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Shepherd dominates WVC balloting

November 17, 1999|By BOB PARASILITI

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Monte Cater was honored again on Tuesday.

So was Damian Beane, his star tailback.

Still, the Shepherd College football coach took this time to go on the defensive ... after all, it's about time somebody did. The coaches of the West Virginia Conference made it easy for him to make a stand Tuesday by naming 13 Rams to the all-conference first team, including seven members of Shepherd's often overlooked defense.

cont. from sports page

"There's been times when we have won and only got three kids on the team," Cater said. "I'm just so pleased so many kids got recognized. Our defense has been so dominant. They are the ones who have made the big difference."

So as Cater won his third straight WVC coach of the year honor and Beane fittingly repeated as the conference's top offensive player, the defense never rested as Shepherd scored its third straight league title.

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It started on the front line with defensive linemen Johnathan Hibbard and Matt Roark along with defensive end Chris Field. Shepherd also landed two of the top four linebacker slots with James Riley and Chanse Twyman and two of the top five defensive backs with Tyron Shelby and Chris Alcala. Hibbard and Riley are repeat selections to the first team.

Meanwhile, Beane's dominance wasn't lost on the rest of the league as he led five Shepherd players to first team offensive honors.

Beane rushed for 1,623 yards this season and is the conference career rushing leader with 6,346 yards. He is among 24 candidates for the Harlon Hill Trophy as Division II's player of the year and is the division's second all-time leading career rusher in regular season games.

"You look what Damian has done in our league, outside our league and against tough opponents ... he's been so consistent," Cater said.

Beane is joined by offensive linemen John Terrill and Jamaal Green; tight end Dan Woodard and wide receiver Jason Dirting on the first team. Freshman quarterback Joel Gordon earned honorable mention recognition while backup tailback Dalevon Smith was a special honorable mention.

"I'm so glad for Terrill and Woodard played half the season with a cast on his hand," Cater said. "Dirting gets it, too, and that is just excellent. He led the league in touchdown catches."

James Rooths repeated as the WVC's top kick returner after setting the NCAA record for nine punt returns for touchdown. Placekicker Kevin Burkey earned honorable mention.

Cater rounded out Shepherd's run through the league with his honor. The Rams are 24-4 in the last three years, including a 19-1 mark in the WVC and two playoff berths.

"If you look at the number of good kids who play every Saturday and the efforts of the other coaches, that's why I won this award," Cater said. "I don't do it all. All the coaches direct segments and have been here a long time with me. I didn't do this by myself."

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