While Davidson’s football team isn’t getting much love from the voters in the Pioneer Football League’s preseason poll, two of the Wildcats’ top players from last season have earned notice within the conference and nationally.
Davidson’s Matt Casey and William Morris were both named to USA College Football’s Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) preseason All-American team.
Casey, a senior linebacker, was named to USA College Football’s second-team All-American defensive team. Morris, a junior wide receiver, was named to the third-team All-American offensive team.
In addition, the two Wildcats standouts were named to the 28-player Pioneer League preseason all-conference team.
Davidson, which went 0-11 (0-8 Pioneer League) last season, was picked to finish 10th in the 11-team conference in a preseason vote of the league’s coaches. San Diego is the preseason favorite to win the PFL title.
Casey, a native of Powell, Ohio, was a second-team All-Pioneer League selection last season after leading Davidson’s defense with 106 tackles, 2.5 sacks and an interception. He was fourth in the PFL in tackles and 27th among NCAA Division I teams, and his total was fourth-best in Davidson history.
Last season, Casey had four games with double-digit tackles, including a career-best 13 in two games: against Lenoir-Rhyne on Sept. 14, and Dayton on Oct. 5. He also had 12 tackles against Morehead State on Sept. 28 and Mercer on Nov. 2.
Morris, of Dallas, Texas, was an All-PFL honorable mention pick last season after coming down with 67 receptions for 1,090 yards – the third-highest single-season receiving yardage in school history – and five touchdowns. Morris led the Pioneer League and was ninth nationally in receiving yards per game at 99.1 ypg, and his 6.1 receptions per game was second in the league and 28th nationally.
Last season, Morris finished with double-digit receiving yardage in five games, including a career-best 188 yards against Johnson C. Smith on Sept. 21. He also had a career-high 11 receptions against Marist.
Wildcats add Strange as assistant coach
Davidson’s men’s soccer team has hired Lake Norman Soccer Club director of coaching Jason Strange as an assistant coach to work with the Wildcats’ goalkeepers.
Strange, a goalkeeper on North Carolina’s NCAA championship-winning team in 2001, has been an assistant coach at both Greensboro College and Catawba.
“As a national champion, (Strange) has lived and breathed NCAA Soccer from the very top of the mountain,” Davidson coach Matt Spear said in a prepared release. “Jason was one of our camp staff coaches this summer, and it was very easy to gauge the high quality of his soccer knowledge, his excellent ability to communicate, and his desire to motivate and teach.”
Fountain, Eckstein named All-America Scholars
Davidson men’s golfers Richard Fountain and Todd Eckstein have been named All-America Scholars, the ninth and 10th Wildcats players in school history to receive the award.
Fountain, who graduated last May with a 3.22 GPA, wrapped up his Davidson golf career with three NCAA tournament appearances, two individual titles – including the 2009 Southern Conference championship – and three All-SoCon awards. He also holds school records for stroke average, top-five and top-10 finishes.
Eckstein, who enters his senior year with a 3.23 GPA in political science, had a career-low 74.67 stroke average last spring. He had seven rounds of par or better, including three straight during a personal-best third-place finish at the Donald Ross Invitational.
Lantz earns USTFCCCA All-Academic award
Davidson middle-distance runner Andrew Lantz has been named to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCCA) All-Academic team in NCAA Division I outdoor track.
Lantz was among 496 athletes from 165 schools to earn All-Academic honors. To qualify, an athlete must have at least a 3.25 GPA and either be ranked among the nation’s top 96 in an individual event or top 48 in a relay event, or have participated in any round of the NCAA D-I championships.
Lantz, who graduated with a 3.68 GPA in mathematics, competed in the men’s 800-meter run at the NCAA East Region Outdoor Championships for the second straight year, finishing 18th in 1 minute, 51.84 seconds.
Lantz ended his Wildcats career holding six school records in middle-distance events, and winning five Southern Conference titles: three in outdoor events (800-meter run in 2012 and 2013, and 1,500-meter run in 2013) and two indoor titles (800-meter run in 2011 and 2012).