Parts of this article courtesy of Castleton & Norwich Sports Information Departments.
AUSTIN, Texas - Two Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) student-athletes were selected to the 2016 Academic All-America team selected by CoSida. Castleton University's Soren Pelz-Walsh (Dummerson, Vt.) was named to the First Team while Derek Lotito (Swanzey, N.H.) earned a spot on the Second Team.
Pelz-Walsh completed his Castleton career with 175 receptions for 2,355 yards and 18 receiving touchdowns. He is second in Spartan history in career receiving touchdowns and third in both career receptions and career receiving yards. This season, Pelz-Walsh led the ECFC with 78.5 receiving yards per game, and he tied for the league lead in receiving touchdowns with nine. Walsh was selected as a First Team All-Conference wide receiver by league coaches.
A two-time ECFC All-Academic Team honoree with this year's recipients still to be announced, Pelz-Walsh, a physical education major with a minor in health education, received the Castleton Male Coaches Award and the Castleton Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award last year. He has consistently made the President's List for his work in the classroom and was one of the team's captains this past season as the Spartans finished with a winning ECFC record for the third consecutive year.
On the football field, Lotito finished a four-year career with exactly 100 tackles, posting 65 solo tackles while assisting on 35 others. He has also posted 13 total tackles for a loss of 45 yards while recovering one fumble, hauling in one interception and breaking up six passes across 35 career contests.
Off the field, Lotito serves as a Second Lieutenant in the Norwich Corps of Cadets while volunteering his time with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Special Olympics. Academically, Lotito was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship and, most recently, conducted a six-week fellowship where he developed mathematical models based upon biochemical data. He is a two-time Eastern Collegiate Football Conference All-Academic Team selection, with this season's honorees to be announced at the end of fall term.
Both Pelz-Walsh and Lotito were two selections of the 49-member list to earn a 3.90 grade-point average or better. They each posted an impressibe 3.99 cumulative grade-point average, encompassing the term student-athlete.
To view the full list of 2016 Division III Academic All-America selections click here.