ST. LOUIS – Twenty-eight student-athletes were named to the 2014 Preseason All-Pioneer Football League Team, announced Wednesday, and as selected by the league’s head coaches.
A trio of returning standouts for the Stetson Hatters were recognized as members of the preseason squad.
The PFL will host its preseason coaches teleconference at 11 a.m., Thursday. The league released its preseason coaches poll, Tuesday.
Returning players who were selected to the league’s 2013 All-PFL Teams were placed automatically on the 2014 Preseason All-PFL team in order of voting. Nine preseason selections were first-team honorees last season, 14 earned second-team honors with the remaining six players were honorable mention picks.
Dayton redshirt-senior quarterback Will Bardo is the signal-caller on the PFL’s preseason squad after tossing 13 touchdowns and running for nine more while racking up 2,434 total offensive yards. Each member of the three-man wide receivers group recorded 1,000 yards receiving in 2013. It is led by San Diego redshirt senior Reggie Bell (65 receptions, 1,050 yards, 9 TDs) and Jacksonville senior Andrew Robustelli (51 receptions, 1,063 yards, 11 TDs), who were both First Team All-PFL selections in 2013. Davidson junior wideout William Morris (67 receptions, 1,090 yards, 5 TDs) rounds out the trio. Drake sophomore tight end Eric Saubert (47 receptions, 549 yards) returns after earning First Team All-PFL honors in his rookie campaign.
A pair of second-team All-PFL selections highlight the backfield with Dayton redshirt senior Connor Kacsor (177 carries, 956 yards, 10 TDs) and Marist redshirt senior Atiq Lucas (166 carries, 798 yards, 11 TDs) each returning at running back. Stetson sophomore fullback Mike Yonker (370 all-purpose yards) returns to marshal the backfield.
The preseason offensive line is dominated by Butler and San Diego, which had two selections each. Butler redshirt sophomore David Tiwari and sophomore Mike Demos were joined by San Diego junior Pono Keni and redshirt junior Daniel Murray. Drake senior Troy Whitmer is the experienced hand in the five-man unit.
On the other side of the ball, the league’s four-man defensive line is led by Dayton redshirt senior Pat Dowd (37 tackles, 12½ TFL, 11½ sacks), who is the lone returning First Team All-PFL pick in the group. Drake redshirt senior Matt Acree (32 tackles, 5½ TFL, 5 sacks) is the other returning upperclassmen on the line. The offensive line also features two underclassmen as Jacksonville sophomore Maroa White (55 tackles, 12 TFL, 5 sacks) and Campbell defensive lineman Ugonna Awuruonye (44 tackles, 14 TFL, 7 sacks) round out the unit.
A pair of returning First Team All-PFL picks lead the league’s linebacker corps: Drake junior John Hugunin (113 tackles, 11 TFL) and Marist redshirt senior Paul Sakowski (62 tackles) each return after impressive campaigns. Davidson senior Matt Casey (106 tackles) and Jacksonville redshirt junior Mike Klein (76 tackles) were Second Team All-PFL selections at linebacker last season.
Stetson landed a pair of student-athletes on the five-man defensive back squad, with sophomores Donald Payne (113 tackles, 16 TFL, 4.5 sacks) and Chris Atkins (6 interceptions, 14 passes defensed) returning to lead the second-year squad. Three upperclassmen round out the defensive backfield: Marist senior Zach Adler (5 interceptions, 10 passes defensed), Drake junior Brad Duwe (3 interceptions) and San Diego redshirt senior Troy McClelland (50 tackles, 8 passes defensed).
The league’s special teams unit will see two First Team All-PFL honorees return for their sophomore year: Dayton placekicker William Will (10-12 FG, 41 PATs, 71 points) and Drake punter Cam Bohnert (50 punts, 39.8 yards per punt). Morehead State redshirt senior Brandon Bornhauser (36 total kick returns, 7.8 yards per punt return, 26.7 yards per kick return) picked up the nod as the league’s preseason pick as return specialist.