Albany State SIAC Awards
Albany State

SIAC names Players of the Year

The dominance of Stephan Pierre is awarded as he collects defensive player of the year and league MVP.

Linebacker Stephan Pierre of Albany State headlines the 2021 All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Football All-Conference team earning this year’s Overall Player of the Year (MVP) and Defensive Player of the Year award. The team, which features 26 student-athletes covering eleven positions, was voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.

Kentucky State’s Running back Brett Sylve was named Offensive Player of the Year alongside Lane’s Running back, Ike Brown, who earned Freshman of the Year.

Defensive Lineman, Jamal Holloway of Central State was tabbed Newcomer of the Year.

Gabe Giardina of Albany State was named the 2021 SIAC Coach of the Year.

Albany State’s Pierre was named this year’s Overall Player of the Year (MVP) and Defensive Player of the Year award. The sophomore linebacker controlled the field from sideline to sideline by leading the league in individual tackles (56 solo tackles). He also was credited with one sack for the season. The Florida native had two fumble recoveries as well as solid defense when dropping back in coverage. He led the Albany State defense to an undefeated conference record and a conference championship this season. The Golden Rams topped the conference in total defense, allowing just 197.6 yards per game, and led the league in rush defense and pass defense. ASU was also No. 1 in pass defense efficiency, allowing just 107.2 yards passing per game. The key to ASU’s defensive success was a result of their defensive line and linebacker’s ability to stop the run, who allowed just 89.8 yards per game.

Brett Sylve (Kentucky State) served as a leader for the Kentucky State Thorobreds and was named this year’s Offensive Player of the Year after averaging 141.18 all-purpose yards per game, good for 17th in Division II. He also led the league in scoring averaging 7.2 points per game on 17 rushing touchdowns this season, tied for 5th in Division II. The senior running back rushed for 933 yards this season averaging 93.3 yards per game.

In his first season with the Dragons, Ike Brown was an offensive threat in one of the best seasons in Lane College history. The Louisiana native ranked eighth in the league for total rushing yards with 623 yards on 176 rushes. He is ranked 3rd in scoring for the league collecting 66 points from 11 touchdowns.

Central State’s defensive end Jamal Holloway ranks among the top tacklers in the league finishing with 84 tackles (47 solo – 37 assisted) this season. Holloway has recorded 22 tackles of a loss, 8.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, five pass break ups, and one fumble recovery.

Gabe Giardina was named SIAC Coach of the Year (Photo credit: Vaughn Wilson)

Gabe Giardina, Head Football Coach at Albany State University, was tabbed this year’s SIAC Coach of the Year after leading the Golden Rams to an undefeated conference slate and a championship title. In his fifth season leading the Golden Rams, Giardina guided them to a No. 3 ranking in the NCAA Super Region poll, winning the SIAC’s Eastern Division and the conference title. The Golden Rams scoring defense leads the conference and ranks 1st in the country.


Albany State paced the all-conference teams with nine selections. Fort Valley State and Savannah State followed up with seven selections respectively ahead of Morehouse, Miles, and Lane who had six all-conference selections. Clark Atlanta and Kentucky State placed three on this year’s all-conference teams preceding Benedict and Central State who had two selections respectively. Tuskegee rounded out the 2021 SIAC Football All-Conference team with one selection each.

In its inaugural season, the Elite 14 award recognized the student-athlete who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the SIAC championship level in his or her sport while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. Zaquan Baldwin of Fort Valley State was the first recipient of this award in his respective sport.

(complete team listed below)



