Shepherd’s football team had a very brief season over the late winter and early spring, but the Rams are shaping up to be a strong contender when a full regular-season kicks off this fall.
Shepherd is ranked 16th in the Lindy’s Sports Pre-season Division II poll, which was released last week. The Rams were ranked 21st in the final D2Football.com poll in 2019 after going 10-3 overall, 6-1 in the PSAC.
West Florida grabbed the No. 1 spot in the Lindy’s poll, followed by Lenoir-Rhyne, Ferris State, Minnesota State and Slippery Rock.
To go along with this pre-season ranking, Shepherd’s Chrys Lane (linebacker) and junior quarterback Tyson Bagent were noted in the Lindy’s publication. Lane, a senior, is a first-team pre-season, All-American pick. Bagent made the pre-season second team.
Lane led Shepherd in total tackles (104) in 2019, with 66 solo tackles, 38 assists and two sacks. He also broke up three passes, had an interception, forced a fumble and had a fumble recovery.
Bagent went 343 for 483 for 4,349 yards (single-season record) and 36 touchdowns for Shepherd in 2019. He led NCAA Division II schools in passing yards per game (362.4), completions per game (28.58) and was ranked second in total offense (365.5).
Bagent ranked second in passing yards, fourth in completion percentage (.710) and fifth in touchdown passes (36).
Shepherd’s Ricky Robinson, a graduate student, has been named to the 2020-21 Academic All-District football team, chosen by CoSIDA. He was a first-team Academic All-American pick in 2019.
Robinson was third in tackles (48), including 26 solo tackles. He also had a pair of sacks and forced two fumbles.
The Rams open their 2021 season on the road at Old Dominion on Thursday, Sept. 2. Shepherd stays on the road for the next two weeks, visiting Gannon in Erie, Pa. on Saturday, Sept. 11 and IUP on Saturday, Sept. 18.
The Rams’ home-opener is slated for Saturday, Sept. 25, hosting Kutztown.
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SOCCER…The Rams Billy Wood and Alyssa Nazarok were named to this year’s Co-SIDA Academic All-District squad. Wood, a sophomore keeper, had 3.14 goals against average in 2019.
Nazarok, a junior defender, started in all 18 matches for the Rams in 2018.
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GOLF…Graduate student Owen Elliott and sophomore Chris Neighbors were named to all-PSAC teams. Elliott was a first-team pick for the Rams. Neighbors made the second team.