Photo / Tri-State Sports Photos
Morningside's Jon Halvorson is one of just six sophomores on the junior and senior dominated 48-player 2012 Academic All-America Team
Jon Halvorson was named to the second-team of the 2012 Capital One College Division Academic All-America Football Team as selected by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Halvorson, a 5-11, 190 lb. running back from Sioux Falls, S.D., was one of just six sophomores named to the 48-player honor squad comprised predominately by juniors and seniors.
He has a 3.87 cumulative grade point average (GPA) with a major in business administration and a minor in physics. On the field he is the second leading rusher for a Mustang football team that will take a 13-0 record into the 2012 Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship against Marian University this Thursday in Rome, Ga.
“It’s great to be recognized for accomplishments off the field,” Halvorson said. “It’s not the first thing people look at a lot of times, but academic recognition is really a great honor.”
Time management is essential for acheiving high grades, especially when football is in season.
“It’s definitely more difficult to get good grades when we are in season,” Halvorson said. “In a typical day I have about three hours of classes, another three hours of football, and then do my studies at night. I just try to keep up with all of my assignments each night. Time management is really the key to doing that.”
Halvorson said he will schedule his classes differently in the fall semesters when football is in season.
“During the fall I try to avoid night classes and I schedule my classes earlier in the day to make sure I get to practice on time and have my evenings off to study,” he said.
Halvorson is still two years away from graduation, but has a career choice in mind.
“I would like to work in the alternative energy field, whether windmills in Iowa or geothermal energy on the coast because something like that would be really interesting,” Halvorson said.
Halvorson has rushed for 556 yards and nine touchdowns in 115 attempts this season for an average of 4.8 yards per carry. Halvorson had never carried the ball in a varsity game entering the season, but injuries to several of the Mustangs’ veteran backs pressed him into service in the season opener and he responded with 158 yards to help lead the team to a 49-7 romp against Valley City State University. The 158 yards was the Mustangs’ top rushing performance of the season.
“I wasn’t expecting to play much in that game and was just hoping to get in for a couple of snaps,” Halvorson said. “I went into the game pretty early and I don’t think I had ever been that nervous before in my entire life.”
The adrenaline rush may have helped Halvorson when he broke loose for a 59-yard run on the very first carry of his collegiate career.
Halvorson said team chemistry and preparation have been the keys to the Mustangs’ success.
“Our team is about as close as you can be,” he said. “I have great teammates and we work together well. The way we prepare and come out ready to play every week has been unmatched. Getting to the national championship game was in the back of our minds when the season began because we knew we had a shot if we put things together. As the season went along and we kept winning, it became a real obtainable goal that we all had.”
“This entire season has just been an amazing experience,” said Halvorson, a 2009 graduate of Sioux Falls Lincoln High School. “I haven’t been to a championship game since my sophomore year in high school, so I guess I’m kind of following the same path.”
Sioux Falls Lincoln made it to South Dakota’s Class 11 AA State Championship Game when Halvorson was a sophomore and the Patriots came away with a 27-20 victory against city rival Sioux Falls Washington.
Another championship game victory as a sophomore would suit Halvorson and Mustang faithful just fine.