AUSTIN, Texas – Castleton University senior wide receiver Soren Pelz-Walsh will add another major honor to his growing list of accomplishments, as the native of Dummerston, Vt., has been voted First Team Academic All-America for Division III Football by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), announced Tuesday by the national organization.
A standout performer both on the field and in the classroom, Pelz-Walsh completed his Castleton career with 175 receptions for 2,355 yards and 18 receiving touchdowns. He is second in Spartan history in career receiving touchdowns and third in both career receptions and career receiving yards. This season, Pelz-Walsh led the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) with 78.5 receiving yards per game, and he tied for the league lead in receiving touchdowns with nine.
A two-time ECFC All-Academic Team honoree with this year's recipients still to be announced, Pelz-Walsh, a physical education major with a minor in health education, received the Castleton Male Coaches Award and the Castleton Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award last year. He has consistently made the President's List for his work in the classroom and was one of the team's captains this past season as the Spartans finished with a winning ECFC record for the third consecutive year.
Pelz-Walsh becomes Castleton's second Academic All-American this year, joining Nicole Wershoven of the women's soccer team, who received Third Team Academic All-America honors less than two weeks ago. He is the first-ever Academic All-American from the Spartan football program, the 10th Castleton student-athlete to receive Academic All-America honors all-time, and the first to earn First Team Academic All-America recognition since Courtney Chadburn was named Academic All-America of the Year for Division III Women's Soccer in 2011.
Of the 24 first team honorees, Pelz-Walsh is one of two native New Englanders, along with junior running back Sam Benger of Hingham, Mass., and Carnegie Mellon, and one of two players representing New England schools, joining senior offensive lineman Elliot Tobin of MIT. He is the only ECFC representative on the first team and one of two players from the conference to receive Academic All-America recognition, with Derek Lotito of Norwich earning Second Team Academic All-America honors.
The CoSIDA Division III Academic All-America® program is being financially supported by the NCAA Division III national governance structure, to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2016-17 Division III Academic All-America® teams program.
To view the complete Division III Academic All-America Football Teams, click here.