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TAMUC – Sports

The last-second goal lifts Lions over Skyhawks.

COMMERCE – As the time expired in Thursday night’s match at the Lion Soccer Field between the Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s soccer team and Fort Lewis, Mindy Shoffit headed in a ball from Leslie Campuzano to give the Lions a 1-0 win. 

The Lions were awarded a corner on the far corner with eight seconds left in the second half. Campuzano (Garland – Lakeview Centennial) took a quick kick near the goal, and Shoffit (Wichita Falls–Rider) was right there to put it in the back of the net. 

Lion Athletics partners with HomeTown Ticketing for ticketing solutions

COMMERCE – Texas A&M University-Commerce Lion Athletics has announced a partnership with HomeTown Ticketing as the digital ticketing provider for the Lions, starting with this week’s soccer games. 

The partnership provides a premier digital ticketing option for Lion fans, students, faculty, and staff, with specific capabilities for each group. 

“We look forward to our new partnership with HomeTown Ticketing providing better service to our fans, students, faculty, and staff,” A&M-Commerce director of athletics Tim McMurray said. “Our digital ticketing experience will speed entry for everyone coming to a Lion Athletics game. In addition, homeTown’s product will add a layer of excellence as we aim to provide a Best In Class experience for all.” 

FOR FANS

Fans can always find tickets for Lion home games online at the new link – LionAthletics.com/tickets – as well as the “HomeTown Fan” app, which is available in your app store. 

When purchased, fans will receive the digital tickets in the “HomeTown Fan” app, which they can save to their device’s wallet. In addition, you receive printable PDF tickets via email. Tickets will be available to purchase at the gate of every game, with digital ticketing remaining the quickest option for fans. 

FOR STUDENTS

Current TAMUC students each receive one (1) general admission ticket to Lion home events. Students should select the “2021-22 Student Tickets” in the “HomeTown Fan” app or LionAthletics.com/tickets. The passcode to unlock the season pass will be each student’s campuswide ID (CWID) number. Upon completion, students will have access to every home game. 

FOR FACULTY AND STAFF

Faculty and staff members receive up to four (4) general admission tickets to Lion home events. Faculty/staff should select the “2021-22 Faculty/Staff Tickets” in the “HomeTown Fan” app or on LionAthletics.com/tickets. You unlock the season pass with the passcode that is each faculty/staff member’s campuswide ID (CWID) number. Upon completion, they will have the selected number of passes to every home game.

QUESTIONS/SUPPORT

Fans with questions or technical support needs on the new system can call (903) 886-5568 or email alex.shillow@tamuc.edu or juan.olivo@tamuc.edu.

Lions and Mustangs for LSC have an opening matchup in Arlington.

COMMERCE – For the first time since the 2017 National Championship game, the Texas A&M University-Commerce football team plays a neutral site game. The Lions take on the Midwestern State Mustangs on Saturday at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington. The matchup is the Lone Star Conference opener for both teams.  

WHO: Texas A&M University-Commerce vs. Midwestern State

WHERE: Arlington | Choctaw Stadium

WHEN: Saturday, September 11 at 6:00 pm

RECORDS: Both teams enter week two of the season with a history of 1-0.

RANKINGS: A&M-Commerce is ranked No. 7 in the AFCA Coaches Poll, No. 5 in the D2Football.com Media Poll. Midwestern State is receiving votes in the AFCA Coaches Poll. 

LIVE AUDIO: Lion Sports Network — KETR 88.9 FM, Commerce (http://www.ketr.org)

LIVE VIDEO: https://lonestarconferencenetwork.com/tamuc/

LIVE STATS: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=364484

TICKETS: https://lionathletics.com/arlington

GAME NOTES (PDF) 

A&M-COMMERCE AND MIDWESTERN STATE BEGIN TWO-YEAR SERIES AT GLOBE LIFE PARK

• The Lions’ game against Midwestern State will be played at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington, with A&M-Commerce as the home team on Saturday.

• This marks the Lions’ first regular season neutral site game since the Lone Star Conference Football Festival in 2014 and the first Division II game played at Choctaw Stadium, which is in its second fall season as a football facility.

• “I think it will be an exciting opportunity for the young men on this football team to play at Choctaw Stadium,” A&M-Commerce head football coach David Bailiff said. “I went to several of the XFL games there last year, and it’s a beautiful venue with incredible amenities. I’m excited about this team and this university to show what we have there.”

• This Saturday’s game is the first of a two-game series between A&M-Commerce and Midwestern State at Choctaw Stadium.

• The 2022 game between the Lions and Mustangs will be played at Choctaw Stadium on October 8, with Midwestern State as the home team. 

ALL-TIME AGAINST THE MUSTANGS

• The Lions and Mustangs are meeting for the 26th time in a hotly contested series, with the Lions holding a 14-11 lead in the all-time series. It will be the first actual neutral site game in the series since 2012. The split game in 2018, which finished at Denton’s Apogee Stadium, was classified as an MSU home game as the game began in Wichita Falls.

