MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Even though the sting is still there from losing in the junior college national title game, Stephen Houston was soothed some what earlier this week.
The former Richmond Senior standout was a second-team selection on the National Junior College Athletic Association’s All-America team as a cornerback.
Houston was one of a handful of players from Georgia Military College who was either a first- or second-team pick this season.
“I was shocked,” Houston said. “It was me and four others to represent the school.”
Houston helped led Georgia Military College to the No. 1 ranking and a berth in the Mississippi Bowl against East Mississippi Community College. The Lions knocked off the Bulldogs 52-32 to claim the national championship.
Georgia Military finished the year with an 11-1 mark and were third in the final poll behind East Mississippi (12-0) and Iowa Western Community College (11-1).
Houston completed the season with 36 tackles and a sack. He led Georgia Military College with four interceptions and was second on the squad with 10 pass breakups. Houston also returned a kick for a touchdown.
As a defense, the Bulldogs limited their opponents to 305.5 yards of total offense a game, 205.2 in the air. The opposition averaged 20.4 points a game against Houston and the rest of the Georgia Military College defensive unit.
Before the national title tilt, Houston was hoping his play against East Mississippi would improve his stock with NCAA Division I schools. Houston had one scholarship offer on the table from Alabama-Birmingham but hinted he is beginning to be contacted by more teams since facing the Lions. Houston added he plans on announcing his college decision on national signing day, Feb. 5.
Another player with local ties named to the NJCAA All-America second team was former Hoke County star linebacker Christian Russell, who recently committed to Ole Miss. While at Hoke, Russell had committed to North Carolina. Russell was second on the East Mississippi team with 80 total tackles. He forced two fumbles, had two interceptions and recovered a fumble. Russell also added eight pass breakups.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.