Six Spartans Earn USILA Academic Accolades

Thomas Pfeiffer and Hunter Davis embrace after a Spartan goal with the USILA All-Academic team logo
Photo courtesy of Scott Guise

YORK, PA – The York College men's lacrosse team placed six seniors on the 2019 USILA /Warrior and New Balance Division III All-American squad as announced by the USILA recently.

Seniors Billy Sasso, Brad Casale, J.D. Beck, Kevin Witchey, Thomas Pfeiffer, and Hunter Davis all earned a spot on the team as the Spartans had more scholar All-Americans than any other school in Division III this year. The six players earning the honor is one more than last year's school-record five.

In 1989, the USILA Scholar All-America Program was established to recognize student-athletes from USILA member institutions who have distinguished themselves academically, athletically and as citizens of their communities. The criteria for selection include the following: A Scholar All-American must be nominated by his coach and be a student with a senior year academic standing and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale). He will have behaved in a manner that has brought credit to himself, his institution, and to college lacrosse both on and off the field. He must also be an All-American, a member of a North/South team, or an outstanding league or conference player.

Sasso is an engineering major and owns a GPA of 3.81. He is a six-time Dean's List member and is a four-time CAC All-Academic pick. Sasso was also a CoSIDA All-District IV at-large selection. On the field, Sasso was a second-team All-CAC selection while he also earned USILA third-team All-American honors. He finished his senior year winning 252-of-409 face offs, good for a winning percentage of 61.6%, a team-high 143 ground balls, three goals, and three assists. Sasso played in 77 games during his Spartan career as he won 759-of-1269 career face offs while he also scooped up 394 ground balls. He totaled 11 points on seven goals and four assists including three goals and three assists in 2019. Sasso ranks second in career ground balls, third in career face off percentage (59.8%), and third in ground balls per game (5.12).

Casale is a cybersecurity management major who owns an overall GPA of 3.20. He was a three-time CAC All-Academic selection and earned Dean's List honors in the fall of 2017. Casale earned his first All-American award after having an outstanding senior year. Casale concluded his final year in the Green and White with 33 points on 26 goals and seven assists. He also had 30 ground balls and five caused turnovers. He was one of six Spartans to have 30 or more points during the year. Casale played in 65 career games with 21 starts as he ended his career with 68 career points on 53 goals and 15 assists. Casale earned first-team All-CAC honors earlier in the month of May.

Beck graduated with his degree in finance in May while he also earned a minor in marketing. Beck graduated Cum Laude with a 3.61 GPA as he was a six-time member of the Dean's List in his eight semesters at York. Beck was a four-time CAC All-Academic pick while he was also a three-time All-CAC men's lacrosse honoree. Beck led the team in caused turnovers with 34 while he also had 40 ground balls for the Spartan squad. He finishes his career with 87 games played with 67 starts. He recorded 91 caused turnovers, had 144 ground balls while he also had a goal and an assist. He is first in career games played (87), second in caused turnovers (91), fourth in caused turnovers per game (1.05), sixth in games started and 14th in ground balls. He finished his career as a three-time USILA All-American.

Witchey had a fantastic senior year as he earned the USILA Defensive Player of the Year. Witchey earned Magna Cum Laude honors as he graduated in May with a degree in sport management with minors in business administration and marketing. He completed his undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.86 as he was an eight-time member of the York College Dean's List. Witchey was a first-team All-American this year and was All-CAC for the first time in his career. Witchey played in and started all 22 games, notched 28 caused turnovers and scooped up 32 ground balls all while being trusted with checking the opponent's best players. Witchey finished his career playing 79 games with 65 starts. He totaled 105 ground balls and 65 caused turnovers. Witchey ranks fourth in career turnovers, seventh in career starts, and eighth in games played. He also is ninth in caused turnovers per game (0.82).

Pfeiffer capped his outstanding Spartan career with the USILA academic honor. Pfeiffer graduated in May with a degree in supply chain operations management while he also earned a minor in continuous improvement. He earned Cum Laude honors as he concluded his undergraduate studies with a GPA of 3.69. Pfeiffer earned Dean's List honors in all eight of his collegiate semesters. Pfeiffer was a two-time All-American after leading the team in scoring as he notched 88 points on 53 goals and 35 assists. He scored five man-up goals while he also had 33 ground balls, and had nine caused turnovers. Pfeiffer concluded his career with 264 points on 164 goals and 100 assists with 24 man-up goals, 126 ground balls, and 23 caused turnovers. He concluded his career with his name all over the Spartan record book as he finished first in assists, second in points, tied for second in games played (86), third in points per game (3.07), third in goals, third in man up goals, and fifth in games started (69). He is first in single-season points (88 in 2019), second in points (85 in 2018), third in assists (35 in 2019), third in man-up goals (10 in 2018), fourth in assists (33 in 2018), and tied for eighth in goals (52 in 2018).

Davis is another one of York's exceptional seniors. His major is a supply chain operations management and owns a GPA of 3.39 as he has made the York College Dean's List in four different semesters. Davis earned his first All-American honor at the end of a strong senior campaign. Davis finished his final year in the Green and White with 83 points on 57 goals and 26 assists as he started all 22 games for the Spartans. He also had three man-up goals, the Spartans lone man-down goal of the year, 29 ground balls and eight caused turnovers. For his career, Davis played in and started 86 games, scored 239 points on 173 goals and 66 assists. He recorded 25 man-up goals while he also had 134 ground balls and 25 caused turnovers. Davis owns the school record for career game-winning goals (28), first in games started, second in goals, second in man-up goals, third in points, and eighth in assists.

The senior class led the Spartans to a school-record tying 19 games as they reached the NCAA National Quarterfinals for the second straight season and the third time in school history. York won 73 games over the last four years, the highest win total for any senior class in school history.