SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference announced its October athletes of the month for football, men’s and women’s cross country, rifle, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball Tuesday, highlighting excellence among student-athletes during the month.
Devlin Hodges, Samford, R-Sr., QB
Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges threw for more than 400 yards in all three of his October contests, totaling 1,437 passing yards and 14 touchdowns through the air for the month. He also added 101 rushing yards and three rushing TDs to give him 17 total scores and 1,538 yards of total offense. Hodges opened his month with a SoCon-record 562 passing yards and six touchdowns on 40 completions in a win over Western Carolina, also adding a rushing touchdown to set a school record for touchdown responsibility with seven. He followed that up with 473 passing yards and another six TDs in a win over VMI, adding another rushing score to match the record he set the previous week. In a win over Furman on Oct. 20, Hodges threw for 402 yards and two TDs and ran for 45 yards and a score. He set SoCon record for passing yards in two consecutive games (1,035) and three straight games (1,437) and became the league’s career passing yardage leader and the FCS record-holder for career completion against Furman.
Others nominated: Quay Holmes (ETSU), Harris Roberts (Furman), David Durden (Mercer), Nick Tiano (Chattanooga), Reece Udinski (VMI), Tyrie Adams (Western Carolina) and Andre Stoddard (Wofford).
Tyree Robinson, ETSU, So., DB
ETSU defensive back Tyree Robinson averaged 7.5 tackles per game in the Bucs’ four October contests, totaling 30 for the month, 24 of which were solo stops and 2.0 of which went for loss. The sophomore also had four interceptions and a fumble recovery and scored a pair of defensive touchdowns as ETSU went 3-1. Robinson had five tackles and an interception in the Bucs’ 45-0 shutout win over Gardner-Webb to open the month and followed that up with eight tackles and a pair of interceptions against The Citadel on Oct. 13, returning one for a score en route to earning STATS FCS National Defensive Player of the Week honors. Against No. 12 Wofford the following week, Robinson had another eight tackles, an interception for the third straight game and a fumble recovery in the end zone for another TD. He closed his month with a career-high nine tackles in the Bucs’ 45-43, triple-overtime win over Western Carolina. Coupled with Jared Folks’ selection in September, ETSU has earned the first consecutive defensive player of the month honors by the same school since Elon in 2006.
Others nominated: Willie Eubanks III (The Citadel), Ahmad Gooden (Samford), Isaiah Mack (Chattanooga), Mitchell Chancey (Western Carolina) and Jireh Wilson (Wofford).
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Aaron Templeton, Furman, Sr.
Furman senior Aaron Templeton won the 2018 SoCon Cross Country Championship on Oct. 27 in Cullowhee, North Carolina, for the second consecutive year after crossing the finish line with a time of 24:01.52 on the 8K course. He also competed in the Pre-NCAA Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin, on Oct. 13, finishing fourth overall with a time of 23:50.99. Templeton’s individual top-10 finishes this month helped to lead his team to two top-10 finishes overall, including its sixth consecutive SoCon team title.
WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Hannah Steelman, Wofford, So.
Wofford sophomore Hannah Steelman won the 2018 SoCon Cross Country Championship in the women’s 5K race on Oct. 27, in Cullowhee, North Carolina, with a time of 17:05. On Oct. 12, at the Royals Cross Country Challenge in Charlotte, North Carolina, Steelman won the women’s 5K race and set a new school record with her time of 16:27, lowering the previous school record by 11 seconds.
Michael Dietz, UAB, Fr.
UAB freshman Michael Dietz had a standout month, finishing in the top 10 in each of the smallbore events in which he competed in October. Dietz came in first out of 24 competitors against The Citadel and Wofford on Oct. 13 and earlier in the month, the Peralta, New Mexico, native broke the school smallbore record with his score of 583 at No. 9 Ole Miss, also shooting against No. 6 Murray State and Georgia Southern. Dietz finished seventh in the discipline against North Georgia with a score of 558 on Oct. 27. For the month of October, Dietz averaged a score of 572.
Others nominated: Allison Auten (The Citadel), Courtney Weekley (Georgia Southern) and Kimberlee Nettles (North Georgia).
Rosemary Kramer, Georgia Southern, Sr.
