CLEVELAND, Ohio - Two members of the Western Illinois Football team were voted to the 14th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Academic All-Star team. The 58 winners were announced Tuesday (Jan. 3) by the organization.
Sophomore offensive lineman Jimmy Holtschlag (Quincy/Notre Dame) and senior linebacker Kevin Palermo (West Chicago/Driscoll Catholic) represented the Leathernecks on the national team. They were chosen among 92 nominees for the academic honor.
Western was one of just 12 FCS institutions to have two student-athletes named to the Academic All-Star team. It's also the third time in the last four years the Leathernecks landed two student-athletes on the FCS ADA Academic team.
Football student-athletes from all FCS institutions are eligible. Each of the nominees must have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or key player with legitimate athletics credentials. He must have reached his second year of athletics and academic standing at the nominated institution and have completed a minimum of one full academic year at the nominated institution. He must also have participated in 50 percent of the games played at his designated position.
"The FCS ADA is honored to recognize the accomplishments of our football student-athletes each year with the Academic All-Star team," said FCS ADA President Marilyn McNeil, chair of the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team Selection Committee and vice-president/director of athletics at Monmouth University. "These young men compete successfully both on the field and in the classroom and truly epitomize the definition of a student-athlete."
Holtschlag added another impressive academic award to his resume, receiving recognition as First Team Academic All-Missouri Valley Football Conference and a spot on the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District team following the 2011 campaign.
In 10 games played, all starts, Holtschlag played tackle, right guard and left guard. He helped pave way in all five of the 100-yard rushing games by the backfield this year. An Honorable Mention All-MVFC performer in 2011, Holtschlag owns a 4.0 GPA majoring in Agriculture Science.
Also a First Team Academic All-MVFC selection this season, Palermo finished with a team-leading 105 tackles (52 solos/53 assisted), and averaged nearly 11 tackles per game (10.8) in conference play. Three times he recorded career-high 14 tackles and in five conference games recorded 10 or more stops. One of the team captains, Palermo started in all 11 games, blocked a field goal, and recorded at least seven tackles in all but one game. Palermo owns a 3.51 GPA majoring in Construction Management.
About the FCS ADA:
Now in its 19th year, the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors
Association's mission is to enhance Football Championship Subdivision football.
For more information on the FCS ADA, please visit www.fcsada.com. The FCS ADA
is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of
Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 46th year. For more information on NACDA and
the 12 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.