HAYS – Fort Hays State wrestler Brandon Ball of Hoisington earned Scholar All-American honors from the National Wrestling Coaches Association for the fourth consecutive year.
Ball finished with a 130-22 record, 44-3 over the last two seasons. He was a four-time national qualifier and placed fourth in 2019 while earning two All-America honors.
Ball was a three-time MIAA champion at 141 pounds, winning the
conference tournament as a sophomore before earning the dual meet title the
last two years. He won two regional titles, placing first in the West Super
Regional as a freshman before winning the Super Region 4 title last year.
He earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors as a junior while being named a finalist for the MIAA's Ken B. Jones Award, an award annually given to the conference's student-athlete of the year. Ball earned the MIAA Scholar-Athlete Award four times alongside three NWCA All-Academic Team recognitions.
Six Fort Hays State wrestlers earned Scholar All-American honors. The Tigers posted a grade point average of 3.303, ninth-best GPA in Division II.
Four of the five Tigers who qualified for the 2020 NCAA Division II National Championships received the honor, including Brandon Ball, Marty Verhaeghe, Aryus Jones, Mason Turner, Anthony Scantlin and Conrad Vajnar. Vajnar is one of 11 Division II wrestlers to maintain a perfect 4.00 GPA.
In order for a student-athlete to be nominated to the Division II Scholar All-American Team, he must have a minimum 3.4 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale, with that benchmark at 3.2 for those who qualified for the 2020 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships. The athlete must competed in a minimum of five dates of competition.
This is the fourth year in a row the Tigers have had at least six student-athletes receive Scholar All-American honors. It is the first time the Tigers have been ranked in the top 20 in team GPA since the 2016-17 season, when FHSU ranked eighth.
FORT HAYS STATE WRESTLING SCHOLARS
BRANDON BALL, SR. 141, 3.81 Technology Studies (Teaching K-12)
ARYUS JONES, SO. 184, 3.11 Criminal Justice
ANTHONY SCANTLIN, 149, SO. 3.64, Technology Studies
MASON TURNER, 125, FR. 3.60, Health and Human Performance
CONRAD VAJNAR, SO. 165, 4.00, Accounting
MARTY VERHAEGHE, JR. 174, 3.18, Health and Human Performance