2021 SIAC Football All-Conference Team

First Team

PositionNameSchoolClassificationHometown
Offensive LinemanConnor VasherSavannah StateSophomoreEffingham, Ga.
Offensive LinemanEmmanuel BooneFort Valley StateSophomoreMacon, Ga.
Offensive LinemanTyler LowryMilesSophomoreEvergreen, Ala.
Offensive LinemanMiquail HarveyAlbany StateSeniorColumbus, Ga.
Offensive LinemanKaTray PringleAlbany StateSophomoreSt. George, S.C.
Tight EndMontavious TinchMilesGraduate StudentElberton, Ga.
Wide ReceiverAnthony EvelynLaneSeniorAtlantic Beach, Fla.
Wide ReceiverDalane Brown IICentral StateSeniorYoungstown, OH
Running BackIke BrownLaneFreshmanShreveport, La.
Running BackBrett SylveKentucky StateSeniorHammond, La.
QuarterbackMichael HuntleyLaneSeniorMontgomery, Ala.
Defensive LinemanMalik BarnesAlbany StateFreshmanNewton, Ga.
Defensive LinemanJamal HollowayCentral StateSeniorCamden, NJ
Defensive LinemanAntonio GoldenFort Valley StateSeniorMidway, Ga.
Defensive LinemanZaquan BaldwinFort Valley StateJuniorMacon, Ga.
LinebackerStephan PierreAlbany StateR-SophomoreTallahassee, Fl.
LinebackerDaniel NormanMorehouseJuniorOakland, CA
LinebackerDaylon LandMorehouseFreshmanBenton, AR
Defensive BackMitchell SmileyMilesJuniorHuntsville, Ala.
Defensive BackArmani MaddoxMorehouseFreshmanAtlanta, Ga.
Defensive BackCharles CrawfordClark AtlantaGraduate StudentPrichard, Ala.
Defensive BackZach AndersonFort Valley StateSeniorCairo, Ga.
KickerGabriel BallinasAlbany StateJuniorGuadalupe, Mexico
PunterJonatan WardKentucky StateSeniorAventura, Fla.
Punt ReturnerEinaj CarterSavannah StateSophomorePoughkeepsie, N.Y.
Kick ReturnerAnthony EvelynLaneSeniorAtlantic Beach, Fla.


Second Team

PositionNameSchoolClassificationHometown
Offensive LinemanTerrence JordanLaneFreshmanNew Orleans, LA
Offensive LinemanWaylin BellFort Valley StateJuniorHarlem, GA.
Offensive LinemanJosh SimonAlbany StateSophomoreAtlanta, Ga.
Offensive LinemanKyle FrazierSavannah StateRedshirt FreshmanAugusta, Ga.
Offensive LinemanNathan HarrisonTuskegeeSeniorTuskegee, Ala.
Tight EndTyree TaylorAlbany StateFreshmanSuwanne, Fla.
Wide ReceiverDrakar JerryClark AtlantaGraduate StudentMiami, Fla.
Wide ReceiverJoe’Vontae ShorterAlbany StateJuniorVicksburg, MS
Running BackEmanuel WilsonFort Valley StateR-SophomoreCharlotte, N.C.
Running BackDonte EdwardsMilesR-JuniorMobile, Ala.
QuarterbackEric PhoenixBenedictJuniorSavannah, Ga.
Defensive LinemanAndrew FarmerLaneSeniorJacksonville, Fla.
Defensive LinemanJaylun ThomasMilesGraduate StudentSylacauga, Ala.
Defensive LinemanMakenly NewbillSavannah StateJuniorSavannah, Ga.
Defensive LinemanMarqu DeweertMorehouseSeniorBellevue, WA
LinebackerN’Ktavious FloydMilesSeniorPhenix City, Ala.
LinebackerRodney LewisClark AtlantaSophomoreAtlanta, Ga.
LinebackerDarrell Dorris Jr.Kentucky StateFreshmanLancaster, CA
Defensive BackMarvin GrunshieSavannah StateSeniorReston, VA
Defensive BackNy’em BozemanSavannah StateSophomoreJacksonville, Fla.
Defensive BackCoemba JonesAlbany StateJuniorMiami, Fla.
Defensive BackTyler MooreFort Valley StateJuniorAshburn, Ga.
KickerRigoberto TinocoBenedictSeniorLyons, Ga.
PunterKenneth LockhartSavannah StateFreshmanHinesville, Ga.
Punt ReturnerMarqueiz PrideMorehouseSophomoreSeabring, Fla.
Kick ReturnerFrank Bailey Jr.MorehouseSeniorAtlanta, Ga.



Overall Player of the Year (MVP): Stephan Pierre, Albany State
Offensive Player of the Year: Brett Sylve, Kentucky State
Defensive Player of the Year: Stephan Pierre, Albany State
Freshman of the Year: Ike Brown, Lane
Newcomer of the Year: Jamal Holloway, Central State
Coach of the Year: Gabe Giardina, Albany State

Elite 14: Zaquan Baldwin, Fort Valley State

SIAC names Players of the Year
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