ROCK HILL – The Newberry Wolves have nine preseason all-South Atlantic Conference football players, as the conference announced the 2016 preseason honors Tuesday.
Newberry is picked to finish in third place in the preseason coaches’ poll, which was announced Monday. The Wolves’ nine preseason all-SAC honorees are tied for second-most in the league with Catawba, while Carson-Newman has 12 picks.
Only two Wolves earned first team preseason honors – quarterback Raleigh Yeldell and running back Romelo Doctor.
The Wolves have seven picks on the second team, including Cole Watson who was honored both at wide receiver and at return specialist. Also on the second team are offensive linemen Bobby McNeil and Tyler Stasky, defensive linemen Jamarcus Henderson and Josh Parker, and linebacker Will Elm.
Raleigh Yeldell – a senior from Edgefield and Strom Thurmond HS – was a second team all-SAC pick following the 2015 playoff season. He was an honorable mention ECAC All-Star and was named third team all-Super Region II by Don Hansen’s Football Gazette. He completed 139-of-225 passes for 1,504 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions and carried the ball 78 times for 399 yards and six touchdowns. He earned Corvias ECAC Player of the Week honors for a 24-of-28 passing performance for 279 yards and five touchdowns against Brevard. He also earned AstroTurf SAC Player of the Week honors the following week, completing 18-of-25 passes for 265 yards and four touchdowns in a win at Lenoir-Rhyne.
Romelo Doctor – a senior from Summerville and Ashley Ridge HS – had the second-most yards, carries and 100-yard games in a single season at Newberry as a junior, earning first team all-SAC honors. He was also the ECAC Division II Offensive Player of the Year, an ECAC All-Star and a finalist for the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame’s State Player of the Year. He earned ECAC Player of the Week honors with a 143 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries at Catawba. He had 241 carries for 1,235 yards with six touchdowns and seven games of over 100 yards rushing and became only the sixth back in Newberry history with 10 games of 100-plus in a career. He eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark for career and currently ranks eighth in school history with 2,028 yards.
Cole Watson – a senior from Conway HS – earns his first career honors from the conference and does so in two categories. At wide receiver, he had 32 receptions for 428 yards and three touchdowns in his junior season. He also threw a 63-yard touchdown pass on first play of the playoff game at North Alabama, giving him a ridiculous 959.2 passer efficiency rating. He scored touchdowns against Jacksonville, North Greenville and Limestone, averaging 13.4 yards per catch. As a return man, he was the South Atlantic Conference statistical champion in punt return average last year with an average of 10.9 yards per return. He returned 15 punts for 164 yards with a long of 38 at Lenoir-Rhyne.
Bobby McNeil – a senior from Huger and Timberland HS – is the most experienced offensive lineman returning for the Wolves. He has started in every game at guard in the last two seasons and will be the anchor and leader as the Wolves reload at a traditionally strong position.
Tyler Stasky – a senior from Mount Pleasant and Wando HS – is the other returning starter on the offensive line. He has been a consistent team leader and has filled in at both guard and tackle behind all-conference performers. He is expected to start at tackle this season.
Jamarcus Henderson – a sophomore from Union and Union County HS – was a rising star as a freshman in 2015 on an experienced defensive line. He played in all 12 games and broke into the starting lineup twice. Made 49 tackles over the course of the year, also notching eight tackles for loss, four sacks and a forced fumble. He made 11 tackles at Lenoir-Rhyne and had nine solo tackles at Catawba.
Josh Parker – a junior from Little Mountain and Mid-Carolina HS – played in all 12 games, making 10 starts. He made 29 stops with 4.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks and recovered two fumbles, including a 16-yard return for a touchdown at Lenoir-Rhyne. He had seven tackles with 2.0 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks at North Alabama, and six tackles in Lenoir-Rhyne game.
Will Elm – a junior from Irmo HS – started at outside linebacker in all 12 contests as a sophomore, making 51 tackles with five tackles for loss and a sack. He had a season high of seven tackles in the playoff game at North Alabama, made six tackles with two tackles for loss and a sack vs. North Greenville and also made six stops at Catawba. He had five tackles in four other contests.