Congratulations to all of the Williams fall athletes. It has been, as Jeff points out, an extremely successful season on the playing fields, on the courses and courts, and on the water.

Special congratulations should go to those who received conference academic and/or sportsmanship honors.


Each season NESCAC honors scholar-athletes who

       are varsity letter winners,

       are juniors or seniors, and

       have a cumulative GPA of 3.35 or better.

This fall, 57 Eph scholar-athletes from nine teams were selected for this All-Academic honor (note that the list would be even longer if men’s and women’s crew and tennis, which have somewhat truncated fall seasons, were included). Many of the seniors on the list are repeat honorees, and many of the juniors will be repeat honorees.

Based on having done this exercise in years past, I can promise you that, when the 2009 and 2010 Commencement materials come out, if you cross-check these names (including those on the winter and spring season lists as well), you will find a pleasing overlap between some of these names and those on the PBK and math/science honor society, honors or high honors, Latin honors, and/or fellowship and other academic awards lists.

Lest you think that Williams, like many schools, has a two-tier system where a group of high-academic-stat but lesser skilled athletes warm the bench, boosting the team’s GPA, while lower-academic-stat athletes with sharper skills get all the playing time, look at the list. If you follow Williams sports, you’ll notice quite a few athletic stars’ and significant contributors’ names on the All-Academic list.  

Nowadays, athletes who play even a single sport are expected to put in many hours of training all year long. In-season sports probably require at least 25 hours a week, and often more, especially for those who have leadership positions and for members of teams that travel a lot. Several sports (golf, tennis, and crew) have two seasons, and many athletes play two or even three sports. The various skiing teams (and squash?) seem to have exceptionally long seasons (as of course do teams that advance far through an extended multi-tier NCAA post-season tournament system, as the women’s soccer team has done this year). To excel academically while putting in such large amounts of time and energy for practice, playing, travel, and team organizational efforts (and often doing very well athletically) is quite an accomplishment and bodes very well for these scholar-athletes’ successes after Williams. If you follow campus activities at all, you’ll notice that quite a few of the scholar-athletes’ names also crop up as leaders in various other activities as well, making their achievements even more difficult but also even more commendable.

All-Sportsmanship Team

Each season, NESCAC honors one student from each team from each member school for his or her sportsmanship, both in athletics and in his or her daily life. Honorees are nominated by their teammates and coaches. Eight Williams students were honored this year, all seniors. Lauren Garcia, a soccer player and member of the NESCAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, is a repeat honoree. Congratulations to all eight. From past experience, these are often the people who keep the play fun for everyone.

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