Lenoir-Rhyne's Andre Jefferson (32) chases Tusculum's Tre Simmons (2) out of the pocket during Saturday afternoons game at Moretz Stadium in Hickory. Ernie Masche/Record

Lenoir-Rhyne's Andre Jefferson (32) chases Tusculum's Tre Simmons (2) out of the pocket during Saturday afternoons game at Moretz Stadium in Hickory. Ernie Masche/Record

College Notebook: Richards alum Andre Jefferson earns college gridiron accolades

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By Mike Walsh
Correspondent

The accolades are adding up for Lenoir-Rhyne University football player Andre Jefferson.

Jefferson, who prepped at Richards, was one of three Bears named to the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association All-Super Region Two Second Team for the 2022 season.

Lenoir-Rhyne is in Hickory, N.C.

The sophomore defensive tackle finished the season with 53 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and was the South Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the timeframe ending Nov. 14. Jefferson established a new Lenoir-Rhyne record for sacks in a game with 5½ in a 34-14 triumph over Tusculum. He added eight tackles (including four solos) and six tackles for loss.

In addition, the 6-foot-2, 275-pound Jefferson was one of three Bears chosen to the All-SAC First Team Defense in the Piedmont Division.

Jefferson also has been nominated for the 2022 Cliff Harris Award, sponsored by the Little Rock Touchdown Club. The award, named for the former Dallas Cowboys safety, is presented to the nation’s top small college defensive player representing more than 5,000 defensive players from almost 500 NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA colleges and universities.

 

Mentioning a Maverick
Minnesota State sophomore quarterback Hayden Ekern has received accolades from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference for the 2022 season.

Ekern, a St. Rita graduate, was named to the All-NSIC Second Team. He rushed 88 times for 333 yards and eight touchdowns this season while leading the Mavericks to a 10-3 overall record and a mark of 9-2 in the NSIC.

Ekern, one of two Minnesota State athletes on the All-NSIC Second Team, appeared in 10 games. He was 115-for-205 passing for 1,837 yards and 17 touchdowns.

 

Academic Honors
The American Rivers Conference has announced the fall sport members of its 2022 All-Academic Team.

There are three area honorees, all from the University of Dubuque. Lauded were men’s soccer player Zachary Floss (Sandburg), women’s volleyball player Kaylynn Murray (Sandburg) and football player Benjamin Rodriguez (De La Salle). Murray is a senior, while Floss and Rodriguez are sophomores.

To be eligible for the A-R-C All-Academic Team honors, a student-athlete must be on the eligibility list for the sport of nomination, at least a sophomore in academic standing with at least one year in residence and attain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or better (on a 4.0 scale).

 

Kudos for Kevin
Shepard alum Kevin Graham was honored as the winner of the Illinois Wesleyan football program’s Best Big Skill Award for the 2022 football season.

A 6-4, 210 senior tight end, he appeared in eight games this season for the Titans, catching 10 passing for 176 yards and three touchdowns. In Wesleyan’s 38-24 victory over visiting Millikin on Oct. 1, Graham posted a career day with three catches for 97 yards and two scores.

 

Man of Carmel
Dominic Barbosa was one of two Roosevelt University defensive linemen named to the 2022 All-Mid-States Football Association Midwest League honorable mention team.

Barbosa, a senior, is a Mount Carmel graduate. He tallied 25 tackles this season to go along with 2½ sacks for the Lakers.

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