By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
CoSIDA released its Academic All-America Team for At-Large Sports on Thursday (June 18). Fort Hays State senior Brandon Ball added yet another major honor to his collection, named to the First Team for 2019-20 after receiving Second Team honors the previous year. Ball is one of just 45 student-athletes nationally in NCAA Division II recognized on the At-Large Team, which combines the sports of wrestling, fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis, volleyball, and water polo. He is one of 17 first-team selections, and just one of three from the sport of wrestling named to the first team.
He is the first student-athlete in the history of the Fort Hays State wrestling program to be named an Academic All-America by CoSIDA more than once.
Ball is a Technology Studies major at Fort Hays State. He carried a 3.81 cumulative GPA into the spring semester. CoSIDA Academic All-District and All-America honors are based on both a student-athlete’s athletic and academic accomplishments.
Ball was a men’s finalist for the MIAA Ken B. Jones Award as a junior in 2019. With the spring sports season in 2020 canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MIAA created Fall and Winter Student-Athletes of the Year in 2020 as a temporary replacement for the Ken B. Jones Award. Ball was a finalist for the Winter Student-Athlete of the Year award.
Ball was one of the top wrestlers in NCAA Division II throughout his career. He earned All-America honors for the third time in his career in 2020 by finishing 16-1 overall. After a fourth-place national finish in 2019, Ball was poised to make a run at the individual national title once again. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Wrestling Championships. With no championship event to determine All-America performers this year, the NWCA voted on All-America honors for 2020. Ball held at No. 2 ranking at 141 pounds for the majority of the season.
Ball wrapped his storied FHSU career as the program’s leader win percentage all time, posting a staggering 130-22 overall record (.855). He was very successful in the classroom as well, earning the MIAA Scholar-Athlete Award and NWCA All-Academic Award four times, while gracing the MIAA Academic Honor Roll five times. Though this award is for Ball’s accomplishments as a member of the wrestling team, he also competed as a pole vaulter for the FHSU Track and Field team.
Ball is a four-time member of the NWCA Division II All-Academic Team. He is the third Academic All-America selection for FHSU in 2019-20, joining Moritz Walther (men’s soccer) and Darby Hirsch (women’s soccer).
2020 CoSIDA Division II Academic All-America Team for At-Large Sports