Fairfield, CT - The NCFA announced the 2017 Academic All-Americans over the weekend right before the league meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. The National Champion Pioneers placed 8 players on the team, with one player placing on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
RB Joe Lesho - Freshman running back stepped up late in the season with injuries and carried the load. Young player was the Ram that the backfield needed to pick up yardage. He led the way for Jordan James in the National Championship and was a key reason that JJ picked up the MVP honors. Lesho carried 3.668 GPA in his first semester in college.
WR Mark Barranger - Barranger was a first team All-American on offense and defense this year and also impressed in the classroom. Through his first semester Junior year, Barranger carried a 3.692 GPA.
OL John Manolopoulos - JT Manolopoulos played almost every snap on the offensive line this past season, on his way to First Team All American honors on the offensive line. JT carried a 3.433 GPA on his way to his second All-American Team.
OL Andrew Crookes - Another first team All-American offensive lineman, Crookes played the majority of the season at the Center position before a hand injury forced him to change positions. One of our captains, Crookes had a 3.101 GPA
DL Brian Moore - The Defensive Player of the Year candidate, three year captain and First Team All American is also a hard worker in the classroom. Moore is carrying a 3.518 GPA into his last semester of his college years.
DL Ben Burke - Another first team All-American is another big performer in the classroom. Burke is carrying a 3.223 GPA.
LB Yanni Papadopoulos - Yanni played virtually every play at the WILL Linebacker position this season. One of the leading tacklers on defense who also sealed the conference championship win this year with a game ending interception, Yanni carries a 3.160 GPA.
Safety Mark Barranger - As previously mentioned, Barranger was first team All-American on both sides of the ball and has a 3.692 GPA.
K Cam Neal - Cam “Steelfoot” Neal carried a 3.249 GPA this season, also his second to last in college. Neal made every big kick that the team asked of him this season, including one to start the monumental comeback in the National Championship.