Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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December 19, 2013

JUNIOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 4 Cardinals named NJCAA All-Americans

Athens — The NJCAA national office announced Monday the 2013 NJCAA Football All-America teams.

This year’s honorees were first nominated by their respective conference.

The NJCAA Football Committee then selected the 75 student-athletes making up this season’s teams.

Four Trinity Valley Cardinals received honors on the team as Jhaustin Thomas, Josh Pickett and D’Nerius Antione were named first-team defensive selections. On the honorable mention was sophomore quarterback Ryan Polite.

Polite finished out the season with 3,471 yards passing, with 35 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Defensively, Thomas was the team’s seventh leading tackler with 55 tackles. He also had 12.5 sacks this season.

Pickett was the team’s  leading tackler with 102 tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery.

Antione was the team’s third leading  tackler with 69 on the season. He also had three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

The Cardinals finished the season with a 10-2 record as the Heart of Texas Bowl champions.

Other Southwest Junior College football conference teams receiving All-American players were from Blinn, Navarro, Tyler and Kilgore.

Blinn’s Ken Butler was named to the first-team defensive unit, while Navarro’s Tim Wright, Kilgore’s Gerron Anthony and Tyler’s Connor Groom were recognized.

The top three programs in the nation tied for the most selections this year. No. 1 East Mississippi, No. 2 Iowa Western and No. 3 Georgia Military each had six players selected to All-America teams.

Mississippi Gulf Coast sophomore wide receiver D'haquille Williams was the only returning All-American from last season to make this year's selections.

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