Six members of the Valparaiso football team were honored Tuesday as the Pioneer Football League announced its 20th Annual All-PFL squads following a polling of the league’s coaches. Senior punter Greg Wood (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) earned First Team All-Pioneer Football League honors for the second time in his career, while five other players received Honorable Mention notice.
Running back Jake Hutson (Blanchard, Mich./Montabella), offensive lineman Stuart Barkley (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest), defensive lineman John Guilford (Spencer, Ohio/Black River) and linebackers Cody Gokan (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein) and Pat Derbak (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg) were also recognized for their contributions.
Wood, the Crusaders’ Special Teams Player of the Year, averaged better than 40 yards per punt for a third straight season and pinned the opponent inside the 20-yard line 29 times. He amassed 14 punts of 50 or more yards, including a season-long effort of 64 yards. A preseason All-PFL selection, Wood owns three of the top-five highest single season punting averages in Crusader football history, including a program-best 43.6 clip in 2010.
On the defensive side, Gokan received Honorable Mention accolades for a third straight season, while Derbak was honored for a second consecutive campaign. Derbak, a junior, finished second on the team with 73 stops, eclipsing 70 in back-to-back seasons. Gokan added the third most tackles (69) in his final season with the Crusaders. In his rookie campaign, Guilford posted team-highs in sacks (3) and tackles for a loss (6.5).
Hutson, who was announced as the PFL’s Offensive Freshman of the Year on Monday, scored a team-high eight touchdowns and rushed for 753 yards behind an offense line which included Barkley, who has started or appeared in all but one game for the Crusaders in his first two seasons.