USA South 2018 Football All-Conference Awards

USA South 2018 Football All-Conference Awards

The USA South Athletic Conference has announced its 2018 All-Conference awards for football. Methodist University's Vontre Howard was named Offensive Player of the Year while Brevard College's Dalton Cole earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. N.C. Wesleyan College's Antonio Johnson collected Defensive Player of the Year accolades while Averett University's Joseph Ledbetter was named Defensive Rookie of the Year. Finally, Maryville College's Shaun Hayes collected Coach of the Year honors to wrap-up the individual awards. Finally, the USA South also recognized an All-Sportsmanship Team, consisting of one member from each competing school.

All honors are determined by votes from the football coach at each institution.

Howard, a junior running back from Charleston, South Carolina becomes the first non-quarterback Monarch to be named USA South football offensive player of the year. The previous two Methodist players to win this honor did so in 2005 (Chris Roncketti) and 2013 (Max Reber). Howard led the Conference in rushing, gaining 1,337 yards on 167 carries for an average of 8.0 yards per attempt. He scored ten touchdowns on the ground which ranked second in the League. In games versus USA South opponents, Howard led all running backs in carries (134), yards (1,181), yards per game (168.7), yards per rush (8.8) and touchdowns (9). In a 48-34 win over USA South rival Huntingdon, Howard broke Methodist's single-game rushing record with 248 yards on 20 carries. For his efforts this season, Howard earned First Team All-Conference honors as a running back for the first time in his career. Finally, he was named USA South Offensive Player of the Week twice this fall. 

Cole, a freshman quarterback from Hendersonville, North Carolina becomes the first Tornado to earn an individual USA South end of the year honor in the sport of football. He led the Conference with 20 touchdown passes while his 163 completions on 270 attempts were also League-highs. Cole threw for 1,847 yards with a 60.4 completion percentage, both of which were good to rank second in the USA South. In League-only games, Cole threw for the second-most yards (1,449) and accumulated 13 touchdowns which tied for the Conference lead. Finally, he collected USA South Rookie of the Week honors twice this fall.

Johnson, a Beaufort, North Carolina junior linebacker, becomes the fifth Battling Bishop in program history to be named USA South Defensive Player of the Year. He finished the year with 54 total tackles, 41 of which were of the solo variety which ranked eighth in the League and included 4.5 take downs which resulted in a total loss of 18 yards. Johnson led the League with three fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown, was tied for second with two forced fumbles and also collected two interceptions. All of his forced turnovers came against USA South competition. For his efforts, Johnson was named a First Team All-Conference linebacker for the second consecutive year. Finally, he collected USA South Defensive Player of the Week accolades twice this fall.

Ledbetter, a freshman linebacker from Sanford, North Carolina, becomes the third Cougar in program history to be named USA South Defensive Rookie of the Year. He collected 62 total tackles, which ranked ninth in the League, and 36 assisted take downs, which was third in the Conference and led all rookies. Ledbetter accumulated the fourth-most sacks in the USA South this season (4) as well as the second-most tackles for loss (15.5) which resulted in the second-most loss of yardage (63). Against Conference opponents this fall, Ledbetter compiled League-bests of 10.5 tackles for a loss of 49 total yards. Finally, he was named a First Team All-Conference defensive lineman this season and also earned USA South Defensive Player of the Week once and USA South Defensive Rookie of the Week twice.

Hayes, in his fourth season at Maryville, earns his first USA South coach of the year honor. He led his team to the program's fourth League title but thanks to Maryville's perfect record in USA South play (7-0), which was a program first, the Scots won their first outright USA South football championship. Maryville earned the Conference's bid to the NCAA Tournament, the program's second-ever appearance and first since 2013. After a first round loss to Berry, the Scots concluded the season with a 7-3 overall record which is only the 17th seven-plus win season in the Scots' 116-year history.


Player of the Year
Rookie of the Year
Player of the Year
Rookie of the Year

Coach of the Year

Vontre Howard

Dalton Cole

Antonio Johnson
N.C. Wesleyan

Joseph Ledbetter

Shaun Hayes

The 2018 USA South Football All-Conference Team:

  First Team Second Team
Running Back Vontre Howard, Methodist
Eric Thomas, Huntingdon
Sean Bowman, Averett
Elijah Chenier, Maryville
Quarterback Jacob Wright, Averett Michael Lambert, Huntingdon
Wide Receiver Marcus Campbell, LaGrange
Bubba Craven, Brevard
Trey Lancaster, N.C. Wesleyan
Tyler Benjamin, LaGrange
Josh Carter, Methodist
Oran Davis, Averett
Tight End/H-Back/Fullback Ben Dorfman, N.C. Wesleyan Terry Stewart, Maryville
Offensive Line Breon Foust, N.C. Wesleyan
Michael Head, Averett
Chris Hering, Huntingdon
Kyle Larson, Maryville
DJ Twitty, Methodist
Malachi Farmer, N.C. Wesleyan
Wyatt French, N.C. Wesleyan
Traven Johnson, Methodist
Adam Mann, Huntingdon
Akeem Peterson, LaGrange
Defensive Line JaCorey Jackson, Maryville
Tavon Johnson, Maryville
Joseph Ledbetter, Averett
James Pegues, Greensboro
Trenton Cumby, Maryville
Axel Easter, Brevard
Romello Herbin, Averett
Tymondre Isaac, Averett
Linebacker Dejon Brooks, Averett
Trey Hayes, Huntingdon
Antonio Johnson, N.C. Wesleyan
Seth Brendle, Averett
Bo Hering, Maryville
Jamal Ware, Maryville
Defensive Back Kasseem Bagley, Greensboro
Pierre Chadwick, Maryville
Hunter Hinson, Averett
Quentin Jackson, Brevard
Bradley Jefferson, Averett
Nate Jones, Methodist
Octavius Ross, Averett
Jarrett White, Huntingdon
Return Specialist Bradley Jefferson, Averett Eric Thomas, Huntingdon
Place Kicker Chase Young, Huntingdon Cole Westberry, Averett
Punter Cole Westberry, Averett Ralph Roman III, Brevard


All-Sportsmanship Team
Paul Wiles, Averett
Martigus Henley, Brevard
Ja'Von Bowers, Greensboro
Kobe Smith, Huntingdon
Akeem Peterson, LaGrange
Adam Diggs, Maryville
Jonathan Strahl, Methodist
Quinn Tobias, N.C. Wesleyan