TUCKNESS NAMED BEYOND SPORTS NETWORK PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANBy Michael Wells Sports Information Director
LOS ANGELES — When you end up in the end zone as often as Occidental College wide receiver Matthew Tuckness (Alamo) did last season, people take notice.
Tuckness, who led the SCIAC with 14 touchdowns catches in 2011, was named to the Beyond Sports Network's Pre-Season All-American Second Team last week.
As they almost always are, preseason awards are based on the previous season's performance and Tuckness' 2011 year ranked right up there with the best pass catchers in the nation.
He was named First-Team All-SCIAC, and ranked second in the conference with 89.7 yards and 7.3 receptions per game. The senior scored a touchdown in every game but one and had six games with two touchdown receptions.
"It's a great feeling when your hard work is recognized, but without your teammates and coaches awards like this are unattainable," Tuckness said.
As the moments got bigger, Tuckness got better. Five of his touchdowns came in the fourth quarter and his nine second-half scores alone would have tied the next best SCIAC touchdown reception total.
"We're very excited and proud that Matt has received this recognition after having a great 2011 season," Occidental associate head coach and offensive coordinator Eric Bergstrom said. "He was a key component to our passing attack last season and we plan on him playing the same role this year."
Pomona-Pitzer running back Luke Sweeney, and Cal Lutheran wide receiver Eric Rodgers and tight end JJ Gallagher were the only other SCIAC players on the first, second or third teams. Cal Lu linebacker Jacob Norlock earned an honorable mention.
The Tigers finished the 2011 season 5-4 overall and 3-3 in conference play. They begin 2012 against Pacific (Ore.) at home on Sept. 8.