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Rams honored one more time

December 20, 2000

Rams honored one more time



By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer


SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - The way Shepherd College football coach Monte Cater figures, people couldn't help but notice James Rooths and Dalevon Smith.

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"One of those guys were on the field at all times ... sometimes both of them were in there," Cater said. "They gave us a threat for every play during a game because one of them played on each side of the ball."

A lot of people have noticed Rooths and Smith during their senior years at Shepherd. Game films became audition tapes. Tuesday, all the visual aids led to the Rams pair being selected to the Associated Press Little All-America Team.

Rooths was named to the first team as a defensive back while Smith earned a spot on the second team as a running back. The team features players from Division II, III and NAIA teams.

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Rooths earned his fifth national postseason honor while Smith has picked up four. They are the first Shepherd players under Cater to win Little All-American honors. Damian Beane, the school's all-time leading rusher, finished third in the 1999 Harlon Hill voting - Division II's version of the Heisman Trophy - but was never selected as a Little All-American.

"It's great for them because they just keep racking them up," Cater said. "Every week, they seem to get another one. This is four or five for these guys. It's great for the program."

Rooths had nine interceptions this season. He finished his career with an NCAA all-division record of 10 punt returns for touchdowns, including two in the final game of his career.

Smith finished with 1,495 yards rushing this season to lead Division II with 166 yards per game. He tied the Shepherd single-season record with 19 touchdowns and single game record with four scores while setting the mark for most yards in a game with 268 yards.

Rooths and Smith will extend their college careers by one more game. Both were selected to play in the Cactus Bowl, a Division II all-star game Jan. 12 in Kingsville, Texas.

"They will leave here as two of the most decorated players that we've ever had," Cater said. "Any more it's hard to predict if a player will be of that caliber. It's hard to tell because there are so many groups looking at players and handing out postseason honors and you don't know what they are looking at. But both of them had great years with a lot of success."

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