Senior Rosemary Kramer broke her own school air rifle record twice in the month of October. After setting the school mark with a 595 on Sept. 30 in her season debut, she broke it on Oct. 20 with a score of 597 and then broke that record a week later with 598, on Oct. 27. The 598 score was the highest in the country for the weekend, even topping Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher of West Virginia by a point. Kramer, who also shot 591 against UAB and No. 6 Murray State on Oct. 5, is currently averaging 595.250 through four events this season and has placed in the top four in each air rifle event in which she has competed, finishing first three times.
Others nominated: Lilly Vonderau (UAB), Max Brabston (The Citadel) and Ricky Medina (North Georgia).
Trevor Martineau, Mercer, Fr.
Freshman Trevor Martineau had a breakout month, helping lead the Bears to a 6-1 record on the month and a SoCon regular-season title. He scored five goals, four of those goals coming as game-winners, as well as notching five assists and earning 15 of his SoCon-leading 25 points. The McKinney, Texas, native recorded at least one point in six of the seven matches played in October and put up a .452 shot percentage. Martineau was named the SoCon Player of the Week twice on the month, becoming the first freshman to ever claim three player-of-the-week honors in a season.
Others nominated: Cameron Woodfin (ETSU), Danny Kierath (Furman) and Connor Donohue (Wofford).
Kellsey Weaver, Furman, Jr., GK
Furman goalkeeper Kellsey Weaver helped Furman to a 5-1-0 record and a 4-1-0 mark in conference play in the month of October. Weaver posted a 0.35 goals against average in six starts. The Newnan, Georgia, native allowed just two goals and had three shutouts during the month. She totaled 27 saves, including seven in the Paladins’ 1-0 win at Western Carolina in the SoCon quarterfinals, in the span. The win over the Catamounts avenged a 3-1 loss suffered in late September, the lone game in which Furman allowed more than one goal all regular season. Weaver leads the conference with a 0.68 goals against average and an .847 save percentage and is fifth in shutouts (five), seventh in shutouts per game (0.26) and eighth in saves (61).
Others nominated: Kessy Bradshaw (The Citadel), Eleonora Goldoni (ETSU), Cienna Rideout (UNCG), Erin Bonner (Samford) and Hayley Younginer (Wofford).
Maddie Nunley, Mercer, So., S
Mercer setter Maddie Nunley helped guide the Bears to a 4-4 record in the month of October. The sophomore racked up 344 assists, an impressive 11.86 per set, and had five double-doubles in the span. Nunley recorded at least 30 assists in all but one match, only playing one set in the loss at Chattanooga. The Oct. 15 SoCon Offensive Player of the Week reached the 1,000 assists mark and led three or more attackers to double-digit kills in five of the eight matches on the month. She dished out a career-high 60 assists at UNCG then bested that with 66 two days later at Western Carolina, a conference best for assists in a match this season. Nunley hit .245 with 17 kills and added 59 digs and 12 blocks in October. She averages 11.27 assists per set in conference play, a league best.
Others nominated: Sharlissa De Jesus (The Citadel), Mariah McPartland (ETSU), Carris Campbell (Furman), Allison Penner (UNCG), Krista Boesing (Samford), Merry Gebel (Western Carolina) and Colleen Reilly (Wofford).
Marija Popovic, ETSU, So., L/DS
ETSU libero Marija Popovic finished the month of October with 212 digs, averaging 5.73 digs per set as the Bucs went 9-1 overall and a perfect 9-0 in conference play. The sophomore tallied at least 13 digs in all 10 matches, including a career-high 37 in the lone loss to High Point. She also added 29 assists and nine service aces on the month. The Belgrade, Serbia, native leads the conference in digs (566), despite the Bucs having 14 sweeps on the year. Popovic has been named the SoCon Defensive Player of the Week three times this season and was the September Defensive Player of the Month.
Others nominated: Sarah Dobrich (The Citadel), Meg DeMaar (Furman), Paige Alsten (Mercer), Stephanie Meysembourg (UNCG), Lauren Deaton (Samford), Meagan Sanchez (Western Carolina) and Taylor Gill (Wofford).
Southern Conference October Athletes of the Month
Football – offense Devlin Hodges, Samford
Football – defense Tyree Robinson, ETSU
Men’s cross country Aaron Templeton, Furman
Women’s cross country Hannah Steelman, Wofford
Rifle – smallbore Michael Dietz, UAB
Rifle – air rifle Rosemary Kramer, Georgia Southern
Men’s soccer Trevor Martineau, Mercer
Women’s soccer Kellsey Weaver, Furman
Volleyball – offense Maddie Nunley, Mercer
Volleyball – defense Marija Popovic, ETSU