It was a banner year for Division II wrestling programs as the National Wrestling Coaches Association released its annual All-Academic team and individual standings for the 2017-18 season. With more than 300 individuals and 51 teams represented, it was the largest collective group of Division II athletes and teams ever named to the team. This group of honorees included 12 student-athletes from the NCAA DII champion St. Cloud State wrestling team in 2017-18.
“What we’ve seen across all levels of wrestling is the importance of the student part of the term student-athlete,” NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer said. “Coaches around the country understand the importance to the health of our sport isn’t just putting out good wrestlers and winning championships, but providing an environment where we foster growth in the classroom and in turn, develop the next generation of teachers and coaches to continue that mindset.”
Colorado School of Mines led the honorees with 16 All-Academic selections, while Maryville was a close second with 15 honorees, followed by 13 Upper Iowa Peacocks and 12 apiece from the University of Indianapolis, Nebraska-Kearney and St. Cloud State.
SCSU wrestlers honored this year included All-Americans Brett Velasquez, Larry Bomstad, Kolton Eischens and Jarred Oftedahl along with NCAA qualifier Devin FitzPatrick. The SCSU group also included senior Travis Holt, who earned the All-Academic award for the fourth consecutive season.
In order for a student-athlete to be nominated to the Division II All-Academic Team, he must have a minimum 3.2 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale, with that benchmark at 3.0 for those who qualified for the 2018 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships. The athlete must also be in at least a second full year at his school, and have competed in a minimum of six dates of competition.
“Each college and university brings a special set of academic challenges to our educational system,” said Moyer. “What we’ve seen from our annual All-Academic teams is that among student-athletes, wrestlers are excelling in the classroom, and that’s not only great for their respective schools, but it’s also great for our respective sport as we continue to add new program after new program and emphasize the quality of student-athlete these schools can bring to their campuses,” said Moyer.
SCSU claimed its third NCAA championship in 2018 and also won the NCAA DII Super 3 Regional and the NSIC championship in 2018. The Huskies posted a 19-0 record and won their seventh consecutive NSIC crown this winter along with a top finish at the 2018 NWCA DII National Duals under the leadership of head coach Steve Costanzo.
To view the full NWCA release, click HERE.
SCSU’s NWCA All-Academic Team Award Winners for 2017-18
Brett Velasquez, Junior, 125 lbs., Biomedical Science
Garrett Vos, Freshman, 125 lbs., Criminal Justice
Jarred Oftedahl, Senior, 141 lbs, Liberal Studies
John Roddick, RSophomore, 141, Nursing
Travis Swanson, Junior, 141, Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering
Josh Barzowski, Freshman, 157, General Studies
Larry Bomstad, Senior, 157 Technology Management
Travis Holt, Senior, 157, Health and Physical Education
Devin Fitzpatrick, Freshman, 165, General Business
Kolton Eischens, Sophomore, 174, Health and Physical Education
Brady Nelson, Sophomore, 184, Criminal Justice
Brady Reigstad, Freshman, 285, Technology Management