Four Earn All-Academic Honors
Dec. 19, 2003
PLANO, Texas - Led by Northwestern State University linebacker Paul Mefford as Student-Athlete of the Year, 20 Southland Conference football players have been tabbed to the league's 2003 All-Academic team.
All six Southland universities placed at least one student-athlete on the team with regular-season champion McNeese State University leading the way with seven selections. Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin State University each landed four picks.
The all-academic teams, voted on by the head coaches, sports information directors and academic/compliance administrators, honor student-athletes who have earned at least a 3.00 grade point average while serving as a starter or important reserve with legitimate athletic credentials. Student-athletes must have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing within the institution and must have completed one full academic year at the nominating institution.
The student-athlete of the year is annually presented to the individual in each conference sport who achieves excellence in academics, athletics and community/campus service. Nominees shall have earned at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average to go along with superior athletics achievement.
Mefford, a sophomore business administration major with a 3.91 cumulative grade point average, was the SLC's only first-team Academic All-District VI selection, picked by sports information directors in the region, this fall. He was the second-leading tackler for the nation's No. 9 ranked team in total defense as he recorded 100 tackles for his 6-6 Demons. Mefford also recorded 11.5 tackles for lost yardage and had 3.5 quarterback sacks.
Topping the list from McNeese State is junior quarterback Scott Pendarvis, who has compiled a 3.34 grade point average in accounting. He helped the Cowboys to a 10-2 season by completing 142-of-244 passes for 2,186 yards with 18 touchdowns and six interceptions.
The other six Cowboys joining Pendarvis on the all-academic team are from the defensive side of the football. After helping McNeese to its third-straight regular-season title, defensive linemen Michael Swansey and Ryan Thompson, linebacker Roy Farias, defensive backs Cedric Lars and Kyle Richey and punter Jason Cook, have been recognized for their academic achievements.
Joining Mefford from Northwestern State on the all-academic squad are John Gilpin at tight end, kicker Tommy Hebert and linebacker Josh Burton.
Three of the four Stephen F. Austin selections are offensive linemen. Senior David Phillips and sophomores Matt Hoelscher and Luke Good helped the Lumberjacks to a 7-4 record and second-place finish in the standings. The fourth is junior defensive lineman Kenneth Winters, an accounting major from Raywood, Texas, with a 3.17 GPA.
Texas State University's two placements came at the wide receiver position as K.R. Carpenter and Beau Robertson combined for almost 1,000 yards receiving and nine touchdowns for the Bobcats.
Offensive linemen Dustin Denault and Joseph Trosclair represent Nicholls State after helping the Colonels rank No. 1 nationally for 10 weeks this year in rushing offense. The duo started all 11 games for the third-place Colonels.
Rounding out the 2003 team is defensive lineman Troy Phipps of Sam Houston State. Joining SFA's Phillips as the only two players named first-team All-Conference and first-team All-Academic, Phipps played this season as a graduate student and maintains a 3.00 GPA in psychology.
2003 SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE FOOTBALL ALL-ACADEMIC TEAMS