November 15, 2001

W&L FOOTBALL PLACES SIX ON VERIZON ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT TEAM

LEXINGTON, Va. -- Washington and Lee placed six players on the Verizon College Division Academic All-District Team that was announced Thursday afternoon.

Senior linebacker Jeff Bahl (Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Country Day), sophomore defensive lineman Jess Lipsey (Longwood, Fla./Lake Brantley), junior offensive lineman John Melillo (Forney, Texas/Belle Plaine), junior running back Chris Sullivan (San Antonio, Texas/Alamo Heights), junior tight end Jay Thomas (Houston, Texas/Kincaid) and senior placekicker Brad Wiginton (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) were all placed on the 22-member team. Each will now be eligible for Verizon Academic All-America honors.

Bahl's selection to the all-district team is the third of his career. A business administration major who carries a 3.53 overall GPA, Bahl tied for second in the ODAC with 93 total tackles. He also posted six sacks, four fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and blocked two kicks. He ended his career with 16.5 sacks and 15 fumble recoveries.

Lipsey is an accounting major with a 3.68 GPA. He started all 10 games at nose tackle, recording 43 tackles,including 5.5 for a loss.

Another repeat member of the team, Melillo is an English and history double-major with a 3.98 GPA. He is part of an offensive line that helped the Generals average 182.5 yards per game on the ground and 331.0 yards overall. The line surrendered just 10 sacks in 276 pass attempts.

Sullivan, a computer science major with a 3.65 grade-point average, is also a repeat selection on the team. He led all of Division III in all-purpose yards with a school-record 2,024 yards. Sullivan also ranked 16th nationally in kick returns (26.7 ypr.) and 25th nationally in rushing (118.9 ypg.). He scored 10 touchdowns on the season.

A business administration major with a 3.77 GPA, Thomas recorded team-highs in receptions (38), receiving yards (575) and receiving touchdowns (6) during the 2001 season.

Wiginton is a three-time selection to the team. A finance major who claims a 3.69 GPA, Wiginton hit 12-of-18 field goals and 26-of-26 PAT attempts in 2001. He ends his career with a school-record 98 made PAT's. He is also second all-time in field goals (23) and PAT percentage (.951).

The Verizon Academic All-District team includes players from small colleges in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Twelve of the 22 selections came from the Old Dominion Athletic Conference as Hampden-Sydney College had four selections, while Guilford College had two and Randolph-Macon College had one.

-- GENERALS --