Six Bulldogs Earn PFL Academic Honors

Six Bulldogs Earn PFL Academic Honors
Matt Lancaster (back) and Trae Heeter (Photo by Brent Smith)

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Seniors Jayme Szafranski and Matt Lancaster were among eight repeat selections and were joined by four Butler teammates on the 2013 Academic All-Pioneer Football League Team, released by the league office on Wednesday, Dec. 4.  The 21st All-PFL Team was selected by a vote of league's sports information directors.

Three PFL players, Kurt Odom of Campbell and both Robbie Beathard and Blake Oliaro of San Diego, earned PFL Academic All-Conference honors for a third straight year.  Szafranski and Lancaster joined Mason Mills and Troy McClelland of San Diego and Grant Huckenstein of Dayton as two-year All-Academic picks

Szafranski, a finance major from Barrington, Ill., and Lancaster, a chemistry major from West Lafayette, Ind., each were named to the Academic honor squad for the second straight year.  Szafranski, a starting defensive back for the Bulldogs, is a two-time Capital One Academic All-District V performer, and he earned second team Academic All-America recognition in 2012.  Lancaster, the Bulldogs' starting quarterback, was a finalist this year for a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award.

Joining Szafranski and Lancaster on the Academic All-PFL First Team were teammates Trae Heeter, Brendan Shannon and JoJo Ciancio.  The honor for Heeter and Shannon came one day after the two were named first team all-conference.  Heeter is an elementary education major from Indianapolis, Ind., Shannon is a science and technology major from Lombard, Ill., and Ciancio is an economics major from Geneva, Ill.

Butler defensive tackle Kyle Annis was selected to the Academic All-PFL Second Team.  Annis is an actuarial science major from Hilliard, Ohio.

Pioneer Football League athletic directors established the Academic All-PFL squads in 1993 as a way to recognize the league's outstanding student-athletes.  To be eligible for Academic All-PFL consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 o a scale of 4.00 and reached his second season both athletically and academically at his current institution.