GROVE CITY – Grove City College senior running back Wesley Schools earned Presidents’ Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors Tuesday afternoon, through voting by the conference’s 10 head football coaches. Including Schools, 12 Grove City players earned All-Conference honors after helping the Wolverines to an 8-2 regular season record.
Schools, senior offensive tackle Sal Spinosa and junior wide receiver Cody Gustafson all earned 1st Team All-PAC recognition.
Junior wide receiver Cameron Drake, junior safety Patrick Mark, senior linebacker Luke Salerno, senior fullback Jacob Schiela and senior guard Matt Villers all earned All-PAC 2nd Team.
Junior punter Caleb Brake, sophomore quarterback Josh Ehst, sophomore linebacker Parker Kilgore and senior cornerback Jacob Ross all captured Honorable Mention All-PAC.
Schools earned Offensive Player of the Year honors after leading the conference with 1,623 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns. He leads NCAA Division III with 25 rushing touchdowns and ranks third nationally in rushing yardage. He posted 18 touchdowns over the final five conference games and highlighted the regular season with 324 rushing yards and five touchdowns October 19 at Waynesburg.
Schools also earned 1st Team All-PAC in 2018 after leading the conference with 1,741 rushing yards. He has 5,533 career rushing yards and 64 touchdowns, ranking second in program history in both categories.
Schools is the first Grove City player to earn the conference’s Player of the Year award since R.J. Bowers (West Middlesex High) won the award in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Spinosa and Gustafson join Schools as two-time 1st Team All-PAC honorees. Spinosa has started all 10 games at left tackle. His efforts have helped Grove City lead the conference in total offense (424.1 yards per game), yards per play (6.7) and yards per rush attempt (5.2) this year.
With Spinosa protecting Ehst’s blind side, Grove City has allowed a conference-low eight sacks this year. Spinosa earned 1st Team All-PAC as a junior last season.
Gustafson leads the conference in yards per catch, averaging 21.0. He has 48 receptions for 1,007 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. He ranks second in the league in catches and yards. The 1,007 yards are third-most in one season at Grove City.
Gustafson owns Grove City’s career records with 182 receptions, 3,046 receiving yards and 30 touchdown catches. He also earned 1st Team All-PAC in 2018.
Drake has teamed with Gustafson to give Grove City one of the nation’s most dynamic receiving tandems. Drake has 47 catches for 918 yards and seven scores this year. He ranks third in the league in catches and receiving yards. His 918 receiving yards are No. 5 on Grove City’s single-season list.
Drake has moved into fifth on place on Grove City’s career lists in receiving yards (1,653) and career touchdown catches (12). His 103 career receptions are No. 8 all-time at Grove City.
Mark shared the team lead with three interceptions this season. He also recorded 72 total tackles from his safety position, which led the team’s defensive backs. A three-year starter in the secondary, Mark led Grove City with 94 stops last year.
Salerno led the conference with 101 total tackles this year. He began the season at inside linebacker before returning to his natural position of outside linebacker. He led Grove City with three sacks, four forced fumbles and nine tackles for loss. A three-year letterwinner for the Wolverines, Salerno capped the regular season with five tackles for loss and a sack last Saturday at Thiel.
Schiela earned 2nd Team recognition at the conference’s tight end/H-back/fullback slot. He served as a devastating lead blocker for Schools and Grove City’s other ball-carriers, helping the Wolverines lead the league with 32 rushing touchdowns, as well as in yards per carry.
Villers started all four seasons at left guard and paired with Spinosa to give Grove City one of the region’s most dominant guard-tackle tandems. One of the conference’s top interior offensive linemen, Villers earned Honorable Mention All-PAC in 2018.
Brake averaged 37.4 yards per punt this season on 29 kicks, ranking third in the league. He forced seven fair catches and put seven punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. Brake earned 1st Team All-PAC in 2018.
Ehst leads NCAA Div. III by averaging 18.2 yards per completion. He leads the conference in yards per attempt (9.7) and is fifth overall in the league with 2,023 passing yards. Ehst has completed 111 of 209 passes this year. He has 17 touchdown passes and has also rushed for four touchdowns this year.
Kilgore helped anchor the middle of the Grove City defense this season from his inside linebacker post. He ranked second on the team and fourth in the conference with 89 total tackles. He had two fumbled recoveries and one interception.
Ross intercepted two passes and recorded 46 tackles while starting nine games at cornerback. He punctuated the regular season Saturday with a 40-yard interception return for touchdown at Thiel. A four-year starter for Grove City, Ross also returned 14 kickoffs and seven punts this year for the Wolverines.
GCC finished 2nd in the conference with a 7-2 league record. The seven conference wins are a single-season program record. The eight regular season wins are the most since the 1997 team went 9-1.
The Wolverines will host New York power Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at noon Saturday in the 2019 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) James Lynah Bowl at Robert E. Thorn Field.