Shasta College players celebrate after winning a game in 2017. (Mike Daly Photography)
Shasta College was promoted to the CCCAA National Division after dominating the American Division for the past four years, which included four straight Pacific 7 League titles, two Division Championships and four straight bowl games. The Knights have to replace a lot but the recruiting has ramped up to compete among one of the toughest conferences in not on California but the country.
Here’s some facts and figures for the 2018 Knights:
The Knights turned in their fifth straight winning season in 2017, the longest streak in program history. Before this stretch, Shasta never had more than four consecutive seasons above a .500 winning percentage.
Shasta will have to replace starting running back Justin Hellyer, who racked up 928 total yards last season for the Knights, 730 of which came on the ground as the leading rusher. Hellyer accounted for 2,071 total yards (1,579 rushing, 447 receiving) in his two-years at Shasta and he won back-to-back Pacific 7 League Offensive MVP awards.
Shasta won its final seven games following an 0-3 start to claim its second CCCAA American Division Championship in three years. It’s the second straight year the Knights won seven straight games and they have only won seven straight at any point twice in program history (1983 and 1987).
The Knights are moving to the National Division after racking up 34 wins in the past four years, which was the most among any other American Division team in that span.
The offensive firepower the Knights have held during their record-setting five-year span has been unprecedented for the program. Shasta has averaged 40.5 points per game over the past half-decade (53 games).