July 31, 2012
ST. LOUIS - San Diego defensive end Blake Oliaro and Drake quarterback Mike Piatkowski headline the 2012 All-Pioneer Football League squads. Oliaro was one of a league-high five players representing six positions from 2011 PFL co-champion San Diego selected to the preseason squad. Drake also shared the 2011 title and placed five players on the preseason team.
Returning players who were selected to the league's 2011 All-PFL teams were automatically selected to the 2012 preseason team in order of voting. Twelve preseason selections were first-team selections last season.
Oliaro, the 2011 PFL Defensive Player of the Year, leads the league's defensive unit after finishing last season ranked among the FCS's leaders in sacks per game (4th, 1.36 pg) and tackles for loss per game (10th, 1.77 pg) and leading a Toreros defense that was ranked 20th nationally in rushing defense. In addition, Drake sophomore linebacker Travis Merritt (66 tackles) joins the league's preseason team after earning Freshman Defensive Player of the Year honors last season.
Joining Oliaro on the league's preseason defensive line are Drake senior Brandon Coleman (51 tackles, 16.5 TFL, 12 sacks), Marist senior Terrence Fede (72 tackles, 16 TFL, 8.5 sacks) and Jacksonville senior Mike Mayoral (39 tackles, 8 TFL, 6.5 sacks). The linebacker corps includes Merritt, San Diego senior Zach Dunaj (74 tackles, 6 TFL), Drake senior Tyler Moorehead (78 tackles, 21 TFL, 10.5 sacks) and Butler senior linebacker Jordan Ridley (140 tackles, 8 TFL). Campbell seniors Brandon Chandler (50 tackles, 2 INT) and Steth Monroe (49 tackles, 4 INT) are joined by Marist senior Nick Mainiero (53 tackles) and Jacksonville junior Schon Thomas (29 tackles, 11 passes defended) in the league's defensive back unit.
Piatkowski returns to lead the offensive squad after earning 2011 PFL Offensive Player of the Year honors. He finished the campaign as the league's top rated passer with a 151.40 pass efficiency rating that was 11th among FCS quarterbacks. He is joined on offense by the wide receiver corps of Davidson senior Lanny Funsten (100 receptions, 1,107 yards, 8 TDs), San Diego junior Sam Hoekstra (53 receptions, 554 yards, 6 TDs) and Morehead State senior Donte Sawyer (60 receptions, 904 yards, 12 TDs). Marist senior Anthony Calcagni (40 receptions, 494 yards, 5 TDs) and Jacksonville senior Quintin Davis (19 receptions, 360 yards, 6 TDs) both return after earning first-team All-PFL honors at tight end last season.
The rest of the PFL's preseason back field is composed of Drake senior fullback Kevin Marshall (33 receptions, 280 yards, 3 TDs), Dayton running back Taylor Harris (132 carries, 916 yards, 8 TDs) and San Diego junior running back Kenny James (217 carries, 1,206 yards, 12 TDs) comprise the league's preseason backfield. While the league's six-person offensive line was composed of Morehead State seniors Joey Clegg and Eric Matteson, senior Matt Storey and junior Jay Howard of Butler, Marist senior Phede Celestin and San Diego junior Matt Peleti.
The league's three-person specialists unit was led by San Diego junior Kenny James (34 kick returns, 828 yards, 1 TD), who also was selected at running back. Morehead State senior Rainer Duzan (12-17 FG, 49-51 PAT, 54.8 yards per kickoff) got the preseason nod at placekicker and Valparaiso senior Greg Wood (76 punts, 42.0 yards per punt) was the league's choice at punter.
2012 Preseason All-PFL
WR Lanny Funsten Davidson 6-2 185 Sr. Raleigh, N.C. (Ravenscroft HS)
WR Sam Hoekstra San Diego 5-10 180 Jr. Carlsbad, Calif. (Santa Fe Christian)
WR Donte Sawyer Morehead State 6-0 190 Sr. Acworth, Ga. (North Cobb HS)
TE Anthony Calcagni Marist 6-5 218 Sr. Thornwood, N.Y. (Westlake HS)
TE Quintin Davis Jacksonville 6-3 195 Sr. Jacksonville, Fla. (Wolfson HS)
QB Mike Piatkowski Drake 6-1 170 Sr. Wheaton, Ill. (Wheatonville Warrenville South HS)
FB Kevin Marshall Drake 6-4 237 Sr. Glen Ellyn, Ill. (Glenbard South HS)
RB Taylor Harris Dayton 5-10 190 Sr. Centerburg, Ohio (Highland HS)
RB Kenny James San Diego 5-8 175 Jr. San Diego, Calif. (Mt. Carmel HS)
OL Phede Celestin Marist 6-5 317 Sr. Brooklyn, N.Y. (Canarsie HS)
OL Joey Clegg Morehead State 6-1 257 Sr. Westerville, Ohio (Westerville HS)
OL Jay Howard Butler 6-5 260 Jr. Dublin, Ohio (Dublin Coffman HS)
OL Eric Matteson Morehead State 6-2 308 Sr. Saline, Mich. (Saline HS)
OL Matt Peleti San Diego 6-3 295 Jr. Laguna Niguel, Calif. (Aliso Niguel HS)
OL Matt Storey Butler 6-4 280 Sr. St. Louis, Mo. (St. Louis Univ.)
DL Brandon Coleman Drake 6-4 244 Sr. Cary, Ill. (Cary-Grove HS)
DL Terrence Fede Marist 6-4 270 Sr. Nyack, N.Y. (Nyack HS)
DL Blake Oliaro San Diego 6-5 250 R-Jr. Folsom, Calif. (Folsom HS)
DL Mike Mayoral Jacksonville 6-0 240 Sr. St. Augustine, Fla. (St. Augustine HS)
LB Zach Dunaj San Diego 5-11 228 Sr. Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Westlake HS)
LB Travis Merritt Drake 6-1 215 So. Johnston, Iowa (Johnston, Iowa)
LB Tyler Moorehead Drake 6-1 222 Sr. Mason City, Iowa (Newman Catholic HS)
LB Jordan Ridley Butler 6-0 220 Sr. Indianapolis, Ind. (Lawrence Central HS)
DB Brandon Chandler Campbell 5-8 201 R-Sr. Kernersville, N.C. (Glenn HS)
DB Nick Mainiero Marist 6-1 200 Sr. Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. (Croton-Harmon HS)
DB Steth Monroe Campbell 6-0 196 Sr. Waxhaw, N.C. (Parkwood HS)
DB Schon Thomas Jacksonville 5-11 185 Jr. Dunbar, Fla. (Dunbar HS)
PK Rainer Duzan Morehead State 5-11 165 Sr. Dublin, Ohio (Dublin Scioto)
P Greg Wood Valparaiso 6-1 175 Sr. Libertyville, Ill. (Libertyville HS)
RS Kenny James San Diego 5-8 175 Jr. San Diego, Calif. (Mt. Carmel HS)