Northwestern State pitcher Kyle Swanson’s academic credentials never have been in question.
A two-time NSU graduate, Swanson’s sterling academic resume got an extra boost as he was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 6 Team on Thursday. District 6 encompasses all Division I schools from Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
A product of Montgomery (Texas) High School, Swanson was in the midst of his best statistical season when the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic shut down college sports. Swanson appeared in seven of the Demons’ 16 games, going 0-1 with a 1.04 ERA and four saves. He was joined by Mississippi State’s Spencer Price as the two pitchers selected to the District 6 squad.
After completing his undergraduate biology degree with the highest grade point average (4.0) in the College of Arts and Sciences, Swanson earned his master’s degree in health and human performance with a concentration in health promotion during Friday’s virtual commencement ceremonies. He carried a 4.0 GPA into his final semester of graduate school.
He has been accepted into the first class of Sam Houston State’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and will begin classes in the fall.
“Kyle set a tremendous example for our guys with his ability to balance academics and athletics,” head coach Bobby Barbier said. “He is deserving of the recognition he received for what he did in the classroom and on the mound. He was really good this year and a guy we could count on at the end of games.”
This year’s CoSIDA Academic All-District Teams were selected on the basis of career academic and athletic achievements. Swanson finished his Demon career with eight saves, tying him for seventh in school history. His four saves through 16 games had him on pace to challenge the NSU single-season saves mark of 10, accomplished four times by Chad Sheppard (twice), Daniel Desclouds and Brandon Smith.
Swanson was one of four Southland Conference student-athletes selected to CoSIDA Academic All-District Teams, joined by Central Arkansas infielder Christian Brasher, Houston Baptist pitcher Kyle Gruller and Incarnate Word outfielder Ridge Rogers. Gruller and Rogers were named to the District 5 Team.
Players selected to one of the eight all-district teams are eligible to be named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. Those honors will be announced in early June.
Photo: File shot of Kyle Swanson pitching. Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services