Laiche, Fourcade, Scelfo, Livings headline All-Southland honors

  • icon
  • icon
  • icon
  • icon
Sully Laiche
(Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University)

Nicholls’ Sully Laiche named Player of the Year; all 11 institutions represented

FRISCO, Texas – For the second-straight season, a Nicholls student-athlete headlines the Southland Football All-Conference Teams as defensive lineman Sully Laiche is the conference’s Player of the Year, the league announced Tuesday. Yearly awards are presented by Ready Nutrition.

The first defensive player to earn the league’s top annual honor since 2007 (Bryan Smith, McNeese), Laiche led all FCS players with 2.1 tackles for loss per game and ranked fifth nationally in sacks per game (1.1). He led the Southland with 9.0 sacks in conference play and recorded at least one TFL in each of his nine starts.

Named a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the FCS’ top defensive player, Laiche totaled 19.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in the regular season to bring his career totals to 59 TFL and 35.5 sacks. His sack total is the fourth-highest in Southland Conference history.

Laiche is one of seven superlative award winners announced Tuesday, along with Offensive Player of the Year Chase Fourcade (Nicholls) and Defensive Player of the Year Chris Livings (McNeese). Sam Houston State’s Trace Mascorro is the Newcomer of the Year, and Central Arkansas’ Tyler Hudson is the Freshman of the Year. The Offensive Lineman of the Year Award goes to Nicholls’ PJ Burkhalter, and Southeastern Louisiana’s Frank Scelfo is the Coach of the Year.

Last year’s Player of the Year, Fourcade finished his final regular season as the most efficient passer in the league in both overall (151.3) and conference-only games (157.7). He ranked ninth among FCS quarterbacks in completion percentage (66.1) and averaged the second-most yards of total offense in Southland contests (303.2).

Joining Laiche as one of just nine players in conference history to compile 30 career sacks, Livings finished the year with 9.5, which was good for third in the Southland. Livings recorded a team-high 12 tackles for loss and posted at least half a sack in each of the team’s final five games, including a season-high three against Northwestern State.

A transfer from UTEP, Mascorro started all 12 games at defensive tackle for the Bearkats, who led the league in tackles for loss and sacks as a team. He tallied 15.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks. Mascorro registered at least two TFL in five games.

A finalist for the Jerry Rice Award (top FCS freshman), Hudson made an immediate impact with a touchdown grab in his first game, an upset of FBS foe Western Kentucky. He went on to finish tied for the league lead with 12 touchdowns and hauled in a conference-best 10 scoring receptions in league play.

Burkhalter served as the starting center and left guard for Nicholls, who led the Southland with just over 200 rushing yards per game and ranked second in scoring (32.8) and total offense per game (449.7).

In year two under Scelfo’s direction, the Lions went from a 4-7 team in 2018 to a 7-4 squad in the FCS Playoffs. With an offense that ranks third among FCS programs in pass yards per game (328.5) and a defense that ranks second nationally in sacks per game (3.70), SLU took down two opponents ranked No. 6 at the time of their game (Jacksonville State, Central Arkansas).

Central Arkansas leads the way with 13 total all-conference selections, followed by Nicholls and Sam Houston State each with 12. Southeastern Louisiana placed 11 on the all-league teams while McNeese had nine honorees.

Abilene Christian, Houston Baptist and Lamar garnered five picks each, and UIW, Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin rounded out the teams with four selections apiece.

In total, 17 honorees are returning all-Southland selections, led by Laiche and teammate Allen Pittman with their fourth picks. UCA running back Carlos Blackman is the lone three-time honoree.

All-Southland Conference teams are voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Voting for one’s own athletes is not permitted.

2019 Southland Conference Football Individual Superlative Winners

Player of the Year: Sully Laiche, Nicholls
Offensive Player of the Year: Chase Fourcade, Nicholls
Defensive Player of the Year: Chris Livings, McNeese
Newcomer of the Year: Trace Mascorro, Sam Houston State
Freshman of the Year: Tyler Hudson, Central Arkansas
Offensive Lineman of the Year: PJ Burkhalter, Nicholls
Coach of the Year: Frank Scelfo, Southeastern Louisiana

2019 Southland Conference Football First Team All-Conference Offense
Pos. Name School Class Hometown
QB Chase Fourcade2 Nicholls Sr. Metairie, La.
RB Julien Gums Nicholls So. New Orleans, La.
RB Tracy James Abilene Christian Sr. Dallas, Texas
TE/HB Woody Brandom Sam Houston State R-Sr. Corona, Calif.
WR Quan Shorts Northwestern State Sr. Humble, Texas
WR Lujuan Winningham Central Arkansas So. Humble, Texas
WR Dai’Jean Dixon2 Nicholls Jr. New Orleans, La.
OL PJ Burkhalter Nicholls R-Jr. Franklinton, La.
OL Pat Allen Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Reisertown, Md.
OL Hunter Watts2 Central Arkansas Sr. San Antonio, Texas
OL Bradston Burnside Nicholls Sr. Hattiesburg, Miss.
OL Colby Thomas Sam Houston State Jr. Manvel, Texas
PK Storm Ruiz Stephen F. Austin Sr. League City, Texas
P Matt McRobert Sam Houston State R-Jr. Berowra, Australia

