(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team had seven members named to the Academic All-District football team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Thursday, November 16. To be nominated for the award, a student-athlete must be a starter or significant reserve and maintain a GPA of 3.3 or better.
Carnegie Mellon is part of District 4 which is comprised of all Division III schools in the state of Pennsylvania. All seven honorees advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be announced December 13.
Senior running back Sam Benger (Hingham, Mass.) is making his third straight appearance on the all-district team while the six others; offensive linemen senior Ben Mersman (Newark, Del./Salesianum School) and sophomore Joe Levy (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North), junior quarterback Alex Cline (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Jerome), junior H-back Karl-Mark Kumm (Brick, N.J./Brick Township), sophomore defensive back Anthony Kennon (Lancaster, Mass./Nashoba Regional) and sophomore defensive lineman Michael Lohmeier (Clarendon Hills, Ill./Hinsdale Central) are being recognized for the first time.
Benger, who has been nagged by injuries all season, has rushed for 983 yards on 169 carries for an average of 5.8 yards per carry, which ranks fourth in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC). Benger, the school's all-time rushing leader with 5,316 yards, will look to become the first Tartan to rush for a 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Asa S. Bushnell Bowl on Saturday when the team concludes the season against Muhlenberg College. Mersman and Levy played a key part in blocking for Benger while helping the offense reach the 510-yard mark in the Tartans' win over the University of Rochester while also compiling 496 yards against nationally ranked Case Western Reserve University. Kumm also was a valuable blocker for Benger and recorded 13 receptions this season for 193 yards and four touchdowns. Cline has thrown for 2,158 yards and 24 touchdowns this season, which both are second on the school single-season charts. The signal caller needs 43 yards and two touchdowns to take over the top single-season spot.
On defense, Lohmeier leads the team with 6.0 sacks and 9.0 tackles for a loss. His 6.0 sacks rank sixth in the PAC while his three forced fumbles rank second and are tops on the team. Kennon ended the regular season with 28 tackles, 19 solos, and ranked third on the Tartans with seven passes defended, including his first career interception.
Benger, a 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy Finalist and a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, has a 3.67 GPA as a business administration major. Earlier this season, he was a nominee for the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. This past summer, Benger interned for Deloitte and during their Impact Day, where all employees go out into the community and do service, he worked on renovating a dilapidated elementary school. The running back has volunteered for the Pittsburgh Children's Hospital Donate Life. He mentors in the Pittsburgh Area for several young men battling illness, especially with one juvenile diabetic like Benger himself. Benger also has volunteered at the Western Spring Sectional competition of the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania and with the 1,000+ Service Day initiative at Carnegie Mellon which brings together students, faculty, staff and alumni to volunteer at multiple sites throughout the greater Pittsburgh area. Benger is a University Athletic Association (UAA) President Scholar Athlete Team honoree as well as three-time PAC and UAA Academic member.
Mersman carries a 3.70 GPA and is a chemical and biomedical engineering major. He has been on the dean's list in the college of engineering multiple semesters, including recording a 4.0 GPA in two semesters. Mersman is a two-time PAC and three-time UAA Academic member and recently interned with LANXESS. The senior has volunteered at the Western Spring Sectional competition of the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania and with the 1,000+ Service Day initiative at Carnegie Mellon. He is a founding father of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity.
Kumm and Levy are both finance majors in the Tepper School of Business. Kumm carries a 3.75 GPA and Levy a 3.70 GPA. Kumm has received PAC Academic honors twice and UAA Academic on three occasions while Levy has been honored once on each. Both have volunteered for the 1,000+ Service Day initiative at Carnegie Mellon.
Cline carries a 3.70 GPA and is a business administration major. He is a member of Carnegie Mellon's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and was an analyst for Scottie Ventures. This past summer, Cline worked for IGS Energy as a solar intern. He studied abroad at the University of Granada in Spain following his freshman year and was awarded the Patricia Askwith-Kenner Summer Scholarship for his study abroad experience. Cline is the treasure of the CMU College Republicans club.
Kennon has a 3.89 GPA and is an engineering major. He has made dean's list each of his semesters at Carnegie Mellon with a 4.0 GPA last spring. Kennon is currently serving as a teacher's assistant in the physics department. He also has volunteered for the 1,000+ Service Day initiative at Carnegie Mellon.
Lohmeier carries a 4.00 GPA and is a business administration major. Off the field, he is a market research analyst for Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He is an undergraduate analyst intern for Scottie Ventures and a member of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity where he serves as the philanthropy chair. He is also a PAC honor roll and UAA All-Academic honoree.