December 20, 2011
Trio of Red Dragon All-Americans
SUNY Cortland senior offensive tackle Billy Castro, sophomore wide receiver John Babin and graduate student quarterback Dan Pitcher have been named to the 2011 D3football.com All-America team.
Castro was selected to the All-America second team. Babin and Pitcher were honorable mention choices.
Coach Dan MacNeill’s Red Dragons finished 9-2 this fall, capped by a victory in the ECAC Division III Southeast Bowl over Albright College. Cortland tied for second place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference with a 7-2 mark and beat rival Ithaca College 27-3 to retain the Cortaca Jug trophy.
Castro is a D3football.com All-American for the second straight year. The Washingtonville native was an honorable mention choice in 2010. The 6-foot-3, 315-pound left tackle led an offensive line that helped Cortland average 413.1 total offensive yards per game, including more than 400 yards in eight of 11 games.
The Red Dragons allowed only nine sacks in 344 total passing plays — a school-record 2.6 percent sack rate.
Babin is one of only eight wide receivers nationally and Pitcher is one of only four quarterbacks nationally to earn spots on the All-America team since D3football.com picks only one quarterback and two wide receivers as honorable mention in addition to its first-team, second-team and third-team choices.
Babin set Cortland single-season records with 72 receptions for 1,183 yards and 16 touchdowns in 11 games. The Warwick Valley product caught at least one TD pass in 10 of 11 games, including each of Cortland’s final eight contests. He surpassed 100 receiving yards in a game five times, and tied the school single-game record with three TD catches on two occasions.
Cortland High alum Pitcher completed 197-of-317 passes (62.1 percent) for 2,712 yards and 31 touchdowns with only five interceptions in 11 games. He broke school records for TD passes in a season (31) and career (54) and passing efficiency rating in a season (163.1). His 2,712 passing yards are second-best in school history.
In addition, Pitcher threw a TD pass in a school-record 13 straight games, dating back to the 2010 season, and in 24 of the 25 games he started as a Red Dragon.
National champion Wisconsin-Whitewater had Lance Leipold named the Coach of the Year and running back Levell Coppage picked as the Offensive Player of the Year. Mount Union safety Nick Driskill was the Defensive Player of the Year.
The three Dragons were among several NJAC players honored, including The College of New Jersey punter Tyler Olsson named to the first team. Running back Chris D’Andrea out of Monclair State and linebacker Nick Bricker from TJNJ were second team choices, while safety Chad Faulcon from Montclair was on the third team. Montclair linebacker Dan Avento was among the honorable mentions.
Ithaca senior Dan Ruffrage was a third team choice as a kick returner.
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