NEW HAVEN, Conn. (March 23, 2015) – Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Commissioner Dan Mara on Monday announced that a record 44 student-athletes were named to the 2014-15 Winter All-Academic Team for the league’s two winter championship sports (men’s and women’s basketball).
The new total breaks the old mark of 39, which was set last season during the 2013-14 year.
Women’s basketball led the championship sports with 30 honorees, while men’s basketball produced 14. Thirteen (13) of 44 were named to the Winter All-Academic Team for the second time in their career, while seven were honored for the third time.
In order to be named to the CACC Winter All-Academic Team, recipients must have participated in a CACC Championship sport in the winter. They must be at least a sophomore academically and athletically, have been a student-athlete at their current school for at least two semesters, and achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher through the fall semester of 2014.
Ten (10) individuals earned at least a 3.80 GPA or higher, including Georgian Court University men’s basketball Luka Zgonjanin, who owns a 4.00 mark in his major of business administration. The other individuals to earn 3.80 or higher GPAs include Brian Kenny 3.99 (Caldwell University), Sean Dougherty 3.87 (Chestnut Hill College), Tim Massado 3.83 (Felician College), Mike Louden 3.97 (Philadelphia University), Rebecca Gordon 3.81 (Concordia College), Jacqueline Rywalt 3.84 (Dominican College), Sarah Pawlak 3.80 (Holy Family), Monica Schacker 3.86 (Philadelphia U.), and Natalie Stella 3.85 (University of the Sciences).
Louden and Schacker were recognized for their academic prowess earlier this month when both claimed the 2014-15 Top XV Award at the CACC Basketball Championship Banquet in Philadelphia on March 5. The Top XV Award is given to the student-athlete who boasts the highest GPA at the finals of the championship tournament, and is awarded at each of the conference's 15 championship events.
Six student-athletes named to the All-Academic Team were also named to the All-CACC Basketball Team in their respective sport in late February following the conclusion of the regular season. Caldwell standout Emily Caswell was named to her first CACC Winter All-Academic Team after picking up women’s basketball player-of-the-year and All-CACC First-Team honors after the conclusion of the regular season. The other individuals to earn both All-Academic and All-CACC honors include Peter Alexis (PhilaU, All-CACC 2nd Tm), Lillian Chukwueze (Goldey-Beacom College, All-CACC 1st Tm), Najah Jacobs (PhilaU, All-CACC 1st Tm), Schacker (All-CACC 3rd Tm), and Jessica Sylvester (USciences, All-CACC 2nd Tm).
The winter academic team record number also marks the second time this year a CACC All-Academic Team set a new high for the number of honored individuals. Back in late January it was announced that 222 student-athletes were named to the Fall 2014 All-Academic Team, topping the previous mark of 189 set in 2011. The 222 individuals represented the six fall championship sports in the league (men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, and women’s tennis).
The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference is an NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The member institutions are Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College, Concordia (N.Y.) College, Dominican (N.Y.) College, Felician College, Georgian Court University, Goldey-Beacom College, Holy Family University, Nyack College, Philadelphia University, Post University of Waterbury, University of the Sciences, and Wilmington University.