Manheim, Pa. - The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) released its Top 30 Division III All-Academic teams and the top 189 All-Academic individuals on Tuesday.
Coach Scott Legacy's Castleton Spartans lead the team standings, with an average grade-point average of 3.667. The second-year program also boasts four individuals on the NWCA Division III All-Academic team. Following Castleton is Top 30-regular Williams College, which checked in second with 3.651, while Stevens Tech with a solid 3.635. Augsburg was fourth with a 3.628 and Washington & Lee rounded out the top five with an average GPA of 3.616.
The Ephs have been named a National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Top Scholar Team each of Honecker's six years at Williams.
The Williams wrestlers own the highest team GPA of all of the teams competing n the NCAA DIII Championships in Cleveland this weekend.
To qualify as an NWCA Scholar All-American, a wrestler must be in at least his second semester at a school. His GPA must be at least 3.2 and he must meet at least one of the following wrestling criteria:
1. 2016 NCAA Qualifier with a record above .500
2. Regional top six AND greater than .500 record AND competed in 50% or greater of a team's schedule
3. Record above 0.670 AND competed in 50% or greater of a team's schedule
Overall, 67 different institutions were represented, which accounts for over 64 percent of active Division III wrestling programs nationwide.
"This just continues to show the importance of how athletes in Division III balance their athletic careers and their educational opportunities," said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. "Division III is the largest in number of teams at the NCAA level and we know these athletes are competing without athletic scholarships and their experiences on the mat and in the classroom exemplify what it means to compete in Division III and in the sport of wrestling."
Rounding out the top 10: 6. Milwaukee School of Engineering (3.554), 7. Johns Hopkins (3.549), 8. Case Western Reserve (3.5394), 9. Springfield (3.5206) and 10. Ithaca (3.4969).
"The landscape of Division III really can provide student-athletes with exactly what they want, between a smaller, liberal arts college, or a larger state school," said Moyer. "We've seen tremendous academic performances in some of our nation's finest academic institutions, and many of them exist in Division III. I like to say that college wrestling provides the next generation of our teachers and coaches, but some of these kids are our next generations of doctors, rocket scientists and biochemists."