• MSU has won two of three neutral-site regular-season games in the series, including both held in Arlington.

• After losing seven of the eight previous matchups, A&M-Commerce has won two matchups in a row. 

SUCCESS IN CONFERENCE OPENERS

• A&M-Commerce begins LSC play today against Midwestern State. The Lions are tabbed as the preseason favorites to win the conference, their 24th LSC Championship.

• The Lions have won six straight conference opening games. The last loss came in 2013 at West Texas A&M.

• This is the first time the Lions are taking on the Mustangs in the LSC opener since 2012, a 65-14 win for Midwestern State. 

NEUTRAL FIELD ADVANTAGE

• The Lions are 19-9-1 all-time in neutral site games

•A&M-Commerce is 14-8 in regular-season games held at neutral sites.

NEUTRAL SITE REGULAR-SEASON GAMES

Sep. 20, 2014 Texas A&M-Kingsville W, 55-20 Arlington AT&T Stadium)
Sep. 13, 2013 Delta State W, 45-37 Arlington (AT&T Stadium)
Sep. 13, 2012 Midwestern State L, 65-14 Arlington (Cowboys Stadium)
Sep. 17, 2011 Midwestern State L, 63-17 Arlington (Cowboys Stadium)
Sep. 11, 2010 Angelo State L, 31-10 Dallas (Cotton Bowl)
Sep. 12, 2009 Abilene Christian L, 20-14 Dallas (Cotton Bowl)
Oct. 18, 2008 East Central W, 27-15 Dallas (Cotton Bowl)
Sep. 2, 2000 Abilene Christian W, 34-10 North Richland Hills
Sep. 13, 1997 Abilene Christian L, 26-10 Bedford
Sep. 2, 1989 West Alabama W, 41-24 Mobile, Ala.
Sep. 10, 1977 Prairie View A&M W, 38-10 Dallas (Cotton Bowl)
Sep. 10, 1976 Prairie View A&M W, 35-27 Dallas (Cotton Bowl)
Sep. 15, 1975 Prairie View A&M W, 42-19 Dallas (Cotton Bowl)
Sep. 8, 1973 Northwestern State L, 24-0 Shreveport, La.
Oct. 19, 1957 McMurry W, 19-6 Stamford
1952 Midwestern State W, 46-0 Vernon
Oct. 14, 1950 Abilene Christian L, 19-0 Stamford
Oct. 7, 1950 Austin College W, 40-15 Dallas (Cotton Bowl)
1948 West Texas A&M W, 13-7 Dallas (Cotton Bowl)
1946 Southwest Texas (Texas State) W, 12-0 Sulphur Springs
1935 McMurry W, 12-6 Coleman
Oct. 12, 1922 Grubbs Vocational (UT-Arlington) L, 20-2 Dallas (Dallas Fairgrounds)


MORRIS AND VIQUEZ NAMED LSC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
• Linebacker Xavier Morris was named Defensive Player of the Week and kicker Jake Viquez was named Special Teams Player of the Week after the 12-6 win over CSU-Pueblo.

• Morris (Converse – Judson)- Part of the defensive unit that allowed just six points and 219 total yards from scrimmage. The senior linebacker had nine total tackles to lead the Lions and also caught an interception in the fourth quarter.

• Viquez (Rockwall) – Responsible for all 12 points in the win over the Thunderwolves, he went 4-for-5 in his field goal attempts with makes of 30, 29, 40, and 52 yards. His 52-yarder tied for the second-longest field goal made in program history. He also had three punts.

LONE STAR CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Date Offense Defense Special Teams
Sept. 6 CJ Odom, Angelo State Xavier Morris, A&M-Commerce Jake Viquez, A&M-Commerce

 

SUCCESS AT ALL MULTIPLE LEVELS
• Based on our research, coach David Bailiff is the fourth-ever coach to qualify for the Division II playoffs, Division I-AA or FCS playoffs, and win a Division I-A or FBS bowl game.

Coach D2 FCS FBS Bowl Wins
David Bailiff 2019
A&M-Commerce
2005
Texas St.
2008 Texas
2012 Armed Forces
2014 Hawai’i
Rice
Terry Bowden 2009-11
North Alabama
1991-92
Samford
1996 Independence^
1997 Peach^
2015 Idaho Potato*
*- Akron
^- Auburn
Willie Fritz 2002
Central Missouri
2011-13
Sam Houston State
2018 Cure
Tulane
Joe Glenn 1990-91, 95-99
Northern Colorado
2000-02
Montana
2004 Las Vegas
Wyoming


LONG TIME COMING
• The Lions played their first game in 636 days against the CSU-Pueblo ThunderWolves. It was the longest drought in program history since World War II.

