Four Eagles Honored by NWCA; Team GPA 4th in NCAA

Left to Right: Brett Dempsey, Josh Terao, Jeric Kasunic, Michael Sprague

MANHEIM, PA. – Seniors Brett Dempsey and Jeric Kasunic, along with juniors Michael Sprague and Josh Terao were honored as members of the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic Team, the association announced this week.

In addition, American earned All-Academic Team status from the NWCA after earning the fourth-highest team GPA in the nation. The Eagles finished nationally behind only Harvard, Kent State and Sacred Heart.

The Eagles earned a 3.44 GPA, marking the 12th time in the past 13 seasons AU has finished among the top 10 in the nation. American had the nation's top GPA among Division I wrestling teams in 2008 and 2009.

"I'm so proud of what this team and program has accomplished in the classroom," said AU head coach Teague Moore. "These young men work extremely hard and remain diligent through a grueling season of training and competition.

"These results are the from the effort of an entire team and an entire program starting with what Mark Cody initiated, and with what faculty and staff like Bob Karch, Spencer Bonahoom and Ashley Rozendaal provide. 

"We also benefit greatly from the incredible support and leadership with the administration of Dr. Billy Walker and Athena Argyropoulos. I'm just so proud of what these wrestlers have accomplished. 

Sprague and Terao are earning the national honor for the second straight season, becoming the 10th and 11th Eagles to win the honor at least twice. 

Dempsey was 18-13 this season and reached the NCAA Championships for the first time in his career. In 2017, he was AU's Top Senior Male GPA honoree. A graduate student and future medical school student from Kalamazoo, Mich., Dempsey has a 4.00 in biology.

Kasunic led American with a 35-7 overall record and qualified for his second NCAA Championships after placing fourth at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships. A graduating senior from Benton, Pa., Kasunic had a 4.0 GPA in the Fall 2017 semester while majoring in finance.

Sprague, a junior from Olney, Md., reached the NCAA nationals for the first time after going 23-15 this season. He has earned a 3.67 cumulative GPA while majoring in public health.

Terao, a junior from Honolulu, Hawaii, made his second appearance at NCAA nationals following a 29-10 season in which he set the career record for technical falls. Terao carries a 3.44 cumulative in biology.

American has had at least one individual All-Academic selection in each of the last 14 seasons. The Eagles were one of 12 teams that had at least four representatives on the All-Academic Team.

The EIWA had eight of its 16 member schools listed in the top 30 in the team GPA list.

The team GPA is determined using a system that includes 12 student-athletes from each program. Ten of these came from the wrestlers who were entries in an NCAA tournament conference qualifier.