First media day event for Savannah State’s new head football coach

Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 4:30 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (WTOC) - The SIAC Football Media Days returned to in-person for the first time since the pandemic.

The Savannah State Tigers were on hand as a new era of Tiger Football begins on the marsh.

In the preseason polls, Savannah State was picked to finish third in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference - East Division behind the reigning champions, Albany State, and Benedict College.

Preseason honors are voted on by head coaches in the conference and sports information directors.

Defensive lineman Makenly Newbill was named to the All-SIAC First Team. Newbill helped Savannah State become the second-best defense in the conference and a top-12 defense in all of Division II with 22-and-a-half tackles, three tackles for a loss, one sack and a quarterback hurry.

Since the 2021 season ended, the Tigers have undergone a head coaching change after Shawn Quinn stepped down.

Aaron Kelton is now at the helm, but Newbill - a South Effingham alum - said that the team has bought in.

“The change wasn’t easy, but you know, we embraced everybody, so whatever happened, you feel me, we were going to have to embrace. We were going to have get with it or we weren’t going to gel in the season, so after everybody accepted Coach Kelton really well and enjoyed him being around. It’s just a different thing and we like the difference,” Newbill said.

Kelton said he hopes to build on the momentum the Tigers have had since their 2019 campaign.

“We’ll spread it a lot more, and we’ll still have some phases of the option stuff, because they do it well, you know? So, we’re going to continue to keep that stuff in the offense, but you’ll see us throw the ball around quite a bit more. We’re going to be aggressive offensively, defensively, and in the kick game, you know, we think that we’ve got some players in all phases and we’re going to exploit that. We’re going to use our good players to make plays, and like I said, we’re going to have fun. We’re going to be fast and physical- that’s important to us,” Kelton said.

Offensive lineman Kyle Fraizer was named to the All-SIAC Second Team and was also representing the Tigers at Media Day. One of four Tigers to receive a preseason nod.

The Tigers begin practice at the beginning of August and kick off their 2022 campaign in T.A. Wright Stadium against Southeastern University on Sept. 3.

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