Lions place three on Academic All-America first team

Lions place three on Academic All-America first team

2015-16 CoSIDA Academic All-America Men’s At-Large Teams

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Three Saint Leo male student-athletes were named to the 2015-16 Academic All-America First Team At-Large teams selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, as announced by the CoSIDA office on Wednesday.

Men's swimmers Matheus Assis and Evan Jacob, as well as men's golfer Joey Savoie, were named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team for Saint Leo, and were the first student-athletes to be named to the first team since Marcus Ruh (Men’s Basketball) in 2012-13.

Saint Leo had the most first team selections in the conference and overall with all three student-athletes. The Lions led the field with three first teamers where Barry came in second with two. Ten different schools make up the remaining 10 athletes on the first team in Western State, Edinboro, UC San Diego, Alaska Fairbanks, Grand Valley State, Florida Southern, Tusculum, Western New Mexico, Northern Michigan and Missouri Science & Tech.

Of the 15 student-athletes on the first team, three are first team repeats in Corbin Bennetts (Western State), Gianni Ferrero (Grand Valley State) and Keith Sponsler (Missouri Science & Tech). Four other athletes were named to the second or third team prior to this year’s first team in Matheus Assis (Saint Leo), Calum Hill (Western New Mexico), Renato Lombardi (Barry) and Ahmed Triki (Barry). The remaining eight athletes are making their first appearance on the Academic All-America teams in Micah Cattell (Edinboro), Michael Cohn (UC San Diego), Michael Fehrenbach (Alaska Fairbanks), and Diego Gimenez (Fla. Southern), Brad Hawkins (Tusculum), Evan Jacob (Saint Leo), Adam Martin (Northern Michigan) and Joey Savoie (Saint Leo).

Assis, a 2014-15 CoSIDA At-Large Second Team Academic All-American, returned to the list of honorees for his second-straight year, making the move to the first team. The senior from Joao Pessoa, Brazil has retained a 3.86 in management and marketing over his time at Saint Leo including earning three Sunshine State Conference Commissioner’s honor roll. In the pool, he was named a five-time CSCAA All-American First Team honoree at the 2016 NCAA DII Swimming and Diving Championships, in the 50 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay, & 800 Free Relay. Through his career he has qualified for NCAA’s four times, and was a two-time All-American in 2015. He leaves Saint Leo with three individual records and five relay records.

Jacob, who is making his first appearance on the CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-America teams, wraps up his four-year career at Saint Leo with a 3.96 GPA and a degree in management, and performed in the pool as well. The native of St. John’s, Fla., earned two CSCAA First Team All-American honors in both the 200 free and the 400 free, and earned three Honorable Mention All-American honors in the 200 individual medley, the 200 butterfly, and the 200 medley relay. He currently holds Saint Leo records in the 200 breast and 200 fly, and relay records in the 200 free, 400 free, and 200 medley relay. Jacob earned SSC All-Second Team honors in 2016, First Team honors in 2015, and was a 2015 CSCAA Scholar All-America honoree.

Savoie, who is also making his first appearance on the CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-America teams, is an accounting and management major who maintained a 3.90 GPA while performing well on the golf course. The native of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada, has played in 30 rounds this season, and earned five Top-10 finishes. He finished tied for eighth at the 2016 SSC Championships after shooting a 225 (+9). Savoie also ranks 20th in the nation with an average score of 72.21. He earned All-SSC honors in both 2015 and 2016, and was named a 2015 DII PING All-American by the Golf Coaches Association of America and to the 2016 DII PING All-South Region team. Savoie also helped his team finish second at the 2016 South/Southeast Regional, and helped the Lions win the 2016 NCAA National Championship in Denver, Colorado. Saint Leo won the title after setting both the 36 and 54 hole championship records in stroke play and then opened match play with a win over Wilmington (DE) in the quarterfinals, 3-2. After the Lions and Fighting Knights of Lynn University tied 2-2-1 in the semifinals, Saint Leo advanced by total stroke difference (1), to take on Chico State in the title match. The Lions prevailed once again and took down Chico State 3-2 to win the school’s first ever National Championship. 

Prior to this academic year, Saint Leo University has only seen two student-athletes earn first-team honors, as Ralph Nelson (men’s basketball) claimed the first honor back in the 1976-77 school year, and Marcus Ruh (men’s basketball) earned it in the 2012-13 year. The Lions doubled that total this year alone as Assis, Jacob and Savoie were was joined by Marie Coors on the women’s side.

Also with the addition of the combined five At-Large Academic All-American’s added, Saint Leo has seen eight student-athletes earn 10 honors, with Coors and Assis each earning two, over the last two years. That number mirrors the total that Saint Leo has had in total prior to the 2014-15 school year, and the Lions have the chance to surpass that mark as the track and field/cross country Academic All-American selections will be announce later this month.

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