By: Jay Kidwell
Three Leathernecks represented the Western Illinois Football program on the Phil Steele preseason All-Missouri Valley Football team, as announced in the preseason publication.
Junior defensive back Martinez Davis (Madisonville, KY/North Hopkins) and sophomore linebacker J.J. Raffelson (Lake Zurich/Lake Zurich) were First Team selections while senior offensive lineman Jimmy Holtschlag (Quincy/Notre Dame) was chosen Second Team.
Davis, a Second Team MVFC selection after last season, recorded a team-leading five interceptions and returned two of them for a touchdown. He was tied for 10th nationally in picks and 49th in passes defended. Davis finished with 38 tackles in 11 games played (nine starts).
Raffelson was a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award (national Freshman of the Year), finishing 15th in the final ballot. An Honorable Mention All-MVFC and All-Newcomer selection, Raffelson became the first Leatherneck freshman to lead the team in tackles. In 11 games played he recorded 105 tackles, and his 9.55 per game average put him 32nd nationally. Five times he had 10 or more tackles in a game.
Entering his senior year, Holtschlag has made 28 starts in his career. The starting right tackle, he is a two-time Honorable Mention All-MVFC pick, twice named CoSIDA Academic All-District and two-time FCS Athletic Directors Association Academic All-Star selection.
The Leathernecks open the 2013 season at home against Hampton on Thursday, August 29th. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Season tickets are on sale by calling (309) 298-1190 or online at www.GoLeathernecks.com.
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Western Illinois University