Shegog to be honored at public reception in Cleveland this weekend
CLEVELAND, Miss. — Delta State University quarterback Patrick Shegog of Batesville was named the 2023 winner of the C Spire Conerly Trophy last Tuesday by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame (MSHoF) in Jackson. The Conerly Trophy is presented annually to Mississippi’s top collegiate football player as voted on by members of the state’s sports media outlets.
Upon accepting the award, Shegog came to the podium and said, “Y’all bear with me, my heart is about to beat out of my chest.”
He thanked his family, friends, teammates, the Conerly family, the voters and C Spire, saying, “Being a kid from Batesville, Mississippi and to win this award, it’s just crazy. I will forever be grateful.”
Delta State players have won the Conerly Trophy more than any other non-Division I program in Mississippi. DSU running back Tregnel Thomas from Pascagoula won the first Conerly Trophy in 1996. In 2000, Statesmen quarterback Josh Bright, also of Batesville, took home the trophy prior to the Statesmen winning the NCAA Division II national championship.
“I couldn’t have done this without the best teammates and coaches in the world, and I love and appreciate every single one of them,” said Shegog. “It brings me great joy knowing how much this award means to the Delta State community. I appreciate all of the support. It means the absolute world to me.”
Shegog is also a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division II football by the Little Rock Touchdown Club and Great American Conference. The presentation of the trophy and celebration of the winner will occur at the annual Little Rock Touchdown Club awards banquet on January 12, 2024.
Shegog passed for 2,618 yards and 32 touchdowns with just two interceptions over 300 pass attempts in 2023. He also averaged 57.5 rushing yards per game with 12 touchdowns on the ground. Shegog is a graduate student in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation program at DSU, and will graduate in December with a Master of Science in Sport and Human Performance degree. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from DSU in May 2022.
Shegog was joined at the ceremony by his parents Michelle and Patrick Shegog, Sr., as well as DSU Head Football Coach Todd Cooley and his wife Dr. Lisa Cooley, Interim Assistant Dean of the College of Business and Aviation, DSU Athletics Director Mike Kinnison, and Athletics Development Officer Kel Lange.
“If I had a son of my own, I’d want him to be like Patrick Shegog,” said Cooley. “He’s the best player I’ve ever coached.”
Kinnison said, “Patrick is an outstanding representative for our university. He gave us a season of accomplishments that will be long remembered. He is a great credit to our program and his family.”
DSU President Dr. Dan Ennis said, “Patrick is an outstanding student athlete and a remarkable young man. We are immensely proud of him. He sets the kind of example for which we want all of our students to strive for.”
The Statesmen finished the 2023 season with a record of 10-2 and a conference record of 7-1, capturing the football program’s 8th Gulf South Conference championship. Shegog was named the GSC Player of the Year for the second straight year. He tied the Statesmen record for touchdowns in a game with 6 against the University of West Florida on November 18 during the first round of the NCAA DII playoffs.
A reception honoring Shegog will be held Saturday, Dec. 9 from 3-5 p.m. at the Warehouse in Cleveland. Previous Conerly Trophy winners Thomas and Bright will also be in attendance. Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited to attend.