CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Twenty-nine Western Carolina student-athletes were recognized on Tuesday by earning spots on the 2015 Fall Academic All-Southern Conference Team as released by the conference office.
Each of the SoCon's 10 institutions had at least 23 honorees, representing the sports of men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's soccer and volleyball.
Twelve student-athletes have maintained perfect 4.0 cumulative GPAs, including Western Carolina's Laney Browder (women's cross country); The Citadel's Charles Braddock (men's cross country) and Joe Crochet (football); ETSU's Macy Carrier (women's cross country); Furman's Lauren Pinion (women's soccer); Mercer's Courtney Czerniak (women's cross country), Zechariah Rice (football) and Victoria Penrod (volleyball); UNCG's Brandon King (men's cross country) and Noah DeAngelo (men's soccer); Chattanooga's Maddison Melchionna (women's cross country); and Wofford's Katie Beuerlein (women's soccer).
The league's eight football teams led the way with 80 academic all-conference selections, while the 10 women's soccer schools were second with 73 and the nine volleyball programs were third with 48.
Mercer led all schools with 48 members on the academic all-conference team, while Wofford was second with 38 and The Citadel and Furman tied for third with 31 each.
The women's soccer team led the way for WCU with nine selections followed closely by football with eight honorees.
To be eligible for the academic all-conference team, student-athletes must carry at least a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average at the conclusion of the fall semester -- a change from the previous criteria that was based on the GPA entering the semester of competition -- and were required to compete in at least one-half of their teams' competitions during the recently concluded campaign. In addition, the student-athletes must have successfully completed at least three semesters at their institutions, making true freshmen and first-year transfers ineligible for inclusion.