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Peach Belt Announces Men’s Soccer All-Conference Team

AUGUSTA, GA -- The Peach Belt Conference has announced the 2008 men’s soccer all-conference team. The announcement was made at a luncheon in Evans, Ga., site of the PBC Championship Tournament. Lander’s Aaron Brittain was named the PBC Player of the Year while Clayton State’s Leighton Fredericks was honored as the Freshman of the Year. Francis Marion’s Kevin Varnado was named the Coach of the Year. The PBC named 23 student-athletes to the all-conference team with 11 receiving first-team honors. A tie for the final at-large spot boosted the second-team number to 12.

Brittain led the Peach Belt Conference in total points in 2008 with 29 and was second in the PBC with 12 goals. The sophomore from Cleveland, England, had three game-winning goals during the course of the regular season an had two multi-goal games. Brittain continues a rich history of men’s soccer at Lander, becoming the seventh Bearcat to earn PBC Player of the Year honors and the third in the last four years. Nick Cooke last won the award for Lander in 2006.

Fredericks made an immediate impact in his first year in the Peach Belt, leading the conference in goals scored with 13. But it wasn’t so much how much he scored as when he scored them. One of the great clutch players in the league, Fredericksled the PBC with five game-winning goals, three of those coming in overtime games. From Johannesburg, South Africa, Fredericks is the second straight Laker to win the Freshman of the Year honor and third overall. Jamal Geathers took it last season.

Francis Marion head coach Kevin Varnado took a team that was picked fifth in the preseason poll and led them to their first PBC regular-season championship since 2002. In only his second season at the school, Varnado completed a massive turnaround as Patriots went from 5-12-1 to 11-4-3 in one year. FMU is 5-0-1 in the Peach Belt and the top seed for the PBC Tournament. Francis Marion has done it with balance; the team leads the PBC in points and is second in goals while also being third in fewest goals allowed. Varnado becomes only the second FMU coach to win the award, current FMU athletic director Murray Hartzler won it twice in 2000 and 2002.

The 2008 All-Conference team is listed below as selected by the league’s head coaches. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.

Forwards
First Team
Adam Arthur, Lander
Aaron Brittain, Lander
Second Team
Leighton Fredericks, Clayton State
Juan Rivas, Francis Marion

Midfielders
First Team
Kyle Clinton, Francis Marion
Miguel Ferrer, UNC Pembroke
Johnny Lara, Clayton State
Second Team
Jamie Davidson, Lander
Ivan Juric, Francis Marion
Kyle Timm, Clayton State

Defenders
First Team
Martyn Bell, Lander
Ben Chedgy, North Georgia
Willie Hunt, Francis Marion
Second Team
Patrick Ahern, Clayton State
John Lesko, USC Aiken
Michael Morgan, Georgia Southwestern

Goalkeepers
First Team
Billy Hale, Lander
Second Team
Clark Richeson, Francis Marion

At-Large
First Team
Kofi Akyere, USC Aiken
Terry Gibbs, North Georgia
Second Team
Horatio Bynes, UNC Pembroke
Matty Phillips, Clayton State
Adrian Sikorski, Francis Marion

Player of the Year
Aaron Brittain, Lander

Freshman of the Year
Leighton Fredericks, Clayton State

Coach of the Year
Kevin Varnado, Francis Marion

Men's Soccer 1st Team All-Conference

Men's Soccer 2nd Team All-Conference
PBC Commissioner David Brunk presents Lander's Aaron Brittain with the Player of the Year award.