JU places 17 on all-Pioneer Football League honor roll
Haywood Range
Haywood Range
After the second most successful season in program history, the JU football team placed 17 players on the Pioneer Football League honor roll with five earning first team all-conference honors.

Junior running back Rudell Small, sophomore wide receiver Josh Philpart and junior offensive tackle Leonard Payton were unanimous selections to the first team, with senior defensive lineman Haywood Range and senior defensive back Jason Wood joining them on the first team.

Sophomore quarterback Josh McGregor was named second team all-conference, along with junior linebacker Joseph Fennell and return specialist Elliott Finkley.

Earning honorable mention all-PFL honors are junior wide receiver Elliott Finkley, sophomore wide receiver Larry Thompson, junior tight end Chris Kuck, junior offensive lineman Dustin Robinson, junior defensive lineman Shaun Lewis, senior linebacker Allen Fennell, junior linebacker Will Perry, senior defensive back Keenan Bowe and sophomore punter Logan Chipperfield.

“All of these young men are deserving of recognition for their play this season,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “This group has accomplished something that no other team at JU has done with back-to-back winning seasons.”

Dayton’s Steve Valentino was named Offensive “Player of the Year” with Morehead State’s Wes McDermott earning Defensive “Player of the Year.” San Diego’s Kyle Warren was named Offensive “Freshman of the Year” while Drake’s Tyler Moorehead was selected Defensive “Freshman of the Year.” Butler’s Jeff Voris was named “Coach of the Year” after leading Butler to the PFL title.

For Small, it is his second time to earn first team all-PFL honors. He led the PFL in rushing yards with an average of 97.6 yards per game and became the first Dolphin to put up two straight season with 1,000 yards rushing.

Philpart rewrote the receptions record book this season, setting new single-season record for touchdown catches (13) and receiving yards (912) – becoming the school’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions with 17 in his two seasons.

Payton has been a big part of the JU offense’s success – opening holes from his left tackle position while protecting McGregor’s backside. He has started every game the past three seasons for JU.

Range developed into one of the top defensive linemen in the PFL during his senior season, averaging 1.0 tackles for a loss per game this season while finishing the campaign second on the team in tackles.

Wrapping up the first team honors was Wood, who anchored the defense all four years at JU. He was fourth on the team in tackles and led the team with three interceptions this season to raise his career total to six – just one shy of tying the school’s career record.