Seasons Missed Days Between Games
1943-45 (World War II) 1,409
1918 (World War I) 688
2020 (COVID-19 Pandemic) 636


A&M-COMMERCE PICKED TO WIN THE LSC
•The Lions are voted the top team in the preseason poll conducted by the Lone Star Conference.
•A&M-Commerce collected 15 of the 23 first-place votes for 175 points in the preseason poll, 23 points ahead of Angelo State. The Lion’s last appearance at the top of the preseason poll was in 2018, and the Lions’ last LSC title came in 2016. A&M-Commerce is 41-5 in the LSC in the last six seasons and has not lost more than one conference game in a season since 2013.

LONG LIST OF STUDENT-ATHLETES FINDING SECOND HOMES
• There are 31 transfers on the rosters who will make their Lion debut this season. The transfers came to Commerce from all over the country and hail from all levels of college football

College Football Division Number of Transfers
Division I FBS 11 (Five from Power-Five)
Division I FCS 5
Division II 1
NAIA 1
NJCAA 9
CCCAA 4


A&M-COMMERCE TRANSFERS

College Football Division Pos. Previous School
King Ambers DB New Mexico Military Institute
Rehoboth Chibesa OL Cisco College
Chris Dascher TE Florida Tech
Brendan Easley WR Morgan State
D’Angelo Ellis DB Rice
Dominion Ezinwa DL UNLV
Jalen Graves DL UNLV
Celestin Haba DL Scottsdale Community College
Anthony Hayes DL Southwest Mississippi Community College
Darvis Holmes DL Fullerton College
Ben Hutch DL Southeast Missouri State
Jo-Bentley Keilani OL Mt. SAC College
Riley Langton WR Northern Arizona
Kevin Ledee WR Tulane
Jaiave Magalei QB Louisiana
Tyler Malin LB Kentucky
Dontay Mayfield WR Duquesne
Cameron Nellor WR Trinity Valley CC
Michael Noble LB Fullerton College
Jrake Polk DB Navarro College
Cameron Proctor DL Fullerton College
Austin Smith LB Tennessee
Jaelin Smith DL Friends (Kan.)
Kenedy Snell WR TCU
Anthonie Thomas OL Kilgore College
Dante Vandenberg TE Northern Iowa
Brenden Young DB Arkansas
Dee Walker LB Arkansas
Cedrick Wilcox III LB Jacksonville
Justice Williams DL Independence Community College
Stephan Zabie OL Trinity Valley Community College


READY FOR LIFE AFTER FOOTBALL
• Twenty-nine student-athletes have already received their degrees going into the 2021-22 academic year.
• A&M-Commerce and Illinois are tied for most student-athletes with degrees across all levels of college football according to the National Football Foundation.

Emmanuel Adabgdon James Bell Alex Carswell
Matthew Childers Chance Cooper Travis Dafft
Elijah Earls D’Angelo Ellis Dominion Ezinwa
Shane Gosson Carandal Hale Noah Harris
Christian Hernandez Jaylon Hodge Peter Kazibwe
Kader Kohou Antonio Leali’ie’e Wyatt Leath
Darius Leonard-Williams Xavier Morris Solomon Nduwke
Dominique Ramsey Alex Shillow Amon Simon
Austin Smith Jontavis Smith Jake Viquez
Richard West Jemal Williams


NCAA DIVISION II SCHOOLS WITH 10 OR MORE GRADUATES

School Numbers of Degrees
Texas A&M-Commerce 29
New Haven (Conn.) 28
West Alabama 19
Shepherd (W.Va.) 16
Wingate (N.C.) 15
Henderson State (Ark.) 14
North Greenville (S.C.) 14
Slippery Rock (Pa.) 13
Concordia St. Paul (Minn.) 12
Colorado School of Mines 11
Fort Hays (Kan.) 11
Harding (Ark.) 11
West Florida 11
Ashland (Ohio) 10
Ferris State (Mich.) 10


TOP-FIVE SCHOOLS AMONG ALL OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL

School Numbers of Degrees Division
Texas A&M-Commerce 29 NCAA Division II
Illinois 29 NCAA Division I FBS
Baylor (Texas) 28 NCAA Division I FBS
New Haven (Conn.) 28 NCAA Division II
Western Kentucky 27 NCAA Division I FBS


LIONS CONTINUE RANKINGS RUN
• The Lions were ranked No. 11 nationally in the final 2019 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches Poll.
• A&M-Commerce is ranked No. 5 in the D2Football.Com poll and No. 7 in the AFCA poll this week.
• The Lions have been ranked in 67 consecutive AFCA polls, dating back to the 2015 preseason poll.
• The Lions have had 73 all-time appearances in the AFCA poll since its inception in 2000.
• In the polls recognized by Division II as the top rating system, the Lions have been recognized as a nationally ranked team 122 times since joining Division II in 1981.

WE’RE STILL GOING STREAKING!
• By qualifying for their fifth straight NCAA Division II Playoff berth in 2019, the Lions have the third-longest active playoff streak in the nation.
• Only Northwest Missouri State (16 straight) and Ferris State (six straight) have longer active playoff streaks than A&M-Commerce.
• In Lone Star Conference history, only A&M-Kingsville (1992-98, 7 straight) has a streak of more than four appearances. The Javelinas’ 1996-98 appearances were vacated by the action of the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
• The Lions have also advanced to the regional semifinal round for four consecutive seasons. 2018 national runner-up Ferris State has reached the regional semifinal five times in a row.

