Fifteen Sea Gulls earn All-ACFC honors, six named to the first team

Senior Paul Cynewski holds his ground against Delaware Valley's strong offense.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Atlantic Central Football Conference (ACFC) announced its 2008 all-conference teams on Thursday and 15 Salisbury University football student-athletes were honored. The Sea Gulls landed six on the first team, seven on the second team and two received honorable mention honors.

Salisbury swept the first-team defensive end positions as senior Jarrell Chandler and junior Paul Cynewski had dominant seasons as the book ends for the SU defensive line. The duo is No. 1 and No. 2 in the ACFC this season for sacks.

Chandler ranks second in the nation for tackles for loss average per game (2.44) and eighth in the nation for sacks per game (1.06). In the ACFC he is fifth in tackles (60) and tackles per game (6.7) and second in sacks (8.5). The Salisbury, Md., native also leads the ACFC in tackles for loss average per game and is second in tackle for loss yards (82). This is the second straight year the All-American defensive end was named to the All-ACFC first team.

Cynewski is the ACFC sack leader (nine), and ranks second in the conference in tackles for loss with a 1.5 average per game. The Moorestown, N.J., native leads the ACFC in tackle for loss yards with 94 and has recorded 37 tackles, six quarterback hurries and one forced fumble this season. This is his first selection to the All-ACFC team.

Senior Matt Barnes makes his second straight appearance on the All-ACFC team as the linebacker was named to the first team this season. The Ijamsville, Md., native was a second team selection a year ago. He leads the Sea Gulls in tackles with 69, and ranks fourth overall in the ACFC for tackles per game (6.9). The Urbana High graduate was also one of 37 student-athletes from Division III to be named a semifinalist for the 2008 Draddy Trophy as presented by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

Rounding out the defensive side for the Sea Gulls were second-team defensive backs, senior tandem Greg Miletic and Matthew Bookard. This season Bookard has made three interceptions and returned them back for touchdowns in three different games. The Lanham, Md., product has recorded 3.5 sacks and forced one fumble. Miletic, who hails from Catonsville, Md., is second on the team in interceptions (two) and returned a pick against Becker College 45 yards for a touchdown. He has also broken up three passes and has forced one fumble. The duo has combined for 60 tackles in '08 are both making their first appearance on the All-ACFC teams. Sophomore linebacker Justin Chura is one of two Sea Gulls to be named All-ACFC honorable mention. The Lothian, Md., native is third on the team in tackles (39) and has one sack and interception to his credit this season.

On offense, the Sea Gulls had two players named to the all-conference first team. Senior running back Shelby Fisher was first in the ACFC in scoring per game (8.4 points), second in rushing per game (91.1 yards) and sixth in all-purpose yards per game (93.2 yards). The Baltimore, Md., native has rushed for 911 yards on 152 carries with a season long of 62 yards, and a six yard average per rush. Fisher led the Gulls in rushing touchdowns in the regular season with 14 scores.

Opening the way for the Sea Gull backfield is offensive linemen senior David Preston, who makes his second straight appearance on the first team. The preseason All-American from Beltsville, Md., is one of the anchors for the top rushing offense in NCAA Division III. All-ACFC second team lineman Bryan Burdalski (Lumberton, N.J.) and Preston helped the Gulls' rush for 397 yards per game (6.8 yards per carry) and over 4,600 yards of total of offense in 10 games. The No. 21 Sea Gulls (8-2) average 42.7 points per game and have scored 59 touchdowns. This is Burdalski's second straight appearance on the All-ACFC second team. Freshman offensive lineman Chris Hutton (Largo, Md.) is one of two Sea Gulls to be named All-ACFC honorable mention.

For the second straight year, quarterback Ronnie Curley was selected to the All-ACFC second team. The senior signal caller is three-time ACFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 1, 6, 10) and leads the conference in rushing per game (96.5 yards). The Ellicott City, Md., native is second in the ACFC in scoring per game (8.0 points), third in all purpose yards (104.1 yards per game) and fourth in total offensive yards per game (139.7 yards). Curley has passed for 432 yards and four touchdowns in '08 and has not thrown an interception in his 70 pass attempts.

Senior wide receiver Kevin Tillage earned second team honors for his play this season as he led the Gulls in receiving yards (187) on nine catches (20.8 yards per reception average) with one touchdown and a 60-yard long for the season. Tillage, from Woodbridge, Va., also handles kick return duties for SU and has returned 17 kicks for 297 yards (17.5 yards per return average).

Sophomore Bryan Woolson received second team honors for his play in the backfield as he earned ACFC Offensive Player of the Week honors in Week 5 and is fourth in the conference in rushing yards per game with 74.3. The White Hall, Md., native has carried the ball 71 times for 669 yards and seven touchdowns in his first season as a starter for the maroon and gold.

On the special teams, freshman kicker Tommy Kowalick earned a spot on the first team as he made 5-of-6 field goal attempts this season and connected on 45-of-47 extra-point attempts. Kowalick, who hails from Sterling, Va., scored 60 points for the Gulls and leads the ACFC in both field goals made (.56 per game) and point after attempt (PAT) success rate (95 percent).

Sophomore punt returner Zach Holbrook from Millersville, Md., landed on the second team for the maroon and gold for his work in the return game. Holbrook has returned 18 punts for 244 yards which equals 13.6 yards per punt return, tops in the ACFC.

Wesley College, the ACFC champions, led the way with 19 players selected to the all-conference teams and earned four of the five ACFC postseason awards. The ACFC award winners are Wesley quarterback Shane McSweeny (Offensive Player of the Year), Wesley linebacker Sean Matthews (Defensive Player of the Year), Wolverine return specialist Larry Beavers (Special Teams Player of the Year) and Wesley coach Mike Drass (Coach of the Year). Apprentice School freshman linebacker Mana Ohia was named the conference Rookie of the Year. Frostburg State University had 13 players selected and Apprentice had 11 named to the all-conference teams.

Salisbury has had 128 players earn All-ACFC honors since the Sea Gulls joined the conference in 1998.

Also see:

 2008 Salisbury University Football All-ACFC Honorees

Matt Barnes headshot   Jarrell Chandler headshot   Paul Cynewski headshot   Shelby Fisher headshot

Matt Barnes
All-ACFC First Team


Jarrell Chandler
All-ACFC First Team


Paul Cynewski
All-ACFC First Team


Shelby Fisher
All-ACFC First Team

 Tommy Kowalick    David Preston headshot   Matthew Bookard headshot   Bryan Burdalski headshot

Tommy Kowalick
All-ACFC First Team


David Preston
All-ACFC First Team


Matthew Bookard
All-ACFC Second Team


Bryan Burdalski
All-ACFC Second Team

Ronnie Curley headshot   Zach Holbrook headshot   Greg Miletic headshot   Kevin Tillage headshot

Ronnie Curley
All-ACFC Second Team


Zach Holbrook
All-ACFC Second Team


Greg Miletic
All-ACFC Second Team


Kevin Tillage
All-ACFC Second Team

 Bryan Woolson headshot    Justin Chura headshot    

Chris Hutton headshot

Bryan Woolson
All-ACFC Second Team
  Justin Chura
Honorable Mention
  Chris Hutton
Honorable Mention


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