head coach Mike Turk was named Coach of the Year. Seven Hawks were named first-team All-Conference and five were second-team selections.
"We're excited for all of these guys," Turk said. "Some of these guys have played for us over the years and some are guys who haven't played a lot in the past, but have really stepped up this year to fill some voids.
"It's nice to see them recognized by the coaches in the league and it says a lot about the success our team has had. It's a good recognition for those individuals and our program."
Tarver's selection as Rookie of the Year marks the third straight season Huntingdon has produced the conference's Defensive Rookie of the Year. Linebacker Trey Hayes won the award in 2015 and defensive lineman DeAnte' Griffith took the honor in 2016.
"It's pretty special to have the Defensive Rookie of the Year for three years in-a-row," Turk said. "Linell has come in, worked hard and become a key part of our defense. We're proud of the way he is continuing to develop and he is very deserving of this honor."
Tarver has started in every game this season and is third on the team with 59 tackles. He also has 2.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, three quarterback hurries and one pass broken up. He had a season-high 11 tackles against North Carolina Wesleyan and 10 tackles against Methodist.
This is also the third straight season Turk has been named USA South Coach of the Year. Turk is the first football coach in the history of the USA South to receive the honor in three straight seasons.
During the past three seasons, Turk has guided Huntingdon to a 28-5 overall record, a 20-1 record in the USA South, three conference championships and three NCAA playoff appearances. In 14 seasons with the Hawks, Turk has led Huntingdon to a 98-41 record and four NCAA playoff appearances.
"I am very honored to be the Coach of the Year," Turk said. "I've always viewed this as a staff award. I think it says a lot about how far our team has come and the job our coaches have done with the team this year. The fact that we have improved as much as we have during the course of the season really speaks to the job this coaching staff has done."
Huntingdon's first-team All-Conference selections are running back Vic Jerald, receiver Otis Porter, H-Back Colton Chinn, offensive linemen Chris Hering and Adam Mann, linebacker Trey Hayes and defensive back Jarrett White.
This is the second straight season Hayes and Hering have earned first-team honors and Porter was a second-team selection last season.
This is the third straight season Young has been named a first-team or second-team selection and the second straight year Williams, Wood and Beverly have been recognized by the USA South.
Wood was also named to the USA South's All-Sportsmanship team.
The 12 All-Conference selections bring Huntingdon's total to 43 All-Conference performers in the past three seasons and 56 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: Brian Mann, Ferrum
Defensive Player of the Year: Montel Lee, Ferrum
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Elijah Hairston, Maryville
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Linell Tarver, Huntingdon
Coach of the Year: Mike Turk, Huntingdon
Quarterback: Connor Blair, LaGrange
Running Back: Vic Jerald, Huntingdon
Running Back: Brian Mann, Ferrum
Receiver: Marcus Campbell, LaGrange
Receiver: Trey Lancaster, N.C. Wesleyan
Receiver: Otis Porter, Huntingdon
Tight End/H-Back/Fullback: Colton Chinn, Huntingdon
Offensive Line: Jesse Benavides-Munoz, Maryville
Offensive Line: Wilson Gregory, Averett
Offensive Line: Chris Hering, Huntingdon
Offensive Line: Adam Mann, Huntingdon
Offensive Line: Jordan Patti, Ferrum
Defensive Line: DeAngelo Collington, Maryville
Defensive Line: Kenneth Covington, Averett
Defensive Line: Montel Lee, Ferrum
Defensive Line: Al Matthews, Ferrum
Linebacker: DejonBrooks, Averett
Linebacker: Trey Hayes, Huntingdon
Linebacker: Antonio Johnson, N.C. Wesleyan
Defensive Back: Tyriek Able, Averett
Defensive Back: Eddie Graham, N.C. Wesleyan
Defensive Back: Rod Smith, Ferrum
Defensive Back: Jarrett White, Huntingdon
Return Specialist: Delquan Bigelow, Averett
Kicker: Cole Westberry, Averett
Punter: Cole Westberry, Averett
Quarterback: Chip Taylor, Huntingdon
Running Back: Sean Bowman, Averett
Running Back: E'Montie Dears, Methodist
Receiver: Dylan Cummings, Methodist
Receiver: Mac Seagle, Maryville
Receiver: Johnny White, Ferrum
Tight End/H-Back/Fullback: Josh Bare, Ferrum
Offensive Line: Justin Byrd, Maryville
Offensive Line: Breon Foust, N.C. Wesleyan
Offensive Line: Thomas McFadden, N.C. Wesleyan
Offensive Line: Sam Powers, Ferrum
Offensive Line: D.J. Twitty, Methodist
Defensive Line: Donnell Alexander, N.C. Wesleyan
Defensive Line: Shareef Boddie, Averett
Defensive Line: Will England, Methodist
Defensive Line: Jacorey Jackson, Maryville
Linebacker: Cedric Brown, Maryville
Linebacker: Tyus Brown, Ferrum
Linebacker: Brandon Williams, Huntingdon
Defensive Back: Demetrius Beverly, Huntingdon
Defensive Back: Pierre Chadwick, Maryville
Defensive Back: Kwajay Witcher, Ferrum
Defensive Back: Anthony Wood, Huntingdon
Return Specialist: Kevin Norcott, Averett
Kicker: Chase Young, Huntingdon
Punter: Kenneth Horne, Maryville
Desmond Springs, Averett
Bubba Craven, Brevard
CJ Kaashif, Ferrum
Tolan Jones, Greensboro
Anthony Wood, Huntingdon
Nicholas Searcy, LaGrange
Alex Gobble, Maryville
Landon Cheviron, Methodist
Cody Vaillancourt, N.C. Wesleyan