Ten Diplomats Named to 2003 All-Centennial Conference Football Team

LANCASTER, PA -- Franklin & Marshall College placed ten players on the 2003 All-Centennial Conference Football team that was announced today by Executive Secretary Steven Ulrich.

F&M wide receiver Justin Salton (Sr., Gillette, NJ/Watchung Hills) highlighted the All-Conference selections by being named to the first team.

A unanimous first team selection for the second straight year following first team honors as a junior, Salton rewrote the Centennial Conference record book finishing the season with new Conference single season (84) and career (241) receptions records.

This year, he caught a Centennial Conference record 84 catches for 968 yards, eclipsing the previous CC and Franklin & Marshall record of 77 catches that he established last season. In addition, he closed his career with 241 catches for 3,146 yards to establish new Centennial Conference, Franklin & Marshall and Eastern College Athletic Conference records in career receptions erasing the previous record of 233 for 3,846 yards held by Franklin & Marshall College's Dale Amos '90.

The second CC receiver to gain 3,000 yards or 200 receptions in a career, he ranks sixth in Centennial Conference history in career touchdowns as the fifth-year senior finished with 23.

A D3football.com All-America preseason selection and a nominee for the 2003 Gagliardi Award, the equivalent in Division III of the Heismann Award, Salton finished as the 2002 and 2003 Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Year runner-up.

Statistically, Salton recorded several top five finishes on the Diplomats' record board as he caught 13 passes versus the #1 nationally pass defense of Johns Hopkins to tie for the second best receiving performance in school history. He followed the mark up with 11 catches for 149 yards at Ursinus in a 37-17 for the fifth best performance in the annals of Franklin & Marshall College. For his performance at Ursinus, in which he grabbed 42 and 27 yard TD receptions, he was named the November 9 Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

In single season touchdown passes, he pulled down nine this year for the fourth best performance in school history, and combined with classmate Matt Wagaman (Sr., Lititz, PA/Warwick) on 379 catches for 4,952 yards to obliterate the Conference career catches mark by a pair of receivers.

On the second team, Wagaman led four Franklin & Marshall selections as the fifth year wideout caught 31 passes for 379 yards with two touchdowns to finish his career with 138 catches for 1806 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Part of the "Dynamic Duo" receiving corps, he was one-half of the best pair of receivers in Conference history as Wagaman and Salton become the first receiving tandem that each has over 100 career catches.

A member of the October 25 Centennial Conference Honor Roll for grabbing a three yard strike from quarterback Doug Hiltner (Sr., Margate, NJ/Atlantic City) in overtime for the winning margin in a 20-14 overtime victory over Dickinson College on Alumni Weekend as the Diplomats rallied from a 14-6 deficit with less than two minutes to go to capture the win. Overall, Wagaman caught seven passes for 78 yards, including five for 45 yards in the second half, to key the Diplomats to their first overtime win in the history of the program.

A 2001 & 2002 CC Honorable Mention selection at tightend and wide receiver, respectively, he holds the distinction of being only the fifth player in the last 100 years of F&M football to serve as a team captain twice as he led the team in 2002 and 2003.

Joining Wagaman on the second team offense are right tackle Dan Eberstein (Sr., Flemington, NJ/Hunterdon Central) and quarterback Jeff Harner (Fr., Mohrsville, PA/Schuylkill Valley).

A transfer from West Chester of Pennsylvania, Harner stepped into the starting quarterback role beginning with the first game of the season and finished the year ranked among the Conference's best in passing average (2nd, 138.0 ypg), touchdown passes (3rd, 8) and total offense (3rd, 148.8 ypg).

Historically, he tied for second all-time in single game completions with 27 for 306 yards versus the #1 nationally ranked pass defense of Johns Hopkins. Further, he and Hiltner guided a pass offense which finished third all-time in school history in yardage (1,994) and completed an all-time school record 181 passes breaking the record of 174 from the 1992 season.

