Three W&J Football Players Earn Academic All-District Honors
WASHINGTON, Pa. -- A trio of Washington & Jefferson football players were named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Division III Academic All-District Team on Thursday.
Senior defensive end Frank Gigler (Lower Burrell, Pa./Burrell) earned the honor for the second consecutive year, while classmates tight end Brett Axner (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) and left tackle Gary Flavion (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) were also recognized.
The three players are members of the District 4 team, which is made up of all NCAA Division III football programs in Pennsylvania. The trio are automatically nominated for Academic All-American honors along with the other First Team Academic All-District members from the additional seven regions around the country.
Axner has twice been named to the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Honor Roll and is a Dean’s List student as a business administration major with a 3.91 GPA. He has started seven games at tight end this season, reeling in nine passes for 106 yards and one touchdown.
Flavion is a two-time All-PAC honoree who has anchored the offensive line during the last three seasons. He has earned a 3.48 GPA as a history major and plans to attend graduate school following graduation. He is a finalist for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award.
Gigler is an elementary education major with a 3.69 GPA at W&J. On the field, Gigler has racked up 36 tackles, including nine for loss, along with 3.5 sacks and one fumble recovery, while starting all nine games this season. In 30 career games, Gigler has 15 sacks.
For years the Academic All-America program had been separated into “university” and “college” divisions to distinguish Division I honorees from the rest. Now, thanks to support from NCAA corporate partner Capital One and contributions from the Divisions II and III identity campaigns, the Capital One Academic All-America program will recognize 48 national teams annually in 12 sports – one team each for Divisions I, II and III, and a college division squad that combines NAIA institutions, two-year colleges and Canadian schools. Nominees must have at least a 3.30 grade-point average and be a sophomore, junior or senior.
Axner, Flavion and Gigler will be among 24 senior football players honored on Saturday during Senior Day ceremonies prior to their final home football game against rival Waynesburg (1:30 pm) in the PAC Backyard Brawl.