Football season is still six weeks away, but Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos continues to reap preseason accolades.

On Monday, the rising junior defensive end from Chancellor High School was one of 80 players named to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, presented annually to the nation’s top defensive player. That recognition came days after he was rated as the No. 69 overall player in college football by

Gross-Matos, who made 20 tackles for loss as a sophomore last season, was previously named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list in May. Penn State opens its season Aug. 31 against Idaho.

Also named to the Bednarik watch list was Virginia senior cornerback Bryce Hall. Chosen to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s top player overall, were quarterbacks Bryce Perkins of Virginia and Ryan Willis of Virginia Tech.


  • Three local athletes from Virginia and two each from Virginia Tech and Duke were named to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 2018–19 Academic Honor Roll, which requires a 3.0 grade-point average.

Virginia’s honorees were field hockey players Colleen Norair (Fredericksburg Academy) and Catesby Willis (James Monroe), along with softball’s Arizona Ritchie (Brooke Point). The Hokies were represented by football’s Vinny Mihota (Massaponax) and swimmer Annalee Johnson (Mountain View), while Duke placed track’s Ben Beatty (Courtland) and Stafford county lacrosse player Michelle Staggers (a four-time honoree) on the team, along with Georgia Tech runner Henrik Anderson (Mountain View).

  • Five local athletes were named to the Virginia Sports Information Directors’ Academic All-State Team. Each state school nominated up to six athletes with GPAs of 3.25 or better.

They included Mary Washington senior runner Jillian Weisbeck (Stafford); Bridgewater runner Calista Ariel (Chancellor); Hollins swimmer Maya Schattgen (Fredericksburg Academy), Randolph soccer player Wade Hall (Courtland) and Virginia Wesleyan basketball player Jayla Harris (Chancellor).

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Steve DeShazo: 374-5443

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