November 14, 2002

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

VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Washington and Lee placed five players on the Verizon College Division Academic All-District Team that was announced Thursday afternoon.

Senior linebacker Andrew James (El Dorado, Ark./El Dorado), junior nose tackle Jess Lipsey (Longwood, Fla./Lake Brantley), senior offensive lineman John Melillo (Forney, Texas/Belle Plaine), senior running back Chris Sullivan (San Antonio, Texas/Alamo Heights) and senior tight end Jay Thomas (Houston, Texas/Kincaid) were all placed on the 23-member team. Each will now be eligible for Verizon Academic All-America honors.

James is a biology major with a 3.60 GPA. He has started all nine games thus far, claiming 50 tackles, four sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery.

Lipsey earned his second-straight selection to the academic all-district team. He carries a 3.57 GPA in business administration and accounting and has tallied 47 tackles, including seven for a loss, and one sack.

Melillo earned his third-straight selection to the team and is an English major with a 4.0 GPA. He is part of an offensive line that has helped the Generals average 136.4 yards per game on the ground and has surrendered just 11 sacks in 282 pass attempts.

Sullivan also earned his third-straight academic all-district award after compiling 1,027 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in nine games thus far. A computer science major with a 3.59 grade-point average, Sullivan currently ranks 10th in Division III in all-purpose yards (183.8 ypg.) after leading Division III last season (202.4 ypg.).

A business administration major with a 3.83 GPA, Thomas earned a second straight selection to the all-district team. He caught 16 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns before being lost for the season with an injury against Sewanee. Thomas went on to earn First Team Verizon Academic All-America honors last season.

The Verizon Academic All-District team includes players from small colleges in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Nine of the 23 selections came from the Old Dominion Athletic Conference as Hampden-Sydney College had three selections and Bridgewater College had one selection.

-- GENERALS --