SENIORS SUCCEED OVER CAREER SPAN
• The 2019 senior class claimed sole possession of the school record for wins in a four-year period with 46. Their .845 winning percentage was second-best in school history.
• The 2021 senior class is already on pace to challenge those records with 35 wins and a .833 winning percentage.

Years Record Pct
2016-19 46-9 83.9
2015-18 43-10 81.1
2014-17 42-10 80.8
1951-54 36-5-2 86.0
2017-21* 36-7 83.7
2013-16 35-14 71.4
1957-60 34-7 82.9
1972-75 32-13-1 76.0
1936-39 31-8 79.5
1990-93 31-16-1 65.6

RAMSEY, SIMON, KOHOU NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS

• Dominique Ramsey and Amon Simon are named Preseason All-Americans by Lindy’s magazine this summer. Ramsey, Simon, and Kader Kohou are named Preseason All-Americans by D2Football.com

• Ramsey earned All-American honors as an all-purpose player, while Simon is honored as an offensive lineman.

• Ramsey and Simon were honored as First Team Preseason All-Americans in Lindy’s Sports before the anticipated 2020 season as well before that season was ultimately canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Kohou earned the first-team all-Lone Star Conference in 2019. 

• Ramsey – a redshirt senior from Converse (Judson) – earned three All-American honors in 2019 and has four postseason All-American awards in his career.

• He was named First Team All-American as an all-purpose player by the Associated Press and Second Team All-American as a return specialist and safety by the Division II Conference Commissioners’ Association (D2CCA).

• The Cliff Harris Award nominee was also named to the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football All-Texas, small college team, and earned First Team All-Super Region Four honors from the Division II Conference Commissioners Association as both a safety and return specialist.

• He earned Lone Star Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors twice in 2019, ranking second in the nation in kickoff return average at 37.5 yards per return, second in the LSC, and ninth in the country in punt return average at 14.7 yards per return. His return prowess has seen teams kick away from him, insomuch as he did not return a kickoff in the last three games of the regular season. He also had 39 tackles, three interceptions, two pass breakups, and two tackles for loss on defense.

• He is also named the Lone Star 

• Simon – a redshirt senior from Humble (Atascocita) – earned Second Team All-American honors from the Associated Press and D2CCA in 2019. In addition, he was on Dave Campbell’s Texas Football All-Texas small college team and earned First Team All-Super Region Four honors from the Division II Conference Commissioners Association. In 2019, Simon earned Lone Star Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year and First Team All-LSC honors at offensive tackle. He blocked for an offense that averaged 407.9 yards and 36.1 points per game during the regular season. 

• Kohou- a redshirt senior from Euless (Trinity) – earned first-team all-LSC in 2019, second-team in 2018. In 2019, he recorded 27 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss and had three interceptions, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and five pass breakups.

• For his career, Kohou has played in 33 games with 87 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, five interceptions, and 31 passes defended. He’s forced four fumbles and recovered three while returning an interception for a touchdown in each of the last two seasons. 

KOHOU NAMED TO THE PRESEASON STARTING LINEUP

• Kader Kohou – The College Football America Yearbook’s Preseason Starting Lineup named Kohou, a redshirt senior from Euless (Trinity) – earned first-team all-LSC in 2019, second-team in 2018. In 2019, he recorded 27 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss and had three interceptions, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and five pass breakups.

• For his career, Kohou has played in 33 games with 87 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, five interceptions, and 31 passes defended. He’s forced four fumbles and recovered three while returning an interception for a touchdown in each of the last two seasons. 

SMALLS, RAMSEY NAMED ON HARLON HILL TROPHY WATCHLIST

• Miklo Smalls and Dominique Ramsey of the Texas A&M University-Commerce football team are preseason contenders for the 2021 Harlon Hill Trophy by Turner Sports’ Wayne Cavadi on NCAA.com.

• The two current Lions look to join former star Luis Perez, who hoisted the trophy in 2017 on the way to leading A&M-Commerce to the 2017 National Championship. 

LIONS SWEEP LSC PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS

• Defensive back Dominique Ramsey is named the preseason Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Year, while quarterback Miklo Smalls is named the preseason LSC Offensive Player of the Year. 

•Ramsey- a redshirt senior from Converse (Judson), is selected as the conference’s preseason defensive player of the year, adding to a lengthy tally of honors in his career.

• The redshirt senior earned three All-American honors in 2019 and has four postseason All-American awards in his career. In addition, he was named First Team All-American as an all-purpose player by the Associated Press and Second Team All-American as both a return specialist and safety by the Division II Conference Commissioners’ Association (D2CCA).

• The Cliff Harris Award nominee was also named to the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football All-Texas, small college team, and earned First Team All-Super Region Four honors from the Division II Conference Commissioners Association as both a safety and return specialist. 

