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Byrne Named First Team All-Pioneer Football League North Division for Second Straight Year
Thursday, November 21, 2002Valparaiso University offensive lineman Tom Byrne was selected First Team All-Pioneer Football League North Division by the league's coaches. Four other Crusaders - wide receiver Rob Giancola, tight end Greg Sommersberger, placekicker Adam Hudak and punter Ryan Bateman - were awarded Honorable Mention All-PFL North Division status.
Byrne, a 6'2", 286-pound senior from Evergreen Park, Ill./St. Rita, earned First Team All-PFL honors for the second straight season. A left guard throughout most of his career, Byrne started all 44 games in his four-year career - a Valpo record for consecutive starts. In 2002, Byrne demonstrated his versatility by playing most of the season at right guard after starting the season at center.
Giancola, a sophomore from Whiting, Ind./HS, led Valpo with 51 receptions for 1,103 yards and a school-record tying 11 touchdowns. He finished second in the PFL in receiving yards per game (100.3) and currently stands 4th on Valpo's all-time receiving yards list with 1,602.
Sommersberger, a senior from Sheboygan, Wis./South, made 24 catches for 362 yards and two touchdowns before suffering a season-ending injury in the ninth game.
Hudak, a senior from Lowell, Ind./HS, made eight of 12 field goal attempts and converted 25 of 28 extra point attempts. He finished his career with 26 field goals and made 61 of 72 extra point kicks.
Bateman, a junior from Chester, Cal./Shasta JC, averaged 36.9 yards on 48 punts. He also booted a 30-yard field goal against Austin Peay.