PELLA—Eight seniors from the Central College football team were added to its state-leading number of National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society members Wednesday, tops in the American Rivers Conference for the 10th time in 13 years.
The Hampshire Society, in its 14th year, recognizes senior football players who are starters or significant reserves and carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher.
Central's eight honorees rank second among all Iowa colleges and universities. The Dutch have 117 honorees in the past 13 years, the most in Iowa. The squad has placed 11 or more players on the honor team five times, with 17 cited in 2011-12.
Within the state this year, Central trails only Morningside's nine honorees, which ranked the school first in the NAIA. Nationally, the Dutch are tied for 19th in NCAA Division III after ranking fourth a year ago. Saint John's University (Minn.) leads with 19 selections followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with 17.
Nationwide, 1,432 players from 464 schools were recognized this year.
First-team CoSIDA Academic All-American kicker Jon Alberts (Huntley, Ill.) headlines the Central list. Also a consensus NCAA Division III all-America honoree, Alberts carries a 3.92 grade point average while majoring in business management-finance and philosophy, and he was joined by first-team all-conference offensive tackle Cody Smith (Orland Park, Ill., Carl Sandburg HS).
"This illustrates the kind of student-athlete we look for at Central," coach Jeff McMartin said. "We look for the complete person, someone with great character who is a leader, an outstanding student and a talented football player. The young men on this list definitely exhibit those qualities and I couldn't be happier about this honor. It speaks very highly of our program and our players.
"We talk about champions always being champions and that who we are on the football field needs to be reflected in who we are in the classroom and in our daily life."
The Hampshire Honor Society is a component of the National Football Foundation's efforts to promote combined athletic and academic success. The NFF's National Scholar-Athlete Awards program, launched in 1959, was the first to credit a player for academic success, football performance and community leadership.
Central's honorees include:
Name, (High School), GPA
Jon Alberts, (Huntley, Ill.), 3.92
Danny Anderson, (Boone), 3.72
Jordy Borman, (Eagan, Minn.), 3.33
Ed Henning, (Hartwick, HLV HS), 3.70
Ross Norem, (Iowa Falls, Iowa Falls-Alden HS), 3.27
Martin Olson, (Kimballton, EHK-Exira HS), 3.48
Cody Smith, (Orland Park, Ill., Carl Sandburg HS), 3.53
Carter Terpstra, (Pella), 3.27