BY JEFF FALK
It really shouldn’t have come as a surprise. It was simply the natural next step in the evolution of Mark Pyles the player – and the person.
Pyles, a 2014 graduate of Lebanon High School and a junior at Bucknell University, was recently tabbed as a preseason All-Patriot League linebacker. That honor comes on the heels of Pyles being named a Bison captain for the upcoming 2016 season this spring.
Pyles also has been named Bucknell’s strength and conditioning MVP twice.
Last season, playing inside linebacker in the Bison’s 5-2-4 scheme as a sophomore, the 6-0, 220-pound Pyles was a second-team All-Patriot League with 95 tackles – a total that was fifth in the league and led Bucknell. Of those 95 tackles, 7.5 went for loss and two were sacks.
At Lebanon High School, Pyles was the Maxwell Football Club Pennsylvania Player of the Year and the Jim Henry Award winner. In his senior season, he led the Cedars to a 7-4 record and into the District Three Class AAAA playoffs.