MANHEIM, Pa. – The South Dakota State wrestling team not only put together its most impressive season in the Division I era on the mat during the 2016-17 campaign, but the Jacks also turned in impressive results in the classroom.
Tuesday, SDSU was recognized for a 12th-place showing in the National Wrestling Coaches Association's Top 30 All-Academic team standings with a 3.336 grade-point average through the fall semester. The GPA was calculated using a system that includes 12 student-athletes from each program. Ten of these came from the wrestlers who were entered in the NCAA tournament conference qualifier, along with two reserves of the head coach's choosing.
The recognition marks the third consecutive year in which Chris Bono's squad has been honored, while improving its standing in both categories each time. During the 2014-15 season, the Jackrabbits ranked 23rd with a 3.09 team GPA, followed by a 19th-place effort in 2015-16 with a 3.155 team GPA.
Harvard led the 2016-17 team rankings with a 3.586 GPA.
In addition, four Jackrabbits were honored as 2017 NWCA Division I All-Academic Individuals. Senior Alex Kocer was joined on the squad by juniors David Kocer, Nate Rotert and Luke Zilverberg. A total of 135 wrestlers, 115 of whom qualified for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, were honored. Stanford led the division with seven individual wrestlers receiving accolades.
Individuals can qualify for the All-Academic Team by meeting the following criteria: achieving a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 and winning 60 percent of his season's schedule and/or was a 2016 NCAA qualifier, or by achieving a 3.0 cumulative GPA and earning All-America honors in 2016.