Three SFA football players landed on the All-Southland Conference preseason team — (from left) placekicker Storm Ruiz (senior, League City), wide receiver Tamrick Pace (senior, Brownsboro) and safety Alize Ward (senior, San Diego, Calif.).

Stephen F. Austin wide receiver Tamrick Pace, a former Brownsboro High School standout, was voted to the 2019 All-Southland Conference preseason football team, the league office in Frisco announced.

Pace, who was All-SLC honorable mention last year and a 2016 freshman All-American, landed on the second team.

SFA teammates — placekicker Storm Ruiz (senior, League City) and safety Alize Ward (senior, San Diego, California) — were on the team. Ruiz earned first-team honors with Ward on the second team.

Pace was a 2017 second-team All-SLC honoree. For the third-straight season, Pace was one of SFA’s top offensive weapons in 2018 and attracted the most attention from opposing defenses. The Brownsboro native led the ‘Jacks in touchdowns (7) last season, finished second on the team in receiving yards (623), ranked third in all-purpose yards and was second in receiving yards per game (69.2). His 42 receptions and 14.8 yards per catch was third among Lumberjack receivers as he ranked ninth in the Southland and was second on the team in scoring (4.7 PPG).

A 2017 Fred Mitchell Award finalist and 2018 September and October Fred Mitchell Award watch list member, Ruiz served as SFA’s starting placekicker for the third-straight season a year ago. He went 9-for-12 (.750) on field goal attempts in 2018 and was 22-for-22 on PATs.

Ward, who has claimed back-to-back All-Southland second-team spots, finished second on the team in total tackles (58) last season. The DeSoto High School graduate led the ‘Jacks in solo stops (36) in 2018 and claimed 2.5 tackles for loss to go along with an interception, forced fumble and pair of pass breakups. He ranked 20th among all Southland defenders with 6.4 tackles per game.

Next week, first-year head coach Colby Carthel and a pair of Lumberjack football players will head to Southland Football Media Day, hosted by the league Thursday at the Hilton Houston Post Oak by the Galleria in Houston.

The Lumberjacks begin their 2019 campaign Saturday, Aug. 31 in Waco, taking on the Big 12’s Bears of Baylor in SFA’s annual FBS matchup. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. on ESPN+.

Other first-team offensive members were Nicholls quarterback Chase Fourcade (senior, Metairie, Louisiana), Central Arkansas running back Carlos Blackman (senior, Gosnell, Arkansas), Abilene Christian running back Billy McCrary (senior, Austin), Southeastern Louisiana tight end/half back Bransen Schwebel (senior, Amite, Louisiana), Sam Houston State wide receiver Nathan Stewart (senior, Dallas), Nicholls wide receiver Dai’Jean Dixon (junior, New Orleans), SE Louisiana wide receiver Juwan Petit-Frere (senior, Orlando, Florida), Central Arkansas lineman Hunter Watts (senior, San Antonio), Incarnate Word OL Brandon Floores (senior, La Vernia) and Terence Hickman II (senior, Converse), McNeese OL Grant Burguillos (senior, Mandeville, Louisiana), Nicholls OL P.J. Burkhalter (junior, Franklinton, Louisiana) and Nicholls punter Winston Jones (Thibodaux, Louisiana).

First-team defenders include: linemen — Nicholls’ Sully Laiche (senior, Grammercy, Louisiana), Central Arkansas’ Chris Terrell (senior, Pensacola, Florida), McNeese’s Chris Livings (senior, Lake Charles, Louisiana) and Lamar’s Daniel Crosley (senior, DeRidder, Louisiana); linebackers — ACU’s Jeremiah Chambers (senior, Austin) and Nicholls’ Evan Veron (senior, LaPlace, Louisiana) and Allen Pittman (senior, St. Rose, Louisiana); defensive backs — Northwestern State’s Hayden Bourgeois (junior, Church Point, Louisiana), Sam Houston State’s Zyon McCollum (junior, Galveston), McNeese’s Colby Burton (senior, League City), Central Arkansas’ Juan Jackson (senior, Gardendale, Alabama) and Nicholls’ Darren Evans (junior, Baton Rouge, Louisiana); kick returner — SE Louisiana’s Juwan Petit-Frere (senior, Orlando, Florida) and punt returner — SE Louisiana’s Devonte Williams (senior, Columbia, Maryland).


Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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