Five Wildcats Earn Academic All-GNAC Football Honors - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Five Wildcats Earn Academic All-GNAC Football Honors

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PORTLAND, Ore. (Nov. 13) -- Five Central Washington University football players, including four seniors, have been named to the 2013 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Academic All-Conference Team, announced Wednesday.

All five Wildcats selected to the team were first-time academic all-conference honorees. Of those, only safety Cole Graves (Kirkland, Wash./Juanita HS) is an underclassman in terms of eligibility, but is in his fourth year as a student at CWU.

Senior punter Matt Burke (Laguna Hills, Calif.) owns the highest cumulative grade-point average of the Wildcats' academic all-conference selections. The economics major has a 3.75 GPA during his time at CWU.

Senior tight end Matt Christiansen (Spokane, Wash./East Valley HS) is a double-major in both communication and law & justice with a 3.46 GPA, while fellow seniors Gabe Bruno (San Francisco, Calif./St. Ignatius Prep) and Ridge Nielsen (Mesa, Ariz./Mountain View HS) are also academic all-stars with GPAs of 3.37 and 3.27, respectively. Bruno is studying mechanical engineering, while Nielsen is a business administration major.

Graves, meanwhile, has a 3.29 grade-point average as a clinical physiology major.

A total of 28 student-athletes from the six football-playing members of the GNAC were selected to this year's academic all-conference team. In order to be eligible for the team, student-athletes must carry at least a 3.20 cumulative grade-point average, be in at least their second year of competition at their current institution, and be a current letter winner.

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