Reigning NJCAA Return Yardage Champion becomes first Bears’ Football All-American of decade
Phoenix, Arizona – December 21, 2016 -- Phoenix College is proud to announce that PC Football player Damon Sheehy (DAY-munn SHEE-hee) has been named as an NJCAA Football 1st Team All-American. Sheehy is one of seven football players representing the Western States Football League on the 1st Team of the NJCAA All-American squad. Sheehy is also the first Bears’ Football player to earn NJCAA All-American status in this decade. The announcement comes just a little over a month after Sheehy walked off the Hoy Stadium field for the final time as a Bears’ player after helping lead the Bears to the most wins in a single season since 2008.
Sheehy continues to be at the top of the list of examples that the Bears’ Football program is on the upward path towards success both on and off the field for the first time in nearly a decade. Sheehy and Bears’ Head Football Coach Dan Cozzetto first crossed paths when Cozzetto was frantically assembling his initial recruiting class after being hired in late January of 2015. The wide receiver from Lake Havasu City wasn’t on the field during Cozzetto’s first game as head coach last year, but saw an opportunity when Cozzetto sent Sheehy back to return a kickoff in Week 2, and found a home there from then on. Sheehy’s 1178 kickoff return yards was easily the most in the WSFL during his freshman year, and he earned 1st Team All-ACCAC honors last year as a result.
This year, despite battling nagging leg injuries that kept him out of two games in the middle of the season, opposing special teams simply had no answer for Sheehy’s elusiveness and burst of speed when he saw an opening on kickoffs or punts. Sheehy scored a touchdown in three of the Bears’ first four games of the season-all either from a kick or a punt return-running back a punt 77 yards in the season opener against Tucson Tech for a score; taking a kickoff from his own 2-yard line to paydirt in the Bears’ 2nd game of the season at Glendale; then taking another kickoff back 95 yards to the end zone two weeks later at Scottsdale. In fact, the only thing that prevented Sheehy from putting two more returns in the end zone during that stretch of games was penalties, since he had a punt return touchdown called back against Glendale and against Mesa. Once Sheehy got healthy again in late October, he formally announced to the NJCAA Football world that he was back by returning a 94-yard kick return to ‘the house’ in the 2nd quarter, and a 95-yarder for six points in the 3rd quarter in his first game back at Pima. For the season, Sheehy led the nation in kick return yardage (1278 yards) and kick return touchdowns (4), and was 2nd in the NJCAA in yards per kick return (32.8 YPR, 2nd (ironically) behind his own teammate, Spencer Knox) and punt return yards (400).
Now Sheehy has one more semester at PC to nail down an Associate’s degree as well as determine his new four-year home. The Bears finished with a 5-6 overall record (their best in eight years), and a 2-5 mark in WSFL play.