• Smalls- A senior from Plano (Plano-East), is the league’s preseason offensive player of the year after a phenomenal 2019 season at the quarterback position.

• He was named second-team all-Lone Star Conference and won LSC Offensive Player of the Week honors four times in 2019. Smalls completed 244-of-376 passes for 3,010 yards with 23 touchdowns against eight interceptions while also carrying the ball 124 times for 488 yards and three touchdowns.

• He had six games with multiple touchdowns passes, including five against Midwestern State. In the playoff wins over Tarleton and Colorado School of Mines, he had over 100 yards rushing and 150 yards passing in each contest. 

RIEBOCK NAMED TO DAVE CAMPBELL’S “40 UNDER 40”

• Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Billy Riebock received the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football 40 Under 40 list in the annual publication.

• Riebock is entering his second competitive season and the third year as the Lions’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, helping lead A&M-Commerce to the third round of the NCAA Division II playoffs, the Super Region Four finals, and an 11-3 overall record in 2019.

• In the first season with Riebock as coordinator, the Lions ranked first in the Lone Star Conference, eighth nationally in completion percentage, and third in the LSC in total offense. Offensive lineman Amon Simon received two All-American teams, two All-Region teams, and the LSC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year. Guard Deion Malone also earned All-Region and First Team All-LSC honors. Eight offensive players earned All-LSC recognition, representing every position group on the offense. 

ADIBI ELECTED TO VIRGINIA TECH HALL OF GAME

•Defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Xavier Adibi is part of the 2021 class into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

•Adibi is one of many in a long line of great Virginia Tech defensive backs, earning All-America honors and All-ACC recognition during an illustrious career from 2003-07. He became just the second linebacker in program history to earn All-America honors when he accomplished the feat as a senior following the 2007 season.

•Adibi led the Hokies that fall with 115 tackles, including a team-best 12 for a loss. He also added three sacks and two interceptions on his way to earning first-team All-ACC recognition. Behind him, Tech finished near the top of the ACC in virtually every defensive category that season, highlighted by a 30-16 win over No. 12 Boston College in the 2007 ACC championship game.

•A two-time All-ACC pick, Adibi earned second-team distinction in 2006 after finishing second on the team with 82 tackles, including 6.5 for a loss, three sacks, and three interceptions. The Hampton, Va., product started the final 40 games of his career, and he finished his career with 291 tackles, including 30 for a loss and 11 sacks.

•Adibi was a fourth-round draft pick (118th overall) by the Houston Texans in the 2008 NFL Draft. He played five seasons in the NFL – Houston (2008-10), Minnesota (2011), and Tennessee (2012). He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in apparel, housing, and resource management.

•Adibi enters his third year and second full playing season as the Lions’ defensive coordinator in 2021. Adibi’s defensive unit was one of the best in the Lone Star Conference in 2019, leading the league in sacks per game and finishing in the top two in total defense, passing yards allowed, rushing defense, red zone defense, defensive touchdowns, and tackles for loss. In addition, safety Dominique Ramsey received a first-team All-American, and the defense earned four all-region and seven all-LSC honors. 

SHILLOW NOMINATED FOR CAMPBELL TROPHY

• Alex Shillow is A&M-Commerce’s nominee for the National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy®. He was a semifinalist for the award in 2020.

• Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of playing eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first-team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The NFF Awards Committee selects the class each year and comprises a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers, and athletics administrators. 

• Shillow – a redshirt senior from Pflugerville – becomes the third Lion student-athlete to win multiple CoSIDA Academic All-America awards and the first Lion football player to do so. Andrew Davis (men’s basketball) was a third-team honoree in 2012 and a first-team honoree in 2013, and Jaslyn Wacker (volleyball) was a second-team selection in both 2017 and 2018.

• Shillow has distinguished himself on the field, in the classroom, and the community during his career at A&M-Commerce. In January 2020. They elected him to his second term as the NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Shillow served as the A&M-Commerce SAAC, won the last three LSC SAAC Cups, and was selected to reveal multiple Make-A-Wish recipients.

• He was a 2019 and 2020 nominee for the American Football Coaches Association’s Good Works Team and recipient of the NACDA John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship. In 2020, he was a national semifinalist for the National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy. Due to the unique settings of the pandemic, he is likely eligible for these awards again in the 2021 season.

• Following the 2019 season, Shillow was honored as a CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-America, the Lone Star Conference’s Fred Jacoby Academic Athlete of the Year, and the Lone Star Conference Academic Player of the Year in football. He graduated summa cum laude with his bachelor’s degree in sports management in August 2019 and his Master’s of Business Administration in December 2020. He currently continues graduate work in preparation for his final season of eligibility.

• On the field, Shillow has been named Second Team All-LSC in 2019 and 2017 with 159 tackles, four interceptions, 17 passes defended, three fumble recoveries, and 5.5 tackles for loss in 36 games over three seasons.

