NWCA Releases 2021 Division II Scholar All-America Awards
Manheim, PA – For the fourth straight year, the Maryville Saints posted the highest team GPA in NCAA Division II, taking top honors in the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Division II Scholar All-America ranking for the 2020-21 year, released Monday.
LINK: Top 20 Scholar All-American Teams
LINK: Individual Scholar All-Americans
The Saints posted a GPA of 3.650, just the second GPA of higher than 3.6 ever posted in the history of the Scholar All-America program. Maryville’s 3.650 is second to only their team GPA of 3.695 a season ago. Emmanuel College is this year’s team runner up with a 3.416, with the University of Indianapolis taking the third-place spot with a 3.413 team GPA. Augustana (3.355) and Coker (3.345) round out the 2020-21 top five teams.
“We are proud of them and continue to be proud of them for not only their academics but for the kind of individuals they are,” Maryville Head Coach Mike Denney said. “Especially in this pandemic year to keep that discipline academically, I think that speaks a lot to their character. Through this whole thing, to be able to demonstrate character under adversity is the real test. To have this high of a GPA is demonstrating that character.”
In total, 365 student-athletes representing 49 institutions were honored individually. Of those 346, 68 of the 132 wrestlers at the 2021 NCAA Division II National Championships were named Scholar All-America, including 54 who earned All-American status at Nationals. Of the 20 National Finalists at this year’s Nationals, 11 earned All-Academic, including three National Champions in Cole Laya (125, West Liberty), James wimer (157, Findlay) and Kameron Teacher (285, St. Cloud State).
Maryville had the most individuals named Scholar All-America, with 18 Saints earning the honor. Minnesota State had second-most with 17 wrestlers dubbed Scholar All-American, while Seton Hill, Lake Erie and Lindenwood each had 15 honorees. Super Region 5 had 94 total student-athletes honored to top all regions, with Super Region 4 featuring 72 wrestlers named Scholar All-America and Super Region 3 with 60. The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference paced all conferences with 94 honorees, with the Great Lakes Valley Conference (67) and Conference Carolinas/Southern Athletic Conference (42) close behind.
Of the 365 total honorees, 27 featured 4.0 GPAs, while another 25 earned Scholar All-America honors for the fourth time in their respective careers.
In order for a student-athlete to be nominated to the Division II Scholar All-American Team, he must have a minimum 3.4 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale, with that benchmark at 3.00 for those who qualified for the 2020 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the season, the dates of competition stipulation was removed from this year’s qualifications.
DIVISION II SCHOLAR ALL-AMERICA BY THE NUMBERS:
INDIVIDUALS HONORED: 365
INSTITUTIONS REPRESENTED: 49
4.00 GPAs: 27
4x HONOREES: 25
NATIONAL QUALIFIERS: 68
NATIONAL FINALISTS: 11
NATIONAL CHAMPIONS: 3