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Five Golden Eagles included on all-OVC football honor squads


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The 2013 Ohio Valley Conference post-season honors list features five players from Tennessee Tech, including two first-team picks and three defensive standouts on the second-team. Senior punter Chad Zinchini and senior offensive tackle Wesley Sherrill earned first-team honors, while the second-team includes senior defensive tackle Malcolm Mitchell, junior linebacker Tra'Darius Goff and junior safety Marty Jones.

It was a repeat honor for Zinchini, and a first-time award for Sherrill, Mitchell, Goff and Jones.

Conference champion Eastern Illinois took home two of the four major postseason awards while Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee State won the other two in voting conducted by league head coaches and sports information directors.
 
Eastern Illinois senior quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was named Offensive Player of the Year while his head coach, Dino Babers, was named the OVC Roy Kidd Coach of the Year for the second-straight year. In the other major awards, Tennessee State junior defensive end Anthony Bass was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year while Eastern Kentucky redshirt freshman wide receiver Devin Borders earned the Freshman of the Year award.
 
The all-OVC first-team included 14 seniors, 10 juniors and one sophomore while the second-team had 13 seniors, 10 juniors, three sophomores and one freshman.

Zinchini, a senior from Hendersonville, Tenn., led the OVC and ranked second in the nation with a school-record punting average of 45.7 yards. He broke the school record that he had established last year in his first season on the squad.

Sherrill, a senior tackle from Antioch, Tenn., was a four-year starter, answering the call in 36 career games while spending time at both tackle and guard.

Mitchell, a senior from Stone Mountain, Ga., ranked among league leaders in both quarterback sacks (7.5) and tackles-for-loss (13.0) while leading the Golden Eagles in both categories. Goff, a junior from Columbia, Tenn., finished second in the OVC with 101 total tackles (by one tackle), and added 8.6 tackles-for-loss, three sacks and three fumbles forced. Jones, a junior from Cincinnati, was third in the league in total tackles with 98, and also tied for the team lead with two interceptions.

2013 All-OVC Football Team
 
OVC Offensive Player of the Year: Jimmy Garoppolo (QB), Eastern Illinois
OVC Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Bass (DE), Tennessee State
OVC Freshman of the Year: Devin Borders (WR), Eastern Kentucky
OVC Roy Kidd Coach of the Year: Dino Babers, Eastern Illinois
 
FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE
QB - Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois
RB - DaMarcus James, Jacksonville State     
RB - Shepard Little, Eastern Illinois       
WR - Erik Lora, Eastern Illinois
WR - Walter Powell, Murray State
TE - Jeff LePak, Eastern Illinois
C - Max Holcombe, Jacksonville State
OG - Collin Seibert, Eastern Illinois
OG - Kadeem Edwards, Tennessee State
OT - Dominic Pagliara, Eastern Illinois
OT - Wesley Sherrill, Tennessee Tech
 
FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE
Anthony Bass, Tennessee State           
Pat Wertz, Eastern Illinois
Antonio Harper, Tennessee State
DJ Roberts, UT Martin
Nick Thrasher, Tennessee State
Ben Johnson, UT Martin
Tony Bell, UT Martin
Daniel Fitzpatrick Tennessee State
Jourdan Wickliffe, Eastern Illinois
Pierre Warren, Jacksonville State
Nick Beard, Eastern Illinois
 
FIRST-TEAM SPECIALISTS
Griffin Thomas, Jacksonville State
Chad Zinchini, Tennessee Tech
Walter Powell, Murray State
 
SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE
Max Shortell, Jacksonville State           
Ronald Butler, Tennessee State            
Tim Broughton, Tennessee State
DJ McNeil, UT Martin
Taylor Duncan, Eastern Illinois
Jeremy Butler, UT Martin
Adam Drake, Eastern Illinois
A.C. Leonard, Tennessee State
Nick Borre, Eastern Illinois
Justin Meredith, Eastern Kentucky
Travon Carter, Eastern Kentucky
Charles Sweeton, UT Martin
Robert Myers, Tennessee State
 
SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE
Dino Fanti, Eastern Illinois                    
Anthony Brown, Eastern Kentucky
Caleb Lawrence, Jacksonville State
Malcolm Mitchell, Tennessee Tech
Ichiro Vance, Eastern Kentucky
Robert Haynes, Eastern Illinois
Tra'Darius Goff, Tennessee Tech
J'Vontez Blackmon, UT Martin
Brandon Wicks, Murray State
David Van Dyke, Tennessee State
Marty Jones, Tennessee Tech
 
SECOND-TEAM SPECIALISTS
Jamin Godfrey, Tennessee State
Jordan Berry, Eastern Kentucky
Shepard Little, Eastern Illinois
 
ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM
TE - Jeff LePak, Eastern Illinois            
RB/RS - Shepard Little, Eastern Illinois
OL - Jimmy Lowery, Eastern Illinois
WR - Devin Borders, Eastern Kentucky
WR - Josh Barge, Jacksonville State
QB - Max Shortell, Jacksonville State
DE - Chris Landrum, Jacksonville State
QB - Maikhail Miller, Murray State
DT - Austin Black, Southeast Missouri  
CB/RS - De'Ante Saunders, Tennessee State
QB - Ronald Butler, Tennessee State                     
QB - Dylan Favre, UT Martin                 
 
Note: The All-Newcomer team is comprised of first-year players in the OVC - that can be either true freshmen, redshirt freshmen or first-year transfers. The team consists of 12 total players (1 extra due to a tie in voting this year) and is not voted on by position. There were 13 players on the All-OVC second-team offense (2 QB's, 3 RB's) due to ties in voting.