Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Trio of Warriors earn preseason accolades from USA College Football

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Three Lycoming College football players have earned NCAA Division III Preseason All-American honors from USA College Football on the organization’s 25th annual preseason team. Senior Dwight Hentz (Halifax, Pa./Halifax Area) and junior Tanner Troutman(Hegins, Pa./Tri-Valley) were named to the first team and senior Kabongo Bukasa  (Sharon Hill, Pa./Academy Park) was a second-team selection.

The USA College Football Network is set to host the Hansen Bowl, a Division III All-Star game in February 2014. The bowl, which the two seniors are now eligible to attend, is held around a festival of small college football during a four-day, three-night event that also includes the USA Freedom Bowl and the USA Small College Football All-American Banquet.

The Hansen Bowl is named after longtime small-college football publisher Don Hansen, who ran the Don Hansen Football Gazette.

The trio are also now on the Watch List for their respective Division III Position Player of the Year awards, with Hentz a candidate for the Turner Trophy for the nation’s best defensive lineman, Troutman on the Myers Trophy list for best defensive back and Bukasa on the Fletcher Trophy list for best linebacker.

Hentz had a monster year en route to earning second-team all-region and All-MAC accolades as a junior. The powerful defensive tackle finished second in the MAC in sacks with seven, and tied for third in tackles for loss at 1.3 per game, earning him second team all-conference honors. He finished third on the team with 53 tackles and also forced a fumble. Hentz was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Week after posting 10 tackles, 2.0 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss against King’s.

Troutman stepped into the starting lineup in the second week and immediately helped the Warriors to an upset win over nationally-ranked Delaware Valley. He went on to earn third-team all-region honors after taking second-team all-conference accolades. The defensive back finished second in the league with five interceptions and finished the regular season with a league-leading 11 passes defended. In his first start against the Aggies, Troutman posted an interception and two breakups. He also had 10 tackles and two interceptions against nationally-ranked Widener.

Bukasa earned his second preseason All-American honors, as the 2012 MAC Defensive Player of the
Lycoming Head Coach Mike Clark
Year was also a first team selection from the Beyond Sports Network. A Third Team All-East Region pick and a First Team All-MAC selection, he led the Warriors and finished seventh in the league with 7.8 tackles and 0.33 interceptions per game, the only player in the top 10 in both categories. Leading the team with 70 tackles, Bukasa had five or more tackles in each of his first eight games.

Bukasa also performed in big games, posting two interceptions and a fumble recovery against nationally-ranked Widener, helping him earn the MAC Defensive Player of the Week award.

The Warriors finished 8-2 overall and 8-1 in the MAC to finish second in the league under fifth-year head coach Mike Clark in 2012.

The Warriors begins their 2013 campaign at Brockport on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 1 p.m.