Four Football Players Named Academic All-District

Four Chadron State College football student-athletes were named to the 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-District team, from among 38 Super Region Four schools sponsoring the sport, in a release late last week at academicallamerica.com.

Sports information directors across the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Lone Star Conference, Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference voted on the awards, which qualify the student-athletes for the Academic All-America ballot later this month.

In order to qualify for the ballot, student-athletes must have a minimum 3.30 cumulative grade point average, and they must be at least a sophomore in their second year or later at their current school.

Due to the variety and scarcity of NCAA Division II football schedules played in 2020-21, the selections for this year were based on players’ overall careers, rather than their performance for a single season.

CSC’s selections this year were sophomore center Michael DeCamillis, sophomore punter Parker Dillan, junior left guard Austin Rapp, and senior wide receiver Cole Thurness.

Both DeCamillis, of Broomfield, Colorado, and Rapp, of Moville, Iowa, were instrumental in the Eagles scoring more than 35 points per game over the past two seasons, as well as racking up more than 450 yards per outing. In 2019, the most recent RMAC season played, the pair helped CSC to become the No. 2 offense in the league, and to tie for the fewest sacks allowed. DeCamillis, who has 11 career starts, was also named to the 2019 RMAC All-Academic First Team. Rapp, who has started 22 of 25 games in an Eagles uniform, is a two-time RMAC academic honor roll member. Both players hold a GPA of 3.6.

Dillan, whose career began at South Dakota Mines in 2019, is an Imperial, Nebraska, native carrying a 3.4 GPA. His first season with the Eagles was in 2020, when he punted 16 times for an average of 37.9 yards per attempt with a season long of 52, coming against his former team. He placed four punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. Prior to CSC, he had three of his five attempts pin the opponent in its own red zone.

Thurness is a Rapid City, South Dakota, product who finished his bachelor’s degree with a 3.4 GPA and now holds a perfect 4.0 in his graduate program. His career numbers, headed into his final season, are already among the best Eagles wide receivers all-time, with 139 receptions for 1,911 yards and 19 touchdowns. With a couple more decent punt returns, he will qualify for the CSC record book with a top-five average, and he has one scoring return. Once featured heavily on special teams, he is also credited with 34 tackles.

With four selections, CSC has more CoSIDA Academic All-District players in 2020-21 than any other RMAC program, and it ties Wingate University, Mississippi College, and Minnesota-Mankato for the Division II lead.

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