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Butler Bulldogs JoJo Ciancio Named Co-PFL Scholar-Athlete of the Year

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Butler Bulldogs senior defensive back and team captain JoJo Ciancio, a standout in the classroom and on the football field, has been named a co-recipient of the first Pioneer Football League Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. He was one of nine Butler players named to the 22nd Annual Academic All-PFL Team, selected by the league’s sports information directors.

An honor student majoring in economics and finance, Ciancio shared the PFL’s top academic award with linebacker Taylor Coleman of Drake. The Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award was added this year to recognize the PFL’s top student-athletes for their performance both in the classroom and on the field.

Photo: Butler Athletics/JoJo Ciancio
Photo: Butler Athletics/JoJo Ciancio

A starter in all 11 games for Butler, Ciancio led the Bulldogs and ranked ninth in the PFL in tackles with 84. He finished second among the league’s defensive backs in tackles with his 7.5 average. The Darien, Ill., native also led Butler and tied for tenth in the PFL in pass interceptions with three. He was named honorable mention All-PFL this season.

Last month, Ciancio was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team. He’s a two-time PFL Academic All-Conference selection, and he’s been chosen to the PFL Academic Honor Roll for four straight years.

Ciancio was one of three Butler players named first team Academic All-PFL. RS-junior quarterback Matt Shiltz and junior tight end Zack Wolfe also earned first team honors. Shiltz, who played in six games before suffering a season-ending hand injury, is an honor student majoring in accounting, while Wolfe is an actuarial science major.

Butler players named to the Academic All-PFL second team were junior offensive lineman Michael Demos, senior wide receiver Derek O’Connor, senior defensive lineman Kyle Annis, RS-freshman defensive back Jacob Balder, RS-sophomore linebacker Sean Horan and RS-junior punter Brian Akialis. Demos, a first team All-PFL performer, is a criminology major, while Akialis, a second team All-PFL player, is a middle/secondary education major. O’Connor is majoring in chemistry/biology, Annis is an actuarial science major, Balder is a business/exploratory major and Horan is an economics/mechanical engineering major.
2014 Academic All-Pioneer Football League First Team
(as selected by PFL sports information directors)
Student-Athlete      School      Class      Pos.      Hometown      GPA      Major (Minor)

OFFENSE (12 selections due to a tie in voting)

Will Bardo (1) Dayton R-Sr. QB Ft. Thomas, Ky. 3.46 Mechanical Engineering
Josh Daryoush Davidson Jr. OL Bethesday, Md. 3.62 Pre-Med
Dalton Dillon Campbell Jr. RB Colfax, N.C. 3.52 Business Administration
William Morris Davidson Jr. WR Dallas, Texas 3.36 Economics/Religion
Andy Rice (1) Drake Sr. QB Stevens Point, Wis. 3.78 Marketing and management
Will Sawyer Campbell R-Sr. OL Elizabeth City, N.C. 3.37 Biology
Matt Shiltz Butler R-Jr. QB St. Charles, Ill. 3.92 Accounting
Ross Smith (1) Dayton R-Sr. WR Lewis Center, Ohio 3.41 Business
Hunter Somerville (1) Campbell R-Jr. TE Winston-Salem, N.C. 3.54 Criminal Justice
Cory Stuart Dayton R-So. WR Solon, Ohio 3.83 Pre-Physical Therapy
Dakota Wolf Campbell R-Sr. QB Stanley, Va. 3.46 Business Administration
Zack Wolfe Butler Jr. TE Crest Hill, Ill. 3.94 Actuarial Science
Christopher Beaschler (2) Dayton R-So. LB Ada, Ohio 3.77 Mechanical Engineering
Bryant Bednarek (1) Davidson Sr. DB Westerville, Ohio 3.46 Economics
JoJo Ciancio (1) Butler Sr. DB Darien, Ill. 3.83 Economics/Finance
Taylor Coleman (1) Drake Jr. LB Hawthorn Woods, Ill. 4.00 Finance
Alex Green (1) Valparaiso Jr. LB Zionsville, Ind. 3.53 Mechanical Engineering
Danny Leach (1) Dayton Jr. DB Downers Grove, Ill. 3.80 Education (Business Administration)
Troy McClelland (3,1) San Diego Sr. LB San Diego, CA 3.89 Accountancy
Colin Merrill (1) Davidson Sr. DB Circleville, Ohio 3.44 Biology
Brett Park Drake 5th-Sr. DL Olivette, Mo. 3.70 Finance
Donald Payne Stetson So. DB Fayetteville, Ga. 3.41 Finance
Lucas Smith (2) Campbell R-Sr. DL Lebanon, Va. 3.74 Physical Education
Pat DiSalvio Morehead State So. P Cincinnati, Ohio 4.00 Biomedical Science
Adam Lutz (1) Campbell Sr. P/K Waxhaw, N.C. 3.58 Graphic Design
Kyle Pignatiello Dayton Sr. P Tipp City, Ohio 3.47 Sport Management

