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SEVEN BISON TABBED FOR ALL-PAC FOOTBALL HONORS
Nov. 16 - WEXFORD, Pa. – Seven Bethany football players were voted to the All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) teams by the circuit’s coaches, as announced Monday by the league office.
A trio of Bison were named Second Team All-PAC, including senior DB Nelson Mitzen (Waynesburg, Pa./Waynesburg Central), sophomore OL Cory Potter (Akron, Ohio/Green) and sophomore RB Eric Walker (New Brighton, Pa.). The league recognized four Bethany players with Honorable Mention laurels, including senior WR Matt Cruse (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier), senior DB Matt Dahle (McKees Rocks, Pa./Sto-Rox), senior OL Chad Sedlacek (Monaca, Pa.) and freshman LB Kyle Arrington (Jackson Twp., Ohio/Jackson).
This is Mitzen’s third consecutive Second Team All-PAC honor, which comes after he finished third on the team with 72 tackles, second in interceptions (two) and broke up a team-high six passes. The 6-4, 200-pound strong safety made 15 tackles against Westminster and totaled 11 stops at Waynesburg. For his career, he made 244 tackles, ninth-highest total at Bethany since 1989, broke up 18 passes, including seven interceptions, and recovered five fumbles.
"Nelson has been a consistent performer for four years,” said Bison head coach Tim Weaver. “He helped a young group of corners this year and was also a big influence on Dahle’s performance back there as well. This is his third straight year of All-PAC honors, so we’re excited to see him get it.”
A pre-physical therapy major, Nelson is the son of Jim and Alice Mitzen of Waynesburg, Pa.
Potter received his first all-conference recognition after starting all 10 games on the offensive line, which included time at right tackle and later moving to right guard due to injuries along the Bison front. He helped Bethany allow just one sack for every 26.8 passing attempts, the best percentage in the conference, and also plowed the way for Bethany to gain 139 rushing yards or more in five contests.
“Cory is a very good player who has quickly developed into a leader,” said Weaver. “He is one of the guys we are counting on to expand his leadership role heading into next year. We are excited to have him back for two more years.”
An English education major, Cory is the son of Kathy and Fred Bean of Akron, Ohio.
Walker picked up his second straight All-PAC award following an Honorable Mention selection last year. He enjoyed a record-breaking season in the Bison backfield, as he led the PAC in scoring with 15 touchdowns, which also tied the school’s single-season total touchdown record. Of those 15 scores, 11 were rushing TDs, which surpassed the Bethany single-season record he equaled last year and was originally set in 2002 by Will Anderson.
In addition to his scoring marks, Walker finished second in the PAC in rushing with 879 yards, sixth-most in one year by a Bison runner, and fifth in all-purpose yards with 1,128. He rushed for a career-high 172 yards in a Sept. 12 win at Kentucky Christian, the same game he broke the school’s single-game record with three touchdown receptions. That was one of four contests with 100+ rushing yards turned in by Walker for the year.
“I’m not really sure what else Eric had to do to get First Team,” said Weaver. “He finished with more yards, yards-per-carry and touchdowns than anyone else eligible. Hopefully this motivates him to do even more next year.”
A communication major, Eric is the son of Lorraine Walker of New Brighton, Pa.
For Cruse, this is the fourth All-PAC honor of his career, which includes two Second Team and two Honorable Mention laurels. He is Bethany’s first four-time All-PAC selection since LB Tim Goetz earned all-league accolades all four years of his career from 2002-05. Cruse started all 10 games and caught 48 passes to rank fifth in the PAC for 666 yards, third in the conference, and four touchdowns. He caught 12 passes for 186 yards and a score in the Oct. 10 triumph over Thiel and closed his final season with five catches for 113 yards and one TD against Saint Vincent last Saturday.
The Saint Vincent victory helped Cruse cement his status as the most prolific wide receiver in Bethany history. In that game, he broke the school’s career receptions record, which he now holds with 177 catches. It gave him a sweep of every major Bethany all-time receiving record, as he also owns the career marks for receiving yards (2,625) and touchdowns (25), in addition to sharing the single-season TD reception standard (nine).
An accounting major, Matt is the son of Margaret and Bill Cruse of Naples, Fla.
This was Dahle’s first All-PAC honor, which comes after his first season as the team’s starting free safety. He notched a team-best 87 tackles to rank fourth in the PAC and also tied for second in the conference with three forced fumbles. Dahle registered double-digit stops in five games this year, including a career-high 16 against Grove City. In addition, he averaged double-figure tackles against the Bison’s nationally-ranked opponents this year with 12 against Thomas More and Washington & Jefferson, as well as 10 stops against Otterbein.
A physical education major, Matt is the son of MaryAnn Dahle and Richard Altmeyer of McKees Rocks, Pa.
The coaches recognized Sedlacek for the second time in his career with the Honorable Mention nod. He started all 10 games at left tackle, anchoring an offensive line that surrendered only 16 sacks, the third-fewest in the PAC. Sedlacek’s work also helped the Bison average more than 363 yards of total offense for the year and pile up over 400 yards in wins over Kentucky Christian, Thiel and Saint Vincent.
A social work major, Chad is the son of Rick and Katie Sedlacek of Monaca, Pa.
Arrington, a first-year middle linebacker, played his way to Honorable Mention standing by ranking second on the Bison and seventh in the PAC in tackles this season. His 73 stops are the most by a Bethany freshman since Mike Carson was in on 79 tackles during his first year in 1999. Arrington also made 1.5 sacks, picked off two passes and tied for second on the team by breaking up five passes. He closed his first campaign on a high note, making 10 tackles and one sacks against W&J in the final home game, then totaling 12 hits and picking off one pass in the Saint Vincent triumph.
A biology/pre-med major, Kyle is the son of Pamela and Tony Arrington of Jackson Twp., Ohio.