Nine Baldwin Wallace University Football Student-Athletes Named to the 2005
Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference Team
BEREA, OHIO — Nine Baldwin Wallace University football student-athletes headline this year's Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference team, including senior middle linebacker Joe George (Massillon/ Perry) and senior fullback Bryan Pickens (New London/ Norwalk St. Paul) who were two of the four unanimous selections.
Joining George and Pickens on the Academic All-OAC team are sophomore All-American punter Kevin Soflkiancs (Middleburg Heights/ Midpark), senior three-time All-OAC outside linebacker Justin Princehorn (Massillon/ Washington), senior All-OAC defensive tackle Matt Davis (Mineral Ridge), junior All-OAC running back Brandon Hedges (Oregon/ Clay) and senior two-time Academic All-OAC offensive center Mark Zaranec (Bedford/ St. Peter Chanel). Named to the honorable mention Academic All-OAC team are senior defensive back Mike Finamore (Youngstown/ Boardman) and junior All-OAC offensive guard Tom Lutz (Oregon/ Clay).
George ended his career as a three-time Academic All-OAC and two-time All-OAC selection and as BW's all-time leading tackler with 334 in his career. He also is just the second player in BW history to have two 100-tackle seasons during a career, including having a team-leading 111 stops this fall. The four-year starter had seven sacks and 15 tackles for lost yardage. George was a first-team All-OAC pick this year and a second-team All-OAC choice a year ago. He also earned OAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for an 11-tackle performance in a 17-14 win against John Carroll University on Nov. 12. In the classroom, George carries a 3.612 grade average as a pre-med student, intends to attend medical school and become a doctor.
Pickens ended a solid four-year career at fullback and as a two-time Academic All-OAC player. He was a key member of the offense who could block, run the football and catch it out of the backfield. Pickens had his finest season as a collegian this year as he ran the ball 43 times for 143 yards and one touchdown and caught a team-leading 22 passes for 149 yards and two TD. Pickens carries a 3.712 grade average in the classroom in physical therapy and intends to attend graduate school.
Soflkiancs again was one of the top punters in Division III football as he averaged 39.8 yards per punt in 53 attempts. He also is a repeat first-team All-OAC and Academic All-OAC selection. A year ago, he was a first-team All-OAC and first-team All-North Region pick who was then named as the North Region Special Teams Player of the Year and as a first-team Division III All-American. In addition this season, Soflkiancs had 11 punts land inside the 20-yard line and his long punt was 66 yards. Soflkiancs is a two-time OAC Special Teams Player of the Week this season and a four-time choice the past two years. In the classroom, Soflkiancs carries a 3.5 grade point average in business administration.
Princehorn earned Academic All-OAC honors for the second year in a row. He also was an All-OAC honoree for the third time in his career and the second time as a second-team choice. He joins George as two of the best linebackers to ever play at BW. Princehorn was second on the team this season with 77 total tackles and ended his career third all-time at BW with 260 total stops, including five sacks, 28.5 tackles for lost yardage and six interceptions. He had a career-high 104 tackles as a sophomore in 2003. A year ago, Princehorn was a first-team All-OAC pick and BW's Ray E. Watts Most Valuable Defensive Player. In the classroom, Princehorn carries a 3.3 grade point average in computer information systems.
Davis also had his finest season as a collegian as a senior and was both an All-OAC and Academic All-OAC selection this fall. He was fourth on the team in total tackles with 51, including three quarterback sacks and 5.5 tackles for lost yardage. In the classroom, Davis carries a 3.4 grade average in psychology and political science.
Hedges led the Yellow Jackets in rushing for the second straight season despite injuries. He ran for a team-leading 571 yards and seven touchdowns and caught 10 passes for 152 yards and two more scores. His 54 total points was twice as many as the team's next leading scorer. Hedges earned Academic All-OAC honors for the second straight year. A year ago, Hedges ran for 1,162 yards and 13 TD and was a first-team All-OAC choice. He carries a 3.63 grade average in business administration.
Zaranec is a repeat member of the Academic All-OAC squad, making the team as a defensive tackle as a sophomore. After switching to offense, he helped BW to score 171 points and average 251 yards per game of offense. As a sophomore, Zaranec was a key player on a defense that led BW to the NCAA Division III Playoffs. In the classroom, Zaranec carries a 3.57 grade point average in health and physical education and intends to teach and coach.
Finamore also had his finest season as a collegian in 2005 and was a key member of the Yellow Jacket secondary. He had 28 total tackles, including 17 solo stops, and led the team with two interceptions. Finamore had five other pass breakups. In the classroom, he carries a 3.89 grade point average in biology and pre-med and intends to attend medical school.
Lutz is a repeat member of the Academic All-OAC selection and was an All-OAC choice a year ago. He has been the anchor of the offensive line the past two years. In the classroom, Lutz carries a 3.39 grade point average in biology.
"We are extremely pleased for the nine young men who have been chosen as both exceptional students and football players," said fourth-year Head Coach John Snell, who has compiled a 28-14 career record. "Each young man has his priorities in the right place and is striving for excellence both in the classroom and on the football field. We are proud of them and their efforts."