Two Hobart College football players were recently named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® Teams as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Senior defensive end Chris Purtell (Pioneer/Sardinia, N.Y.) and senior offensive lineman Josh Van Auken (Greece Olympia/Rochester, N.Y.) both earned second-team honors.
|Josh Van Auken|
Purtell was named the Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year last month. The leading tackler for the Statesmen, Purtell was a three-time D3football.com Team of the Week selection. He also led the team in tackles for a loss (14½) and was second with 4½ sacks. Purtell anchored a Hobart defense that did not allow a 100-yard rusher during the regular season and ranked first in the league in rushing defense (94.7 yds/g), scoring defense (17.9 ppg), and red zone defense (57.1 percent). He is an economics and political science double major and a three-time Liberty League All-Academic selection.
A two-year starter, Van Auken helped the Statesmen lead the league in scoring offense (33.1 ppg), rushing offense (199.9 yds/g) and pass efficiency (149.9). For the most part healthy throughout the season, Hobart allowed just 25 sacks this season, compared to 43 in 2003. Van Auken is an English major and a two-time Liberty League All-Academic selection.
Hobart finished the season with a 9-2 record, matching the program record for wins in a season. With a perfect 7-0 record, the Statesmen won the Liberty League for the third straight year, earning the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Hobart reached the regional semifinals with a 35-16 win over Curry College, before falling to the region's top seeded team, Rowan University.
The only Division III Tournament team to place two players on the Academic All-America teams, Hobart has had three players recognized this fall by ESPN The Magazine, including Statesmen senior striker Ricky Klotz, who was named to the Academic All-America Soccer third-team last week.
A banner year for the Statesmen on the field and in the classroom, prior to Purtell and Van Auken's selection, Hobart had produced only two Academic All-American's in football since the program began in 1952: Erik Schiller '98 in 1997 (2nd-team) and Craig Swanson '04 in 2003 (2nd-team).
To earn a place on the Academic All-America teams, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum 3.2 grade point average, be a starter or significant reserve, and be at least a sophomore in academic standing. CoSIDA selects eight Academic All-District teams and chooses the Academic All-America teams from the eight District first-teams. Purtell made his second consecutive appearance on the Academic All-District first-team last month, while Van Auken is a first-time All-District pick.
CoSIDA selects Academic All-America teams in 12 programs: football, women's volleyball, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's track & field/cross country, women's track & field/cross country, men's at-large and women's at-large. A first-team, second-team and third-team are selected in both the University (Division I and I-AA) and College (Division II, III and NAIA) Divisions. Football consists of just first and second teams.