Three Football Players Earn First Team ESPN Academic All-District Honors

Schoettgen, Guerra and Plzak Receive Recognition

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University football players Scott Schoettgen (Sr., WR, Columbia, CA/Sonora HS), Luis Guerra (Sr., OT/OG, El Cajon, CA/Steele Canyon HS) and Dennis Plzak (Sr., OG, Gilbert, AZ/Highland HS) have been named First Team ESPN College Division Academic All-District VIII in voting by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The College Division features players in NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and the NAIA.

Schoettgen, Guerra and Plzak, along with other First Team Academic All-District selections, are eligible to be chosen for the ESPN Academic All-America Team, which will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 23.

CoSIDA District VIII includes college and universities in the western United States. Players nominated for the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team were starters or key reserves with cumulative grade point averages of 3.3 or higher (4.0 scale). Each nominated player was at his current college or university for at least one academic year.

Schoettgen is majoring in Exercise Science. He owns a cumulative GPA of 3.45. Plzak, who is working on a double major in Economics and Sociology, has a 3.39 GPA at Willamette. Guerra has achieved a 3.32 GPA and is pursuing a double major in International Studies and Spanish.

Scott SchoettgenSo far this season, Schoettgen has caught a team-high 46 passes for 923 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is averaging 20.1 yards per reception. He leads the Northwest Conference with 102.6 receiving yards per game and is third in the conference with 5.11 catches per game.

Schoettgen holds a Willamette career record with 36 touchdown receptions. In his four season with the Bearcats, Schoettgen has hauled in 126 passes for 2,408 yards.

Dennis PlzakPlzak is a starting offensive guard this season, but he also has played center during his career. His blocking contributed Willamette averaging 415.6 yards per game in 2008, followed by 402.8 yards per contest in 2009 and 429.2 yards per game so far this year.

He saw action in nine games in 2008, when Willamette took first place in the NWC, qualified for the NCAA Division III Playoffs and finished the season with an 11-1 record. Plzak started all 10 games in 2009 and has been a starter in every game this season.

Luis GuerraGuerra was named Second Team All-NWC in 2009 and was Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2008. He has started all 31 games since the start of the 2008 season. He has been a key blocker for Willamette's highly-successful running game, which averaged 251.2 yards per game in 2008 and 234.4 yards per game in 2009.

Through nine games this season, Guerra and the rest of the offensive line have helped WU rush for 2,193 yards (243.7 avg.) and 29 touchdowns. Guerra also has been involved in pass protection, allowing this year's team to throw for 1,670 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Willamette will conclude the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 13, when the Bearcats take on Pacific Lutheran University in Northwest Conference action. Game time at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup, Wash., is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (PST).

Dennis Plzak has started every game at offensive guard this year. His efforts have helped Willamette average 429.2 yards per game.

Dennis Plzak has started every game at offensive guard this year. His efforts have helped Willamette average 429.2 yards per game.