– Western New England senior linebacker Mike Valentine
(Newington, CT) was named to the 2011 Capital One Division III Academic All-America First Team on Tuesday (Dec. 6).
He has a 3.94 cumulative grade-point-average in Mechanical Engineering.
Valentine joins five other players from the New England Football Conference (NEFC) on the honor team. Salve Regina senior linebacker A.J. Albert
(Franklin Park, NJ) (Business) also was a First Team selection.
Endicott had two players made the Second Team, senior running back Mike Lane
(Medfield, MA) (Criminal Justice) and senior offensive lineman Mike Zupkosky
(Criminal Justice). MIT also had a pair of Second Team picks, senior defensive lineman Tyler Wagner (
Chemical Engineering) and junior offensive lineman Ethan Peterson
(Nuclear Science & Engineering, Physics).
Valentine helped lead Western New England to a 10-2 record, which was its best mark in 31 years as a NCAA Division III program. The Golden Bears compiled a perfect 7-0 mark for first place in the Boyd Division of the New England Football Conference (NEFC) and captured its NEFC title with a dramatic 20-13 overtime victory against Framingham State. Coach Keith Emery's
team then made its inaugural appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship.
Valentine bounced back from a broken leg that forced him to miss the 2010 season to compile 44 tackles in earning All-NEFC Boyd recognition. He also was the recipient of the prestigious Nason Senior Achievement Award presented by the New England Football Writers Association.
Valentine is only the second Golden Bears players named to the Academic All-America Team selected by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America. Offensive lineman David Doiron
'10 was a two-time honoree and First-Team selection in 2009.
To be eligible for the Academic All-American Team, a student-athlete must be a varsity or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.30 on a 4.00 scale, and have reached sophomore athletic and academic status at his institution.