2019 Southland Conference Football First Team All-Conference Defense
Pos. Name School Class Hometown
DL Sully Laiche4 Nicholls Sr. Gramercy, La.
DL Trace Mascorro Sam Houston State Jr. Refugio, Texas
DL Chris Livings2 McNeese Sr. Lake Charles, La.
DL Andre Walker Houston Baptist Sr. Slidell, La.
LB Jeremiah Chambers2 Abilene Christian Sr. Austin, Texas
LB Royce See Sam Houston State Sr. Shepherd, Texas
LB Allen Pittman4 Nicholls Sr. St. Rose, La.
DB Ferlando Jordan Southeastern Louisiana R-So. Atlanta, Ga.
DB Robert Rochell Central Arkansas Jr. Shreveport, La.
DB Michael Lawson Lamar Jr. Patterson, Calif.
DB Darion Dunn McNeese Jr. Oakdale, La.
DB Kevin Moore III Nicholls Jr. Lafayette, La.
KR Gamar Girdy Brito Houston Baptist Sr. Victoria, Texas
PR Michael Lawson Lamar Jr. Patterson, Calif.

2019 Southland Conference Football Second Team All-Conference Offense
Pos. Name School Class Hometown
QB Breylin Smith Central Arkansas So. Conway, Ark.
RB Donovan Williams Sam Houston State So. Paris, Texas
RB Carlos Blackman3 Central Arkansas Sr. Gosnell, Ark.
TE/HB Bransen Schwebel2 Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Amite, La.
WR Tyler Hudson Central Arkansas Fr. Spring, Texas
WR Cyron Sutton McNeese Jr. New Orleans, La.
WR Xavier Gipson Stephen F. Austin Fr. Dallas, Texas
OL Jair Joseph Nicholls Jr. Belle Rose, La.
OL Grant Burguillos2 McNeese Sr. Mandeville, La.
OL Tamatoa Neher Lamar Sr. Hauula, Hawaii
OL Chris Zirkle2 Northwestern State Sr. League City, Texas
OL Jarius Gooch Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Water Valley, Miss.
PK Bailey Giffen Lamar Jr. Bryan, Texas
P Blake Patterson Houston Baptist Jr. Round Rock, Texas

2019 Southland Conference Football Second Team All-Conference Defense
Pos. Name School Class Hometown
DL Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
DL Joseph Wallace Sam Houston State Jr. Dallas, Texas
DL Nathan Grant Central Arkansas Jr. Carrollton, Texas
DL Daniel Crosley2 Lamar Sr. DeRidder, La.
LB Laryon James Nicholls Sr. Baton Rouge, La.
LB Alexis Ramos Southeastern Louisiana Jr. Salinas, Calif.
LB Hunter Brown Sam Houston State R-Sr. Weston, Fla.
DB Zyon McCollum2 Sam Houston State Jr. Galveston, Texas
DB Xavier Lewis Southeastern Louisiana Sr. LaPlace, La.
DB Juan Jackson2 Central Arkansas Sr. Gardendale, Ala.
DB Cory McCoy McNeese Jr. Leesville, La.
DB Adonis Davis Abilene Christian Sr. Bastrop, Texas
KR Cameron Myers Central Arkansas R-Fr. Plant City, Fla.
PR Cyron Sutton McNeese Jr. New Orleans, La.

2019 Southland Conference Football Third Team All-Conference Offense
Pos. Name School Class Hometown
QB Chason Virgil Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Mesquite, Texas
RB Devonte Williams Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Columbia Md.
RB Justin Pratt McNeese Sr. Spring, Texas
TE/HB Jordan Talley Nicholls Sr. Clinton, La.
WR Ben Ratzlaff Houston Baptist Jr. San Diego, Calif.
WR Jerreth Sterns Houston Baptist So. Waxahachie, Texas
WR Austin Mitchell Southeastern Louisiana R-Jr. Plaquemine, La.
OL Jaylin Hendrix Central Arkansas So. Everman, Texas
OL Brandon Floores2 UIW Sr. La Vernia, Texas
OL Toby Sanderson Central Arkansas Jr. Edmond, Okla.
OL Tyler Edwards Sam Houston State R-Sr. Buna, Texas
OL Terence Hickman2 UIW Sr. Converse, Texas
PK Hayden Ray Central Arkansas So. Bryant, Ark.
P Bailey Raborn McNeese Jr. Lafayette, La.

2019 Southland Conference Football Third Team All-Conference Defense
Pos. Name School Class Hometown
DL Kameron Hill Abilene Christian Jr. Fresno, Texas
DL Cody Roscoe McNeese Jr. Houston, Texas
DL Jevon Leon Sam Houston State Fr. Houston, Texas
DL Cole Burgess Abilene Christian Sr. North Richland Hills, Texas
LB TJ Campbell Central Arkansas So. Southaven, Miss.
LB Ja’Quay Pough Northwestern State Jr. Sherman, Texas
LB Kelechi Anyalabechi UIW So. Pearland, Texas
DB Shemar Bartholomew Northwestern State So. New Orleans, La.
DB Khristian Mims2 Nicholls Sr. Baton Rouge, La.
DB Jaylon Jimmerson UIW Fr. Pittsburg, Texas
DB Willie Roberts Stephen F. Austin Fr. Fort Worth, Texas
DB Jaylen Thomas Sam Houston State Jr. Houston, Texas
KR Xavier Gipson Stephen F. Austin Fr. Dallas, Texas
PR Devonte Williams Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Columbia, Md.

  • < PREV Basketball: Chalmette wins as Stockton closes in on milestone
  • NEXT > Tulane visits SMU for regular season finale