SHILLOW WAS NAMED FIRST TEAM COSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA, RAMSEY NAMED TO SECOND TEAM

• Two Lions were named to the 2020-21 Academic All-America® Football Team, as Alex Shillow earned first-team honors and Dominique Ramsey earned second-team honors.

• Division II members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) select the Academic All-America teams. The 2020-21 academic year base these honorees on career accomplishments instead of single-season statistics.

• Shillow earns Academic All-America honors for the second consecutive season after earning second-team honors in the 2019 season. It is the first Academic All-America honor for Ramsey.

• The duos are the 17th and 18th CoSIDA Academic All-Americas in A&M-Commerce history, and the football team now has eight honorees in program history. The Lions have had at least one CoSIDA Academic All-America in the last five years, which marks the longest streak in Lion Athletics history. 

• Shillow – a redshirt senior from Pflugerville – becomes the third Lion student-athlete to win multiple CoSIDA Academic All-America awards and the first Lion football player to do so. Andrew Davis (men’s basketball) was a third-team honoree in 2012 and a first-team honoree in 2013, and Jaslyn Wacker (volleyball) was a second-team selection in both 2017 and 2018.

• Shillow has distinguished himself on the field, in the classroom, and the community during his career at A&M-Commerce. In January 2020, he was elected to his second term as the NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Shillow served as the A&M-Commerce SAAC, which has won the last three LSC SAAC Cups, and they selected him to reveal multiple Make-A-Wish recipients.

• He was a 2019 and 2020 nominee for the American Football Coaches Association’s Good Works Team and recipient of the NACDA John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship. In 2020, he was a national semifinalist for the National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy. Due to the unique settings of the pandemic, he is likely eligible for these awards again in the 2021 season.

• Following the 2019 season, Shillow was honored as a CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-America, the Lone Star Conference’s Fred Jacoby Academic Athlete of the Year, and the Lone Star Conference Academic Player of the Year in football. He graduated summa cum laude with his bachelor’s degree in sports management in August 2019 and his Master’s of Business Administration in December 2020. He currently continues graduate work in preparation for his final season of eligibility.

• On the field, Shillow has been named Second Team All-LSC in 2019 and 2017 with 159 tackles, four interceptions, 17 passes defended, three fumble recoveries, and 5.5 tackles for loss in 36 games over three seasons. 

• Ramsey – a redshirt senior from Converse (Judson) – earned three All-American honors in 2019 and has four postseason All-American awards in his career. He was named First Team All-American as an all-purpose player by the Associated Press and Second Team All-American as a return specialist and safety by the Division II Conference Commissioners’ Association (D2CCA). The Cliff Harris Award nominee was also named to the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football All-Texas, small college team, and earned First Team All-Super Region Four honors from the D2CCA as a safety and return specialist.

• He was named the National Football Foundation Gridiron Club of Dallas Scholar-Athlete in 2021, as he graduated with his bachelor of science in industrial engineering in May. In addition, he’s named to the President’s List once, the Dean’s List four times, and the LSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll five times. He was also a 2019 Academic All-LSC selection. 

LEALI’IE’E AND SIMON WERE NAMED TO DAVE CAMPBELL’S TEXAS FOOTBALL PRESEASON ALL-TEXAS SMALL COLLEGE TEAM

• The Lions’ Antonio Leali’ie’e and Amon Simon have been named to the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Preseason All-Texas Small College Team in advance of the 2021 season.

• Dave Campbell’s Texas Football considered all four-year institutions of Division I FBS level for this team, which reflects the 2019 season statistics for the Lions. A&M-Commerce went 11-3 and advanced to the Super Regional finals under head coach David Bailiff in their first season. 

• Simon (Humble – Atascocita) had a spectacular 2019 season, earning second-team All-American honors from the Associated Press and D2CCA. The Lone Star Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year was also named first-team all-region by the D2CCA and earned his second consecutive first-team All-Lone Star Conference honor. As a result, Simon has the opportunity to become the first repeat winner of LSC Offensive Lineman of the Year in the non-divisional era since Texas A&M-Kingsville’s Moses Horn did so in 1986 and 1987. A&M-Commerce’s R.J. Brisbon won consecutive awards in 2008 and 2009, but the award was divisionally split from 1997-2010. 

• Leali’ie’e (Copperas Cove) was a first-team All-Lone Star Conference pick at running back in 2019, appearing in 10 games with 104 carries for 689 yards and seven touchdowns, for an average of 6.6 yards-per-carry and 68.9 yards per game. He had three games with over 100 yards rushing, including 18 carries for 169 yards against Midwestern State in a game where he also had a receiving touchdown. He had 17 carries for 133 yards, two touchdowns against Western New Mexico, and 13 carries for 141 yards, and a touchdown against Texas A&M-Kingsville. 

