BEVERLY, Mass. - Two of Endicott football's key pieces on the offensive side of the ball received recognition for their academic success as senior running back Mike Wheeler (Hanover, Mass.) and junior offensive lineman Casey McDonnell (Plaistow, N.H.) were named Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team honorees.
Wheeler and McDonnell, along with the 23 other representatives from District I of NCAA Division III, are now eligible for Academic All-America status which is scheduled for release on Tuesday, December 4th.
CoSIDA, the College Sports Information Directors of America, with the sponsorship of Capital One have honored the nation's top student-athletes for their combined efforts by athletically and academically for over 60 years. Capital One has been a sponsor of the program since 2011. The nomination criteria for a student-athlete require that a nominee be at least of sophomore standing and above, be a starter or significant reserve on their team, and hold a cumulative 3.30 grade point average. The Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America program recognizes student-athletes in the following sponsored sports: women's bowling, women's crew, men's and women's fencing, field hockey, men's and women's golf, men's and women's gymnastics, men's and women's ice hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's rifle, men's and women's skiing, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's volleyball, men's and women's water polo, and men's wrestling.
Wheeler, after earning his NEFC Boyd All-Division First Team for his accomplishments on the field, earns his first Academic All-District award. A Business Administrator major with a 3.39 GPA, Wheeler has played in all 10 games for the Gulls this fall, averaging 82.9 yards per game and 5.8 yards per carry with 12 total touchdowns. He leads the Blue and Green with over 1,300 all-purpose yards courtesy of 829 yards rushing, 128 yards receiving, and 360 kickoff return yards. Ten of his touchdowns have come on the ground and he has registered 100-plus single game rushing performances three separate times this season. Wheeler has also broken a school record with the longest rush from scrimmage, 90-yard sprint for a touchdown against Castleton State in Endicott's home opener.
McDonnell, an English major with a focus in Literary Studies, sports a 3.71 GPA and was named NEFC Academic All-Conference in 2011. Appearing eight of Endicott's 10 games this fall, McDonnell along with his fellow offensive linemen have been integral parts of a Gulls quad that averages 41.4 points per game, 432.2 total yards per game, 235.2 passing yards per game, and 197.0 rushing yards per game. McDonnell's line has allowed only 10 sacks on quarterback Drew Frenette (New Bedford, Mass.) who has had a stellar first season under center with 2,319 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and just eight interceptions.
McDonnell has supplemented his athletic output by being a member of the English Honor Society and has been an active member in his community as he is involved with the Special Olympics, Relay for Life, and several Red Cross blood drives. He was awarded Endicott's Community Service Award for his off-the-field involvement.