Valparaiso University’s Greg Wood (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville H.S.) was a unanimous First Team All-Pioneer Football League selection while seven other Crusaders earned Honorable Mention All-PFL honors as the conference announced its postseason awards.
Sean McCarty (Waukesha, Wis./West H.S.), Nate Blair (Crete, Ill./Andrean H.S.), and Ferdinand Velez (Chicago, Ill./Saint Patrick H.S.) all earned Honorable Mention honors from the offense. The defense was represented by Grant Bushong (Ionia, Mich./Ionia H.S.), Brian Plachinski (South Milwaukee, Wis./South Milwaukee H.S.), Cody Gokan (Round Lake, Ill./Mundelein H.S.), and Adrian Gober (Gary, Ind./Merrillville H.S.).
Wood, a sophomore punter, set a new school and PFL record averaging 43.6 yards per punt this year. He landed 17 of his 67 kicks inside the opponent’s 20 yard line and booted 14 for 50 yards or more. Wood had a career-long 71-yard punt in the season finale at Morehead State.
McCarty, a redshirt-junior wide receiver, led the Crusaders with 43 receptions for 526 yards on the season. He hauled in three touchdown tosses. Blair and Velez both started all 11 games on the offensive line. Blair, a junior left tackle, earned his second straight Honorable Mention All-PFL honor. Velez, a junior center, also served as the team’s long snapper on special teams.
Bushong, a junior defensive lineman, made 59 tackles for Valpo this season, including six for loss. He had 2.5 quarterback sacks, intercepted a pass, and broke up another. Plachinski, also a junior defensive lineman, made 28 stops, including seven for loss, second most on the team. He had a team-high five quarterback sacks.
Gokan, a redshirt-sophomore linebacker, finished second on the team with 69 tackles in just nine games. He had three tackles for loss, including a quarterback sack, recovered a fumble, and broke up a pass. Gober, a fifth-year senior defensive back, closed his career with 64 tackles, including three behind the line of scrimmage. He shared the team lead with three interceptions, broke up five other passes, and recovered a fumble.