17 Bears Receive Southland Conference Honors

The University of Central Arkansas Bears grabbed four of the seven individual awards when the 2012 All-Southland Conference Football teams were announced on Tuesday.

UCA had 17 total student-athletes honored, including 13 on the first or second teams. The Bears honored individually were junior quarterback Wynrick Smothers (Offensive Player of the Year); senior center Corey Howard (Offensive Lineman of the Year); redshirt freshman Jonathan Woodard (Freshman of the Year) and head coach Clint Conque (Coach of the Year).

UCA's first-team selection included: Smothers, Howard, Woodard, senior wide receiver Dominique Croom, graduate linebacker Seth Allison, junior safety Jestin Love, sophomore placekicker Eddie Camara and senior wide receiver Jesse Grandy, who was also the first-team punt returner and first-team kick returner.

Second-team members included: senior running back Jackie Hinton, sophomore offensive lineman Cole Caruthers and junior defensive tackle Matt Hornbuckle. Honorable mention nods went to junior tight end Chase Dixon, sophomore receiver Dezmin Lewis, junior linebacker Justin Heard and freshman cornerback Dillion Winfrey.

Smothers, from Destrehan, La., is second in the SLC in passing, total offense and pass efficiency. He has completed 261 of 386 passes for 2,852 yards and a league-high 31 touchdowns, which is one short of the school record set last season by Nathan Dick. Smothers' completion percentage is 67.6 percent. He is the second UCA player to be named the league's offensive player of the year, joining his current UCA quarterbacks coach Nathan Brown, who claimed the award in 2007.

Howard, from Wichita Falls, Texas, is a four-year starter for the Bears who led a young offensive line this season. Woodard, from Brentwood, Tenn., finished fourth in the conference with seven sacks and was the only freshman among the conference's top 20 players in the category. Woodard concluded the regular season tied for seventh in the conference in tackles for loss with 10.5 tackles for losses of 50 yards. He also recovered three fumbles on the season, returning one 72 yards for a touchdown against Stephen F. Austin. Woodard is UCA's second player to win Freshman of the Year honors after Love shared the award in 2010.

Conque, who has the 8th-ranked Bears set for their second consecutive NCAA Division I playoff appearance, won his second Coach of the Year Award after leading UCA to a 9-2 overall ranking and a 6-1 league mark. Conque is the winningest coach in UCA history with a 98-53 record in 13 seasons, and has guided the Bears to a 29-13 mark in conference play since joining the league in 2006. He was announced as a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award on Monday, the third time for that distinction in the past six seasons.

2012 Southland Conference Individual Superlative Winners

Player of the Year: Timothy Flanders, Sam Houston State

Offensive Player of the Year: Wynrick Smothers, Central Arkansas

Defensive Player of the Year: Darnell Taylor, Sam Houston State

Offensive Lineman of the Year: Corey Howard, Central Arkansas

Freshman of the Year: Jonathan Woodard, Central Arkansas

Newcomer of the Year: Kevin Johnson, Lamar

Coach of the Year: Clint Conque, Central Arkansas

2012 All-Southland Conference Football Teams

First Team Offense


QBWynrick SmothersUCAJr.Destrehan, La.

RBTimothy FlandersSHSUJr.Midwest City, Okla.

RBGus JohnsonSFASo.Gilmer, Texas

TE/HBT.J. JonesSHSUSr.Tyler, Texas

WRCordell RobersonSFASr.Jefferson, Texas

WRJesse GrandyUCASr.Pine Bluff, Ark.

WRDominique CroomUCASr.Cherokee, Ala.

OLCorey HowardUCASr.Wichita Falls, Texas

OLKaleb HopsonSHSUSr.Early, Texas

OLJohn SteelSFASr.Boyd, Texas

OLArinze AgadaMSUJr.Houston, Texas

OLChris RogersSHSUSr.Littleton, Colo.

APRichard SincereSHSUJr.Galveston, Texas

PKEddie CamaraUCASo.Cedar Hill, Texas

First Team Defense


DLWillie JeffersonSFASr.Beaumont, Texas

DLJ.T. ClevelandSHSUSr.Baytown, Texas

DLJonathan WoodardUCAFr.Brentwood, Tenn.

DLDarren RobinsonSFASo.Dallas, Texas

LBDarius TaylorSHSUSr.Mesquite, Texas

LBSeth AllisonUCASr.Stuttgart, Ark.

LBDerek RoseNSUSr.New Orleans, La.

DBDarnell TaylorSHSUSr.Mesquite, Texas

DBRobert AlfordSLUSr.Hammond, La.

