TIFFIN, Ohio — For the second straight year, Heidelberg University linebacker Craig Sykes (Centerburg) has been named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America® Division III Football First Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Sykes, a senior biology major with minors in chemistry and Spanish, carries a 3.9 GPA. Interested in pursuing a career in medicine, Sykes participated in the Chester Summer Scholars program with MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. He currently serves as an emergency room scribe at Blanchard Valley Hospital in Findlay.
Sykes, a team captain, completed a stellar senior season in 2012. He finished with 87 tackles, including a career-high 6.5 tackles for loss. He had seven pass deflections and two interceptions. He was selected to the All-Ohio Athletic Conference First Team.
Following the season, Sykes was selected as one of 10 finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy, awarded to the top overall student-athlete in Division III football. To be selected, Sykes was co-nominated by Heidelberg University President Rob Huntington and head football coach Mike Hallett.
As a team, Heidelberg finished a memorable season with a 9-2 record and made the school’s first postseason appearance since 1972. Sykes served as the play-caller for a defensive unit that led the OAC in interceptions and sacks. Nationally, Heidelberg’s defense ranked 11th in points allowed.