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DeJohn SUNYAC’s ‘Elite 20’ men’s soccer honoree

SUNY Cortland junior midfielder Drew DeJohn has been named the State University of New York Athletic Conference’s “Elite 20” award winner for the 2016 men’s soccer season.

The award, which was given for the first time this season, goes to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the SUNYAC’s 20 championships. The conference recently implemented the award during the winter season, but has gone back and retroactively honored the winners from the 2016 fall championships.

The SUNYAC Elite 20 is modeled after the NCAA Elite 90 program. It recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the conference championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers.

The winner must be at least a sophomore academically and in their second year of eligibility at their current institution. Cortland defeated Oneonta in the SUNYAC men’s soccer championship game in Cortland last November.

DeJohn is an exercise science major at Cortland. He had an overall GPA of 3.65 entering last fall’s semester. The fall Elite 20 honors were awarded based on GPAs from the athletes’ last completed semester prior to the finals.

DeJohn was a first team All-East, All-ECAC North, and All-SUNYAC selection. He started 21 games and recorded one goal and one assist, and he helped anchor a defensive unit that allowed only 11 goals in 22 games and set a school single-season record with 14 shutouts. Cortland finished the season 19-3 to set a school record for victories and advanced to the NCAA “Sweet 16” for the second time in the last three years.

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JUNIOR CATCHER JACK MASSA has been named to the D3baseball.com National “Team of the Week” for the week ending Feb. 26. The team consists of the top players for the week, by position, among all Division III schools.

The lone catcher selected, Massa hit .455 (5-for-11) with two homers and eight RBIs in a 2-1 week for Cortland. His pinch-hit grand slam in the fourth inning at currently ninth-ranked Randolph-Macon gave the Red Dragons a 4-2 lead in an eventual 11-6 win over the Yellowjackets. He also went 2-for-6 with a homer and four RBI in an 11-8 win over Susquehanna in a rematch of last year’s NCAA New York Regional final.

Massa is batting .467 in four games this season with two homers, a double and 12 RBI.

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SENIOR BOBBY DIERNA has been chosen as the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference Wrestler of the Week for the week ending Feb. 26.

Dierna was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA Div. III Northeast Regional for the second straight year, and third time overall, as he repeated as champion at 157 pounds. He went 4-0 on the weekend with two pins, a technical fall and a major decision.

Ranked first nationally and the defending national champ at 157, Dierna won the regional title with a 17-1 technical fall over nationally second-ranked Zach Joseph of Springfield College. His victory in Saturday’s quarterfinals was the 100th of his career, making him the 11th wrestler in school history to reach the century mark.

Dierna is 17-0 this season, with every match resulting in bonus points, and has a career mark of 102-9. He will be one of five Red Dragons competing at the NCAA Division III Championships March 10-11 in La Crosse, Wis.

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