The University of the Cumberlands (UC) football team in on the verge of playing for their first NAIA Football National Championship this weekend in Rome, GA.
With the Patriots at 13-0 and currently ranked No. 1 in the NAIA, UC has had an incredible season that saw numerous school records shattered, numerous weekly awards won, and many victorious games on the field. The Patriots thus far have received many awards for their efforts, but one Patriot earned another individual award.
Senior linebacker Weston Hazelhurst (Clinton, TN) was just named a 2013 AFCA NAIA 2nd Team All-American. Hazelhurst is the fourth Patriot to be selected to the AFCA NAIA All-American team from UC. Terrance Cobb (Knoxville, TN) was named a 1st Team All-American last season. Defensive back David Carmichael was named to the team in 1987 while offensive lineman Ralph McWilliams earned the honor in 1989.
Hazelhurst is in the midst of a season to remember this year as he helped carry the load for the Patriot defense all season long. Weston has 114 total tackles including 45 unassisted tackles. He also has 17.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks on the year. His most memorable game of the season has to be UC’s NAIA FCS Semifinal game against Carroll where Hazelhurst accumulated 17 tackles including a crucial sack to end the game with a 34-27 overtime victory. Weston broke the school record for most tackles in a playoff game with his 17 tackles performance against the Saints of Carroll.
The AFCA is the American Football Coaches Association and its members are coaches from all over the country. The AFCA has selected an All-American team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best-the coaches themselves.
Hazelhurst and the rest of the Patriots are finishing their final prep for the 58th Annual Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship on Saturday December 21st against No. 2 Grand View University. Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm at Barron Stadium in Rome, GA. You can watch the game on ESPN 3 or listen at www.cumberlandspatriots.com.