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Pettis Earns Preseason A-Sun Honor; Bisons Picked Sixth

Wednesday, August 03, 2011
by Colby Wilson

MACON, Ga. – The Atlantic Sun preseason All-Conference teams were announced, Wednesday, with Lipscomb’s Garret Pettis earning recognition from the conference’s coaches.

“Obviously, this is a much-deserved recognition,” said Lipscomb head coach Charles Morrow. “He has had a big impact on the league since his freshman year (when he was Lipscomb’s first A-Sun Freshman of the Year), and he’s followed up on that.”

Pettis, a first-team all-Atlantic Sun pick last season, tied for the Lipscomb lead with eight goals and 19 points. His 51 shots led the squad, as did his 20 shots on goal.

The Elizabethtown, Pa., native stands to pass significant milestones during his senior campaign; Pettis is currently ranked second all-time in goals (24) and third in shots taken (143) and points (55).

After finishing last regular season in a fourth-place tie with Mercer, this year’s Bison squad was picked to finish sixth in the coach’s preseason poll. Last year’s regular season champion, Florida Gulf Coast, was picked to repeat in what will be their first season as a full member institution of the Atlantic Sun.

“I think we are much better (than sixth),” said Morrow. “We’ve proven that we can play the underdog role and play it well. Our guys will see that ranking as a challenge; I suspect they’ll feel slighted and use that as motivation.”

2010 tournament champion ETSU was picked to finish as the runner-up to Florida Gulf Coast, losing in a 5-4 vote from the league’s coaches; on points, Gulf Coast narrowly edged the Bucs, 77-76.

For the second-straight season, ETSU and Summers-Taylor Stadium will host the Atlantic Sun Men’s Soccer Championship. The tournament takes place from November 9-13 with the First, Semifinal and Championship Rounds all taking place in Johnson City, Tenn.

“Last season, we took (eventual champion) ETSU to overtime twice, and we also took Gulf Coast to overtime,” said Morrow. “Our players know we can play with anyone in the conference.”

ETSU’s Itode Fubara was named preseason Player of the Year, while Florida Gulf Coast’s Adam Glick was preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Fubara, Glick, ETSU’s Aaron Schoenfield and Florida Gulf Coast’s Deion Jones were the only unanimous all-conference selections.

Lipscomb’s men will convene for camp beginning next week, with the first exhibition scheduled at UAB, Aug. 20. The Bisons will open the regular season Friday, August 26 against Georgia State.