July 31, 2013

Six Butler Players Earn Preseason All-PFL Honors

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Six Butler football players, including quarterback Matt Lancaster, are among 29 athletes named to the 2013 Preseason All-Pioneer Football League Team.  The honor squad was released by the league office on Wednesday (July 30).

Lancaster, who was named 2012 PFL Offensive Player of the Year, headlined the preseason offensive unit, which included three additional Butler players.  Trae Heeter earned a berth on the All-PFL squad as a running back, Brendan Shannon was named as a wide receiver and David Tiwari made the team as an offensive lineman.

Other offensive players selected were wide receivers Sam Hoekstra of San Diego and Nick Rosa of Drake, tight end Reese Williams of Davidson, running backs Rees Macshara of Morehead State and Lawrence Larivee of San Diego and offensive linemen Dan Bostick and Tramell Williams of Jacksonville, Phede Celestin of Marist and Cody Tescher of San Diego.

The preseason All-PFL defensive unit included Butler players Jeremy Stephens (DL) and Sean Grady (DB).  Also selected were defensive linemen Pat Dowd of Dayton, Terrence Fede of Marist and Juan Pimienta of Jacksonville, linebackers John Hugunin and Travis Mettitt of Drake, Colin Monnier of Dayton, Tre Davis of Jacksonville and Jordan Hendrix of Morehead State, and defensive backs Jordan Dewhirst of Jacksonville, Mike Ratelle of Drake and Kyle Sebetic of Dayton.

Named as special teams players were placekicker Dylan Lynch of Jacksonville, punter Adam Lutz of Campbell and return specialist Sam Hoekstra of San Diego.

Jacksonville matched Butler with six players selected to the preseason All-PFL Team.  San Diego and Drake each had four players named to the squad, Dayton had three tabbed, Morehead State and Marist each placed two on the team and Davidson and Campbell each had one.  Returning players who were selected to the league's 2012 All-PFL team were automatically selected to the preseason team in order of voting.  Thirteen preseason selections were first team picks last season.

Lancaster, heading into his final season with the Bulldogs, ranked second in the PFL in total offense (3,116 yards), third in touchdown passes (21) and fourth in passing efficiency (140.5) in 2012.  He led all PFL quarterbacks with 408 rushing yards on 111 carries, and he ranked ninth nationally in point responsibility (16.18 per game).

Heeter, who led the PFL in rushing with 1,103 yards in 2012, was Butler's Offensive MVP last season.  The Butler tailback tied for the PFL lead in touchdowns with 11 in 2012.  Shannon led the Bulldogs and ranked fourth in the PFL in receiving with 864 yards and eight touchdowns on 62 catches.  Tiwari was a starting offensive lineman in all 11 games in 2012, helping the Bulldogs rank second in the league in total offense.

Grady finished second on the squad and 12th in the PFL in tackles with 84, while Stephens was fourth on the team and tied for 21st in the league with 71 stops.  Stephens led all PFL defensive lineman in tackles, and he ranked second in the conference in tackles for loss (14).  Grady ranked third among league defensive backs in tackles and stood fifth in the PFL in passes defended (10).

Butler reports for practice on August 7.  The Bulldogs will open the 2013 season on at South Dakota State on Aug. 31 and will begin their quest for a second straight PFL title at Jacksonville on Sept. 28.