SHILLOW WAS NOMINATED FOR THE 2021 ALLSTATE/AFCA GOOD WORKS TEAM

• Shillow (Pflugerville) is one of 42 scholar-athletes from the Combined Divisions (FCS, Division II, Division III, and NAIA) vying for 11 spots on the Good Works Team. Since its inception in 1992, the award has shone a spotlight on selfless student-athletes. It honors their dedication to volunteerism, community service, and their commitment to enriching the lives of others. While players are often recognized for their accomplishments and achievements on game day, these student-athletes have made significant contributions to the greater good of society, inspiring future generations of young athletes and the larger college football community.

• Shillow was also a nominee for this award in 2019. As an active participant in multiple leadership roles for the Lions’ Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Shillow has led community service and fundraising efforts to raise awareness and funds for the Make A Wish Foundation. Shillow’s student-athlete group raised over $15,000 to grant two “Wish Kids” trips to Walt Disney World, as well as a trip to the NBA All-Star Game for the most recent “Wish Kid” at A&M-Commerce. Through fundraising initiatives and coordinated efforts, Shillow has also driven fundraisers and clothing donation collections to provide underprivileged families in the Commerce community with personalized gifts for Christmas.

• Shillow was also a leader of the Make It Important Campaign in the summer of 2020, which involved a video and an action plan to bring awareness to the social injustices going on in the country in response to the George Floyd murder.

• He led in getting his team registered to vote, along with other sports teams in the department, and initiated a conference-wide voter registration challenge. In addition, he sat on the university’s voter coalition committee to help make voter registration and voting more accessible for A&M-Commerce students. Shillow also led a virtual political open forum with two Texas state legislators, Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) and former Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton), in front of over 300 student-athletes and guests, moderating an insightful conversation and dialogue between Texas legislators and student-athletes. This initiative won 3rd place for the NCAA Division II Award of Excellence this past year.

• Shillow is also a leader and a part of Athletes In Action – a student-athlete faith-based organization.

• Shillow has also served on the NCAA Division II National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee from 2018-21 and was the national chair of the committee from 2019-21. He led the discussion and change around mental health, professional development, name image and likeness, and many student-athlete well-being topics, all while being a student-athlete and involved heavily in the Commerce community. 

LION FOOTBALL RANKED NO. 4 IN “TOP 20 PROGRAMS THAT INSPIRE”

• The Lion Football program was ranked No. 4 in College Athletic Advisor’s Top 20 Programs That Inspire.

• The program rankings are open to all four-year, collegiate-level programs outside of NCAA Division I and are based on a subjective assessment of student experience in four areas:

-Holistic development of student-athletes in the institution;

-Academic achievement and support for the academic success of student-athletes;

-Overall college experience for participants within the program;

-Affordability/graduation rates/student satisfaction.

• Although College Athletic Advisor’s list is subjective, the organization believes these rankings “present an informed starting point for a discussion about where student-athletes can excel as ‘triple-threat competitors’ (academics, athletics, and socially) in college and their future lives.” 

SMITH EARNS ALL-AMERICAN HONORS IN TRACK

• Jontavis “J.T.” Smith was the Lions’ running back to start the 2019 season but was injured in the Western Oregon game.

• He was prepared to compete in the 2020 season, but the COVID pandemic shut down his chances for that year.

• Smith joined the Lions’ track and field team and claimed three All-American honors and a national championship in the spring of 2021 outdoor season.

•He was the second leg in the Lions’ national championship 4×100 meter relay team that claimed the gold medal with a time of 39.69 seconds.

• Smith finished fifth in the 100-meter dash at 10.42 seconds and 12th in the 200-meter dash at 21.59.

Lion Football rises in AFCA Poll, steady at No. 5 in D2Football Poll.

COMMERCE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce football team rose to No. 7 in the first American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) poll of the 2021 season. It stayed at No. 5 in the D2Football.com poll in Monday’s releases. 

A&M-Commerce downed Colorado State-Pueblo, 12-6, on the road last Thursday. Although the Thunderwolves were ranked No. 12 in both polls, they fall to No. 19 in the AFCA rankings and No. 15 in the D2Football.com poll. 

The Lions were ranked No. 8 in the AFCA preseason poll and No. 5 in the D2Football.com Preseason. They have been ranked in 67 consecutive AFCA polls, dating back to the 2015 preseason poll. 

A&M-Commerce has had 73 all-time appearances in the AFCA poll since its inception in 2000. In the polls recognized by Division II as the top rating system, the Lions have been recognized as a nationally ranked team 122 times since joining Division II in 1981. 

Looking ahead, A&M-Commerce plays two teams that are currently ranked. West Florida, who the Lions play at home on September 18, is the No. 1 team in both polls. Angelo State is No. 22 in the AFCA poll and No. 17 in the D2Football.com poll. The Lions and the Rams play on November 6 in San Angelo.  

The Lions take on the Midwestern State Mustangs this Saturday at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington at 6 p.m. Ticket information can be found at LionAthletics.com/Arlington.2021 American Football Coaches Association Preseason Division II Coaches’ Poll – September 7, 2021.

