Wrestling ranked fifth on NWCA NAIA All-Academic team list

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 26, 2016 in Wrestling

NWCA release

SEWARD, Neb. – Following an eighth-place finish at the 2016 NAIA national championships, the Concordia University wrestling program garnered a lofty placement on the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic team list. In terms of collective great point average among top varsity performers, the Bulldogs ranked fifth best among all NAIA wrestling programs with a figure of 3.26.

“It’s a big testament to what we’re trying to do – perform high in classroom and on the mat,” Vote said. “We want to do the right things all the time. It’s huge to be able to say that we’re the highest ranked team in terms of combined performance academically and on the mat.”

Team grade point averages are calculated by taking each team’s top 10 GPAs among its 12 wrestlers who competed at regionals. Teams can then submit their top two individual GPAs out of athletes that competed at least once at the varsity level in 2015-16.

Concordia is the only team in the nation to finish in the top 10 at the national championships while also recording a GPA that ranks inside the top five in the NAIA. Individually, juniors Foster Bunce and Ken Burkhardt Jr. represented the Bulldogs on the NWCA’s list of NAIA All-Academic wrestlers. To be nominated for consideration for the All-Academic team, a wrestler must have at least a 3.25 grade-point average and be a 2016 NAIA national championship qualifier or have a 3.0 GPA and earned All-American honors at the 2016 championships in Topeka, Kan.

Said Director of Athletics Devin Smith, “I am proud of Coach Vote and especially the student-athletes who are striving to pursue excellence as a team in the classroom and on the mat.”

Bunce and fellow junior Austin Starkey were also named 2015-16 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. National champion Andrew Schulte, Burkhardt Jr. and Kodie Cole were the three Bulldogs to reach the stand as All-Americans back in March.