On defense, linebacker Matt Capone (Jr., Scarsdale, NY/Scarsdale) earned his second All-Conference nod as he was named to the 2003 All-Centennial Conference Men's Lacrosse first team for leading the NCAA in face-off winning percentage.

This year, Capone finished second on the team in tackles and tackles for loss with 80 and 11 for loss of 35 yards, to raise his career total to 151 tackles and 21 tackles for loss of 57 yards.

Punter Dan Eggertsson (Jr., Royal Palm, FL/Suncoast), defensive lineman Chris White (Sr., Vestal, NY/Vestal) and linebacker Andy Rehring (Sr., State College, PA/State College) were named to the honorable mention defense, while tightend Dan Houseman (Sr., Wyomissing, PA/Wyomissing) and center Tom Rapone (Sr., Wayne, NJ/Wayne Valley) earned honors on the offense.

The Centennial Conference season champion with a 36.9 average, Eggertsson led the Conference in punting average for nine of the season's 10 weeks in 2003. A member of the November 16 Centennial Conference Honor Roll, he made the play of the game punting 40 yards to the Gettysburg one-yard line with 3:14 remaining in the game to seal a 14-13 Diplomats' victory in the final game of the season.

A member of the 2003 Franklin & Marshall Men's Golf Centennial Conference Championship team, he recorded a Conference best 14 punts inside the 20 yard line and nailed the third longest punt in school history with a 70-yarder at Centre College as he finished the year with 58 kicks for 2,142 yards.

On the defensive line, White tallied 48 tackles and ranked eighth in the Conference in tackles-for-loss with 11.5 for 74 yards.

A member of the October 11 and November 1 Centennial Conference Defensive Honor Rolls, he led the Conference in fumbles recovered with three. In addition, he tied linebacker Dan Nadler (Sr., Scarsdale, NY/Edgemont) for fourth in the CC in sacks with nine and finished third in sack yardage with 67 yards.

At linebacker, Rehring became F&M's all-time leading tackler with 337 hits as he finished with 97 tackles this season. Historically, he finished three tackles short of becoming the first player in school history to record a string of three consecutive 100-tackle seasons and broke the school record for most tackles-for-loss in a game with six for 22 yards, shattering the previous mark of five set by 2001 & 2002 All-Conference defensive lineman Chris Gallino '03 in 2000 versus McDaniel.

A four time CC Defensive Honor Roll recipient and a team captain in 2003, he earned Player of the Week honors on October 25 for finishing with a career high 18 tackles in an overtime win over Dickinson as he combined with Capone for a touchdown saving tackle on the final play in overtime.

He recorded his second game saving play of the year in the Diplomats' final contest of the season as he forced a fumble which White recovered in the final minute of the game to stop a Gettysburg drive and preserve a 14-13 victory over the Bullets.

Overall, he concluded the year ranked second in the Conference in fumbles forced with two while adding added 11 tackles for loss of 37 yards to raise his career total to 28 TFLs for 100 yards.

On offense, Rapone, a 2003 captain, anchored a Diplomats' line which provided protection as Franklin & Marshall finished the season ranked second in the Conference in passing offense with an average of 199.4 yards per game.

At tightend, Houseman caught 23 passes for 169 yards on the year and reeled in a one-yard toss from tailback Scott Stephen (Jr., Glen Rock, Glen Rock) for the game winning touchdown versus Gettysburg in the final game of the season.

His performance tied for the most single season receptions by a tightend in Franklin & Marshall College history as he equaled two-time All-CC first team selection Andy Gilburg '01.

A CoSIDA Academic All-District II First Team selection, he had a breakout game at Johns Hopkins as he caught four passes for 49 yards versus the #1 nationally ranked pass of the Blue Jays in only his sixteenth game after being converted from defensive line to tightend at the conclusion of the 2001 season.

A solid blocker, he did not allow a sack and concluded the year ranked 10th in the Conference in receptions per game with 2.88 per contest. Notably, he was the only tightend to rank in the top 15 in the Conference in receptions.