AFCA Coaches Poll – September 7

Rank School (1st votes) Rec. Pts. Prev.
1 West Florida (28) 1-0 744 1
2 Ferris St. (Mich.) (1) 1-0 703 3
3 Minnesota St. 1-0 668 2
4 Northwest Missouri St. 1-0 629 4
5 Valdosta St. (Ga.) 1-0 599 6t
6 Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) (1) 1-0 593 6t
7 A&M-COMMERCE 1-0 560 8
8 Slippery Rock (Pa.) 1-0 547 5
9 Colorado School of Mines 1-0 504 10
10 Notre Dame (Ohio) 1-0 499 9
11 Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) 1-0 433 11
12 Indianapolis (Ind.) 1-0 399 14
13 Shepherd (W.Va.) 1-0 368 15
14 Grand Valley St. (Mich.) 0-0 308 16
15 Indiana (Pa.) 0-0 266 17
16 Tiffin (Ohio) 1-0 236 19
17 Harding (Ark.) 1-0 227 22
18 Kutztown (Pa.) 1-0 220 20
19 Colorado St.-Pueblo 0-1 201 12
20 Minnesota-Duluth 1-0 189 23
21 Wingate (N.C.) 1-0 156 24t
22 Angelo St. (Texas) 1-0 134 NR
23 Pittsburg St. (Kan.) 1-0 123 NR
24 West Georgia 1-0 71 NR
25 Bowie St. (Md.) 0-1 58 18

Dropped Out: Central Missouri (13), Lindenwood (Mo.) (21), Carson-Newman (Tenn.) (24t)

Others Receiving Votes: Delta St. (Miss.), 46; Augustana (S.D.), 34; Tusculum (Tenn.), 33; Henderson St. (Ark.), 31; West Texas A&M, 27; Nebraska-Kearney, 25; Central Missouri, 24; West Alabama, 21; Truman St. (Mo.), 15; Bentley (Mass.), 12; Midwestern St. (Texas), 11; Ashland (Ohio), 7; Charleston (W.Va.), 5; Fort Hays St. (Kan.), 5; West Chester (Pa.), 5; Washburn (Kan.), 4; California (Pa.), 3; Lindenwood (Mo.), 2; Virginia Union, 2; Carson-Newman (Tenn.), 1; Bemidji St. (Minn.), 1; UT-Permian Basin (Texas), 1.

D2Football.Com Poll – September 7

Rank School Rec. Prev.
1 West Florida 1-0 1
2 Ferris State 1-0 3
3 Minnesota State 1-0 2
4 Northwest Missouri 1-0 4
5 A&M-COMMERCE 1-0  5
6 Valdosta State 1-0 6
7 Lenoir-Rhyne 1-0 7
8 Colorado – Mines 1-0 8
9 Notre Dame 1-0 10
10 Slippery Rock 1-0 9
11 Ouachita Baptist 1-0 13
12 Harding 1-0 14
13 Indianapolis 1-0 15
14 Shepherd 1-0 19
15 CSU-Pueblo 0-1 12
16 Kutztown 1-0 16
17 Angelo State 1-0 25
18 Wingate 1-0 21
19 Tiffin 1-0 22
20 IUP 0-0 20
21 Grand Valley 0-0 24
22 West Georgia 1-0 NR
23 Bowie State 0-1 17
24 Pittsburg State 1-0 NR
25 Augustana 1-0 NR

Lion Athletics launches a new app.

COMMERCE – Texas A&M University-Commerce announced today the launch of a new mobile app for Lion fans. Developed in partnership with “From Now On,” the new TAMUC Lion Athletics app will be the premier location for Lion fans, students, alumni, and donors to keep up with the Lions on their mobile devices. 

The launch of the app also marks the return of the “Lion Rewards” program for A&M-Commerce students, who can check-in at events to earn points towards Lion gear. This check-in process will also be the entry system for the scholarship giveaway at each Lion Football game, including Saturday’s game at Choctaw Stadium. 

“This new app has functionality that will help engage our fans, students, donors, and alumni in ways we’ve never been able to connect before,” A&M-Commerce senior associate director of athletics Josh Manck said. “From Now On has put together a Best In a Class app that I truly believe will push everything we do forward.” 

The new TAMUC Lion Athletics app will provide fans a one-stop-shop location for fans to experience gameday, featuring multimedia content, schedules, live stats, team information, and guides. The new app will also feature new promotional offers for fans from various Lion corporate partners. 

Fans can download the new TAMUC Lion Athletics app today from the App Store and Google Play or by going here: https://tamuc-lions.app.link/launch. 

ABOUT FROM NOW ON

At “From Now On,” our focus is on facilitating fan engagement through mobile technology anytime, anywhere. Our flagship FanX™ Mobile Engagement Platform serves our growing roster of 100+ colleges, conferences, championships, and high schools to deliver personalized experiences to fans in-venue, on the go, and throughout the offseason at all levels of the game. 

You can learn more about “From Now On” and the FanX™ platform by visiting https://from-now-on.com/, or follow “From Now On:” Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn!