San Antonio – The St. Mary’s men’s golf team nearly claimed another academic national championship.

The Rattlers, who won the 2009 academic national championship awarded by the Golf Coaches Association of America, have received the All-Academic Team award, the GCAA announced this week.

St. Mary’s was just one of 11 NCAA Division II universities to receive the award, and was in contention for the national title, which went to Lynn.

“That’s why we have to get a 15-passenger van, so we can carry all their books,” joked Wes Skidmore of traveling to tournaments. “This is a great honor for St. Mary’s, and again it’s a tribute to the Marianists for their emphasis on academic excellence.”

St. Mary’s maintained a cumulative team grade-point average of 3.3, exceeding the required 3.0 minimum to receive the All-Academic Team honor.

The award continues a long string of academic successes for the St. Mary’s men’s golf program, made evident most recently when the GCAA named four Rattlers All-America Scholars.

Jeff Rein (Sr., San Antonio), Matt Vela (Sr., San Antonio), Sam Jernigan (Jr., San Antonio) and Chris Becker (Jr., San Antonio) all won the honor, giving the Rattlers the most All-America Scholars they had ever had in a single season.

“We travel to most of our tournaments, so the guys miss classes,” Skidmore said. “This is a tribute not only to their hard work, but also to them staying on top of things. They stay in contact with their professors through email, and do a great job of never falling behind.”

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