Matakevich, Owls honored by conference

Senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich and six of his teammates were named to the first team Alll-American Athletic Conference.

Matakevich, who was the only first-team all-conference unanimous selection, received The American’s Defensive Player of the Year Award. The senior has 118 tackles this season, including 141/2 tackles for loss, and five interceptions.

“It’s quite an honor,” Matakevich said in a press release. “I said it before and it’s no different now. I’m able to make plays because my coaches put me in the right position and my teammates take on blockers to free me up. I’m prouder that Temple had more all-conference selections than any single award I have received.”

Other first team all-conference defensive selections included redshirt-senior defensive lineman Nate D. Smith, senior defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis and senior defensive back Alex Wells.

On the other side of the ball senior offensive lineman Kyle Friend and Eric Lofton and junior running back Jahad Thomas were named to The American’s first team.

In his first season as the team’s primary running back, Thomas is The American’s No. 3 leading rusher with 1,188 yards and 17 touchdowns.

“It means a lot, knowing the work that the team and I put in during the offseason, to have the success we’re having over the year, and having the chance to play for a championship this week,” Thomas said in a press release. “It’s been great. We’re having so much fun this season, and I love everybody here, and how hard they push me and how we’ve pushed each other to get to this point in the season.”

Other honorees included sophomore defensive back Sean Chandler and junior offensive lineman Dion Dawkins, who received second team honors, and redshirt-junior defensive lineman Haason Reddick, who was an honorable mention.