Wheeler, Rentschler Earn Academic All-PFL First Team; Latsonas Achieves Second Team

by | Nov 29, 2018 | RRSN News | 0 comments

Wheeler, Rentschler Earn Academic All-PFL First Team; Latsonas Achieves Second Team

A trio of Valparaiso University football players were recognized for their accomplishments both in the classroom and in competition as the Pioneer Football League released its all-academic teams on Wednesday.


Senior LB/DL Mike Wheeler (Fullerton, Calif. / La Habra) and senior offensive lineman Eric Rentschler (Highland, Ind. / Highland) were named to the Academic All-PFL First Team, while junior kicker Dimitrios Latsonas (Westmont, Ill. / Westmont) was named to the Academic All-PFL Second Team.


Wheeler, who owns a 3.80 GPA in economics, was second on the team in tackles for loss with 7.5 for 22 yards including three sacks for 14 yards. He racked up 52 tackles over 11 games, highlighted by a career-high 13 tackles in a Nov. 10 win over Jacksonville on Senior Day at Brown Field. Wheeler was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Week following that showing against the Dolphins. In addition, the senior had 2.5 tackles for loss on Nov. 3 at Marist, equaling the most by a Valpo player in a single game since 2015. Off the field, he is the Co-President of Valpo’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. This marks the second straight day Wheeler has received a league honor, as he was named All-PFL Honorable Mention on Tuesday.


Rentschler is a repeat honoree, this time nabbing a place on the first team after being named to the Academic All-PFL Second Team as a junior. The senior computer engineering major owns a 3.74 grade point average. He played in the final 36 games of his collegiate career and was a member of an experienced Valpo offensive line as a senior. Rentschler, a local to Northwest Indiana, was inducted into Order of Omega national Greek leadership honor society this year.


Latsonas holds a 3.35 grade point average in physical education teaching. A 2017 All-PFL Honorable Mention recipient, Latsonas made a 50-yard field goal in the season finale at Stetson, outdoing his previous personal best of 44 and converting the longest field goal by a PFL kicker this season. In addition, that was just the 26th made field goal of 50 yards or longer in the Division I FCS nation this season and the longest field goal by a Valpo kicker since 2003. In addition, Latsonas shattered his own record for made extra points in a single season with 36 this year. He previously set the school record with 35 in 2017.


2018 PFL Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Tucker Yinger, Dayton


2018 Academic All-Pioneer Football League First Team
(as selected by PFL athletics communications directors)
Student-Athlete School Class. Pos GPA Major (Minor)
Jacob Bacon (1) Drake Jr. OL 3.94 Actuarial Science & Finance
Dane Cordell Jacksonville RSo. OL 3.88 Accounting
Steven Doran Drake Sr. WR 3.40 Physics & Astronomy
Nic Duch (2) Jacksonville RSr. WR 3.89 Finance
Isaiah Kent-Schneider Drake Sr. OL 3.98 Environmental Science & Secondary Education
Anthony Lawrence (3x, 1) San Diego RSr. QB 3.61 Accountancy
Will Marty (2) Butler RSr. QB 3.55 Marketing
Jake Michaels (1) San Diego RJr. OL 3.66 Biology
Eric Rentschler (2) Valparaiso Sr. OL 3.74 Computer Engineering
Brad Sznajder Butler RJr. RB 3.89 Finance
Tucker Yinger (4x, 1) Dayton RSr. RB 3.81 Mechanical Engineering
Nathan Clayberg (3x, 1) Drake Sr. DL 3.76
Accounting & Finance
Master of Business Administration
David Leisring (3x, 1) Dayton Sr. DB 3.74 Finance
Jack Michael San Diego RJr. DB 3.80 Accountancy & Finance
Carter Raleigh Butler Sr. LB 3.70 Finance
Luke Sennett Butler RJr. DB 3.66 Finance
Kieran Severa Drake Sr. LB 3.55 Health Sciences-Clinical
Isaac Sexton (1) Dayton Sr. DL 3.94 Chemical Engineering
Tim Simon (1) Dayton RSo. DB 3.81 Mechanical Engineering
Connor Spencer (1) San Diego RSr. DL 3.81 Electrical Engineering
Regis Steighner Stetson RJr. DL 3.93 Economics
Mike Wheeler Valparaiso Sr. LB 3.80 Economics
Drew Bevelhimer Butler Jr. K 3.47 Spanish
Jonny Messina (1) Stetson RSo. K 3.73 Health Science
Matt Tunnacliffe Dayton Sr. LS 3.49 Finance & Entrepreneurship
Notes in parentheses: 3x – player is a three-time first-team Academic All-PFL selection; 1-was a first-team selection in 2017; 2-was a second-team selection in 2017.



2018 Academic All-Pioneer Football League Second Team
Student-Athlete School Class Pos. GPA Major (Minor)
Brad Alexander Stetson So. OL 3.79 History
Ben Gauthier Dayton Sr. OL 3.32 Adolescence To Young Adult Education
(Integrated Social Studies Concentration)
Peter Greubel Stetson So. OL 3.96 Public Health
Jarin Higginbotham Morehead State Sr. WR 3.38 Exercise Science
Colin McGovern Stetson Sr. QB 3.36 Sport Business
Brandon Micale San Diego So. FB 3.97 Undeclared
Nathan Sames Morehead State Sr. WR 3.43 Engineering Technology Design
Dakota Sneed Butler RSr. OL 3.48 Science, Technology and Society
Chris Tremblay Jacksonville Jr. OL 3.53 Engineering, Dual Degree
Rich Warfield Dayton RFr. RB 3.97 Marketing
Dan Wittekind Marist Jr. OL 3.36 Communication
Jacob Bergstrom San Diego RSo. DL 3.60 Finance
Anthony Best Dayton RFr. LB 3.97 Engineering
Grant Dixon Marist RSo. LB 3.62 Business Administration
Jack Griffith Marist RSo. DB 3.75 Communication
Sayyid Kanu Morehead State Sr. DB 3.33 Radiology
Andrew McElroy Marist RJr. DB 3.62 Business Administration
Michael Perera Jacksonville RJr. LB 3.82 Finance
Peter Read Drake Sr. DL 3.84 Health Sciences-Clinical
Nick Surges Dayton RSr. DL 3.35 Finance
Terry Wallen Drake Sr. DB 3.60 Finance
Jacob Wittwer San Diego RSr. DL 3.57 Political Science/English
Kyle Butz Dayton RSo. RS 3.49 Sport Management
Dimitrios Latsonas Valparaiso Jr. K 3.35 Physical Education Teaching
Michael Matthews Davidson Sr. K 3.36 Biology



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