Notes in parentheses: 3 – player is a three-time first-team Academic All-PFL selection; 1-was a first-team selection in 2013; 2-was a first-team selection in 2013.

2014 Academic All-Pioneer Football League Second Team

Student-Athlete      School      Class       Pos.      Hometown      GPA      Major (Minor)

Stuart Barkley Valparaiso Sr. OL Overland Park, Kan. 3.73 Mechanical Engineering
Jack Beck Drake Sr. OL Whitefish Bay, Wis. 3.59 Marketing
Ben Bolling Campbell R-Jr. WR Knightdale, N.C. 3.36 Exercise & Sports Science
Brandon Bornhauser Morehead State R-Sr. SB Cincinnati, Ohio 3.50 Business Administration
Michael Demos Butler Jr. OL Glenview, Ill. 3.39 Criminology
Fletcher Eldemire Stetson Jr. C Longwood, Fla. 3.55 Pre-Med/Biology
Jake Hutson Valparaiso Sr. RB Blanchard, Mich. 3.62 Mechanical Engineering (Electrical Engineering)
Aaron Johnson Drake Sr. OL Iowa City, Iowa 3.62 Law, politics and society
Brian Lang Valparaiso So. OL Chicago, Ill. 3.89 Accounting
Zac Morgan Dayton R-So. OT Mokena, Ill 3.52 Entrepreneurship & Accounting
Derek O’Connor Butler Sr. WR Bourbannais, Ill. 3.45 Chemistry/Biology
Kyle Annis Butler Sr. DT Hilliard, Ohio 3.55 Actuarial Science
Jacob Balder Butler R-Fr. DB Deerfield, Ill. 3.57 Business/Exploratory
Davion Belk Stetson So. DE Chicago, IL 3.44 Marketing
Devyn Bryant San Diego So. CB San Diego, CA 3.56 Mechanical Engineering
John Guilford Valparaiso Jr. DE Spencer, Ohio 3.31 Mechanical Engineering
Una Hamala San Diego Sr. LB Inglewood, CA 3.39 Business Admin.
Sean Horan Butler R-So. LB Kings Mills, Ohio 3.94 Economics/Mechanical Engineering
Luke Keller Morehead State Jr. LB Lucasville, Ohio 3.35 Exercise Science
David Lazear Stetson So. LB Newark, Del. 3.66 Economics & Chemistry
Drew Ormseth Drake Sr. DB Lake In The Hills, Ill. 3.71 Health sciences
Andrew Yost Campbell R-Jr. LB Huntersville, N.C. 3.55 Athletic Training
Brian Akialis Butler R-Jr. P Buffalo Grove, Ill. 3.56 Middle/Secondary Education
Ryan Belden San Diego So. P Diamond Bar, CA 3.30 Undeclared
Spencer Lee Drake R-Sr. K St. Louis, Mo. 3.62 Health sciences

Chris Fultz is a senior writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.

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