Brevard, N.C. - The Brevard College football team wrapped up preseason last weekend with the Blue-White Scrimmage at Asheville High School, and has begun to focus on the upcoming 2010 season opener this Saturday afternoon as the Tornados host Edward Waters College at Asheville High School Memorial Stadium.
Saturday’s gridiron contest will be the second meeting between Brevard and Edward Waters. Last season in the home opener for both teams, Donald Hudson returned an early interception for a touchdown and Neville Bryce rushed for 192 yards on 14 carries as the Tornados rushed their way to a 51-6 victory against the Tigers.
Brevard finished the 2009 season with a 7-4 record in their second season as full members of the NCAA Division II and the South Atlantic Conference, receiving votes in the AFCA Division II poll for the first time as a program. The Tornados were also recognized by Somis Sports as the 11th most improved Division II Football team in 2009 and the 40th most improved program across all levels of NCAA Collegiate Football.
Headlining this year’s team is a quintet of players named to the 2010 Preseason All-SAC team, led by Preseason First Team selections, junior safety Michael Gist and junior linebacker Prince Simunyu. Gist led the Tornados with five interceptions and led the South Atlantic Conference last season in interception return yardage and defensive touchdowns on his way to garnering postseason All-SAC and All-Region recognition, while Simunyu led the conference in tackles for loss with 14.5 in 2009.
Senior fullback Neville Bryce and senior offensive lineman Darrell Neely were selected to the All-SAC Second Team Offense. The senior duo is joined on the second team by junior punter Eric Watts.
The Tornados are excited about this upcoming season, despite having lost 25 seniors from last season, but with the influx of 55 newcomers and transfers to the program and leadership in many key positions on both sides of the ball, the Tornados are building on last season’s success as Brevard College moves to fight their way into the top of the South Atlantic Conference.
This season will be Coach Paul Hamilton’s fourth year as coach of the Tornados football team, having compiled a 10-22 record in his three seasons with the Tornados. Last season’s 7-4 record was one of the best in program history and much of the credit goes toward Hamilton’s coaching ability and the coaches on his staff as they created a punishing rushing attack to go with a dominant attacking defense.
Edward Waters comes into the game on a winning streak, having taken their last game in the 2009 season against New Orleans, winning 45-12, and Coach Kevin Clark is set to lead the Tigers back to their previous level of play.
Sophomore quarterback Brandon Turman returns to lead the Tigers attack, passing for 1,335 yards and 10 touchdowns last season and while Edward Waters does have some question marks on the offensive side of the ball, one area expected to be loaded is at wide receiver. Three-time NAIA All-American Johnathan Johnson finished with 35 receptions for 452 yards and three scores last season and he will be flanked by three fellow seniors in Samuel Charles, Scott Peters and Antonio Bellamy as they will look to air it out against their opponents this season.
On the defensive side, EWC will look to their defensive line to carry the team, returning NAIA Independent All-American Denton Thompson and Christopher Holmes to bottle up the line of scrimmage for the opposition.
Kickoff time for the Brevard College 2010 Home Opener is slated for 2 p.m. at Asheville HS Memorial Stadium in Asheville, N.C.
You can catch the game via live broadcast brought to you by the "Voice of the Tornados" Dwayne Summers over the radio at WSQL 1240 AM or over the Internet at www.wsqlradio.com. You may also visit the Brevard College Athletics website at www.BCTornados.com.
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