DBDax SwansonSHSUSr.Waco, Texas

DBJosh AubreySFASr.Tyler, Texas

DBJestin LoveUCAJr.West Memphis, Ark.

PMatt FosterSHSUSr.Melbourne, Australia

KRJesse GrandyUCASr.Pine Bluff, Ark.

PRJesse GrandyUCASr.Pine Bluff Ark.

Second Team Offense


QBBrian BellSHSUJr.China Spring, Texas

RBMarcus WiltzMSUJr.Cecilia, La.

RBJackie HintonUCASr.Houston, Texas

TENick ScelfoNICHSo.Baton Rouge, La.

WRTrey DillerSHSUSr.Spring, Texas

WRDarius CareyMSUSr.New Orleans, La.

WRD.J. WardSFAFr.The Woodlands, Texas

OLAlec SavoieMSUSr.Lafayette, La.

OLGasten GabrielSLUJr.Jackson, La.

OLTaylor JohnsonMSUSr.League City, Texas

OLCole CaruthersUCASo.Sugar Land, Texas

OLSean RobertsonLUSr.Copperas Cove, Texas

APXavier RobersonSLUFr.Atlanta, Ga.

PKJohn ShaughnessyNSUSr.Shreveport, La.

Second Team Defense


DLMatt HornbuckleUCAJr.Colleyville, Texas

DLGary LoranceSHSUJr.Baytown, Texas

DLJesse DicksonLUJr.Houston, Texas

DLEverett EllefsenMSUSo.Madisonville, La.

LBJordan PiperNICHSr.New Orleans, La.

LBDevan WalkerSLUSr.Baton Rouge, La.

LBJoe NarcisseMSUSr.Vacherie, La.

DBTerence CaheeMSUJr.Westlake, La.

DBKenneth JenkinsSHSUSr.Galveston, Texas

DBBookie SneedSHSUJr.Conroe, Texas

DBJamaal WhiteNSUSr.Garland, Texas

DBCortez PaigeNSUSr.Houston, Texas

PBeau MotheSLUSr.New Orleans, La.

KRTrey DillerSHSUSr.Spring, Texas

PRDarius CareyMSUSr.New Orleans, La.

2 indicates two-time all-conference selection

3 indicates three-time all-cofnerence selection

Honorable Mention:

Quarterback: Brady Attaway, Stephen F. Austin. Running Back: Marcus Washington, Nicholls State; Keshawn Hill, Sam Houston State. Tight End/H-Back: Mike Brooks, Stephen F. Austin; Jeremy Meyers, Southeastern Louisiana; Corey Simmons, Northwestern State; Chase Dixon, Central Arkansas. Wide Receiver: Kevin Johnson, Lamar; Dezmin Lewis, Central Arkansas; Louis Hollier, Northwestern State; Erik Buchanan, Nicholls State; Tony McCrea, Southeastern Louisiana. Offensive Linemen: Warren Jones, Northwestern State; Austin Wright, Stephen F. Austin; Abasi Salimu, Nicholls State; Donald Jackson, Sam Houston State; Andrew Ratliff, Stephen F. Austin; Riley Smith, Sam Houston State; Jonathan Landry, McNeese State; Carson Chaisson, McNeese State; Ryne Chambers, Stephen F. Austin. Offensive All-Purpose: Phillip Harvey, Northwestern State; Ryan Gambel, Stephen F. Austin. Defensive Linemen: Lesley Deamer, Northwestern State; Pat Williams, McNeese State; Tramaine Lucas, Southeastern Louisiana; Jarrett Brown, Sam Houston State; John Prescott, Lamar; Wade Williams, Northwestern State. Linebacker: Ryan Epperson, Stephen F. Austin; Justin Heard, Central Arkansas; Jermaine Longino, Lamar; Marcus Malbrough, Lamar; Kerry Guidry, Nicholls State; Patrick Black, Northwestern State; Robert Shaw, Sam Houston State; Jesse Beauchamp, Sam Houston State; Collin Garrett, Stephen F. Austin. Defensive Back: Branden Thomas, Lamar; Guy Morgan; McNeese State; Ford Smesny, McNeese State; Chad Allen, Lamar; Caleb Nelson, Stephen F. Austin; Tyler Stoddard, Southeastern Louisiana; Dillon Winfrey, Central Arkansas; Todd Washington, Southeastern Louisiana. Placekicker: Miguel Antonio, Sam Houston State; Jordan Wiggs, Stephen F. Austin. Punter: Cory Kemps, Nicholls State. Kick Return Specialist: Kevin Johnson, Lamar; Phillip Harvey, Northwestern State.