Valpo Trio Earns Preseason All-PFL Recognition
Three members of the Valparaiso University football program were named to the Preseason All-Pioneer Football League team, as announced by the league office on Tuesday.
Fifth-year senior offensive lineman Aaron Byrd (Bradley, Ill. / Bourbonnais) was tabbed a Preseason All-PFL pick, while a pair of Beacons earned Preseason All-PFL honors in the special teams category, with fifth-year senior kicker Brian Bartholomew (Sugar Grove, Ill. / Kaneland) and junior return specialist Chuck Maxwell (Elkhart, Ind. / Elkhart Christian Academy) both earning the recognition.
Bartholomew was an All-PFL First Team selection last season while also earning Phil Steele All-PFL First Team honors. He was named the PFL Special Teams Player of the Week on Nov. 6. Last season marked Bartholomew’s second straight All-PFL First Team nod, as he also earned that recognition in Spring 2021, when he was named the team’s Most-Improved Player as well.
Bartholomew finished the Fall 2021 season tied for second in single-season program history with 12 made field goals and fifth in the program record book with 32 made PATs. He led the PFL in both field-goal percentage and made field goals per game. He had a streak of 40 consecutive made PATs that ended on Nov. 13 at Butler, when his lone miss of the season came from added distance after a 15-yard penalty.
Byrd was named All-PFL Honorable Mention each of the last two seasons while also earning All-PFL Second Team in each of those years. Furthermore, Byrd was named the Sever Award Winner in both Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 as that award is bestowed upon the team’s top offensive lineman. The leader of Valpo’s offensive line, Byrd was also named to the Phil Steele All-PFL Fourth Team in Fall 2021.
Maxwell was tabbed All-PFL Second Team each of the last two seasons and was Phil Steele All-PFL First Team last fall. He was named a Freshman All-American by HERO Sports following the Spring 2021 campaign. In Spring 2021, Maxwell finished as the national leader in kickoff return average at 29.8 yards per return. In Fall 2021, he ranked 13th nationally in total kick return yards and 22nd in kickoff return average while leading the league in both total kickoff return yards (599) and kickoff return average (24.96).
The PFL also released its annual preseason coaches’ poll earlier this week. Valpo is projected eighth of 11, picked ahead of Stetson, Butler and Presbyterian. Davidson is picked to win the league, edging out San Diego atop the preseason predictions.
2022 Preseason All-Pioneer Football League Team
Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
WR Sam Bubonics (H) Dayton 5-11 177 RSo. Solon, Ohio
WR Nazeviah Burris (2) Stetson 6-0 180 So. Union, S.C.
WR Vance Jefferson (2) San Diego 6-0 185 So. Poway, Calif.
QB Alexander Piccirilli (H) Stetson 6-4 225 Gr. Jupiter, Fla.
TE Dominic Carlucci (H) Stetson 6-2 230 RSo. Raleigh, N.C.
RB Jake Chisholm (1) Dayton 5-9 191 Sr. Union, Ky.
RB Dylan Sparks (1) Davidson 6-0 209 Sr. Centreville, Va.
FB Coy Williams (1) Davidson 5-11 213 Gr. Lumberton, Texas
A-P Jake Chisholm (1) Dayton 5-9 191 Sr. Union, Ky.
OL Aaron Byrd (H) Valparaiso 6-4 305 RSr. Bradley, Ill.
OL Beck Kipperman (2) Davidson 6-2 259 Jr. Round Rock, Texas
OL Finley Lecky (H) San Diego 6-1 270 Jr. Chandler, Ariz.
OL Cam Marriott (1) Morehead State 6-3 300 Jr. Redlands, Calif.
OL Brian Stevens (H) Dayton 6-2 290 RSo. Milford, Ohio
DL William Buck (1) San Diego 6-0 285 RJr. Sacramento, Calif.
DL Jonathan Hammond (1) Davidson 6-2 208 Sr. Atlanta, Ga.
DL Muhindo Kapapa (2) San Diego 6-2 275 Gr. Fairfield, Calif.
DL Fermon Reid (1) Stetson 6-0 254 Gr. Naples, Fla.
LB David Ambagtsheer (H) San Diego 6-0 220 RSr. San Diego, Calif.
LB Mike Arrington (2) Marist 5-11 212 RSr. Ashburn, Va.
LB Majeste Hansberry (H) Stetson 6-2 215 RSr. Atlanta, Ga.
LB Ben Schmiesing (2) Dayton 6-1 232 Gr. Piqua, Ohio
DB Clay Fields (2) Marist 5-11 190 RSr. Franklin, N.J.
DB Cooper Krezek (2) Morehead State 6-0 200 RSo. Kansas City, Mo.
DB Amir Wallace (H) San Diego 6-1 180 Sr. Fairfield, Calif.
DB Teddy Wright (1) Marist 6-0 212 Gr. Sharon Hill, Pa.
PK Brian Bartholomew (1) Valparaiso 5-11 160 RSr. Sugar Grove, Ill.
P Shane Dunning (H) Drake 6-0 175 Jr. Muskego, Wis.
RS Chuck Maxwell (2) Valparaiso 5-5 140 Jr. Elkhart, Ind.
LS Brady McKnight (1) Morehead State 6-1 200 So. Stephens City, Va.
Notes in parentheses: 1-was a first-team selection; 2-was a second-team selection; H-was an honorable mention selection in previous year of
Pioneer Football League
2022 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Davidson (8) 98
2. San Diego (3) 91
3. St. Thomas 78
4. Dayton 72
5. Morehead State 58
6. Marist 52
7. Drake 42
8. Valparaiso 34
9. Stetson 33
10. Butler 30
11. Presbyterian 17
• First-place votes in parentheses.
• 10 points awarded for a first-place vote, with one point less for each succeeding place. (Maximum score = 100)
• Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.