As a team, the Diplomats concluded the season with a 4-6 record, 3-3 in Centennial Conference play to finish fourth in the seven team Conference. Overall, Franklin & Marshall concluded the year with three Conference wins for the first time since 1998 (4-3) and three home victories in a season for the first time since 1997.

Franklin & Marshall will open the 2004 season on September 4 at home versus Bethany College. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m.

2003 All-Centennial Conference Football
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
QB-George Merrell, JHU, Sr. (unanimous)
RB-Adam Cook, JHU, Sr. (unanimous)
RB-Matt Bernardo, MUHL, Sr. (unanimous) +
WR-Justin Salton, F&M, Sr. (unanimous) *
WR-Kodi Shay, MUHL, Sr. #
TE-Rob Sherman, MUHL, Sr. *
OL-Matt Weeks, JHU, Jr. (unanimous)
OL-Chris Radomski, MUHL, Sr. (unanimous) *
OL-Frank Santini, MUHL, Sr. (A) (unanimous)
OL-Brad Stewart, MDL, Jr.
OL-Enoch Boateng, GET, So.
PK-Nate Getchell, MDL, Jr.

FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL-Paul Smith, JHU, Sr. (unanimous)
DL-Mike DellaPella, MUHL, Jr.
DL-Dan McCall, MUHL, So.
DL-Tony Braglio, MDL, Sr.
LB-Tony Briscella, MUHL, Sr. (unanimous) #
LB-Paul Longo, JHU, Sr. (A) #
LB-Grant Acker, GET, Jr.
LB-Omar Phillip, MDL, Sr. *
DB-Matt Campbell, JHU, Jr. (unanimous) *
DB-Rob Wingfield, MDL, Sr. (unanimous) *
DB-Thanasis Petrakis, MUHL, Sr. #
P-Cory Allen, MDL, So.
KR-Kodi Shay, MUHL, Sr. *

SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
QB-Jeff Harner, F&M, Fr.
RB-Gentris Bryant, GET, Sr.
RB-Gary Sheffield, URS, Sr. (A) *
WR-Brian Wolcott, JHU, Jr. %
WR-Matt Wagaman, F&M, Sr. %
TE-A.J. Sutsko, GET, Sr.
OL-Robert Olson, DC, Jr. *
OL-Phil Storace, GET, Sr.
OL-Dan Eberstein, F&M, Sr.
OL-Mark DeGennaro, JHU, So.
OL-Drew Reinecker, MDL, Sr. %
PK-Chris Smolyn, JHU, Sr. #

SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL-Bob Ziegler, DC, Sr.
DL-Matt Pinkney, GET, Sr.
DL-Matt Capone, F&M, Jr.
DL-Joe Rydzewski, MDL, Sr. #
LB-Troy Mason, MDL, Sr.
LB-Dan Walker, MUHL, Jr.
LB-Tom Reilly, URS, Sr. (A)
LB-Adam Luke, JHU, So.
DB-Jimmy Sierotko, DC, Sr.
DB-Joe Deluzio, JHU, Sr.
DB-Joe Getz, MUHL, Sr.
P-Chris Smolyn, JHU, Sr.
KR-French Pope, MDL, Sr. #

HONORABLE MENTION OFFENSE
TE-Dan Houseman, F&M, Sr. (A)
OL-Mike Leanch, MUHL, So.
OL-Tom Rapone, F&M, Sr.
OL-Todd Williams, MDL, Sr. #

HONORABLE MENTION DEFENSE
DL-Chris White, F&M, Sr.
DL-Alan Cody, JHU, So.
LB-Andy Rehring, F&M, Sr. %
LB-Max Whitacre, JHU, So. (A)
P-Dan Eggertsson, F&M, Jr.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Kodi Shay, Muhlenberg, Sr., WR/KR

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Matt Campbell, Johns Hopkins, Jr., DB

+ 1st team All-Centennial 2001, 2002
* 1st team All-Centennial 2002
# 2nd team All-Centennial 2002
% Honorable Mention All-Centennial 2002
(A) Named to 2003 Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll