A pair of local college athletes have received some lofty honors for their work in the classroom and on the athletic fields.
West Liberty University defensive back Marco Ricchetti was recently named an NCAA Division II All-American by Beyond Sports Network. The former Martins Ferry multi-sport standout was a third-team selection at safety.
Meanwhile, former St. Clairsville soccer standout Jaclyn Dutton was named to the 41-player Academic All-MAC team, as announced by the Mid-American Conference. She was one of five Kent State University players to receive the accolades.
RICCHETTI, a 6-3, 200-pound junior weak safety for the Hilltoppers, capped a superb season with his selection.
During the regular season, he was named West Virginia Conference Defensive Player of the Week on three different occasions. He was named to the all-WVC first unit.
Behind his play, the Black-and-Gold went from 1-10 to 6-5 and posted victories over regionally ranked squads in Shepherd and UNC-Pembroke.
He led the Hilltoppers with 101 tackles, including five games in which he charted more than 10 stops. He also picked off a team-best five passes, returning one 42 yards against Shepherd that setup a touchdown. He also swiped one in the end zone against UNC-Pembroke as time was winding down to preserve that upset win.
Ricchetti was one of 10 WVC players to earn All-America status.
DUTTON, who played her freshman season at Clemson University before transferring closer to home, was joined on the elite squad by Golden Flash teammates Sara Henderson and Hannah Newhouse, both from Strongsville, Oh., and Jessacca Gironda (Akron,) and Stephanie Haugh (Richmond Hill, Ontario).
Gironda and Newhouse were repeat Academic All-MAC honorees.
Dutton, a St. Clairsville High product who still holds the all-time career goal-scoring record for girls in the Buckeye State with 192 net-finders in her four years as a Red Devil, led the Golden Flashes offensively and was among the national leaders in scoring this year, tallying 15 goals and 37 points to rank 17th and 19th nationally, respectively.
Dutton, a communications major, was a second-team academic all-district honoree earlier this year.
Kent State put together one of its best seasons in program history in 2012, posting a 13-5-2 record, which included seven MAC victories. The team advanced to the MAC semifinals and tallied nine shutouts in 20 games.
To qualify for Academic All-MAC, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the contests for that particular sport.
First-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence are not eligible for the award. The number of honorees on the MAC All-Academic Team is the number that is set for the specific sport or 33% of the number of nominees, whichever is greater, and is voted on by faculty athletic representatives.
Congratulations go out to both Marco and Jaclyn.
The Times Leader Sports Department offers its condolences to River boys' basketball coach Mark Romick on the recent death of his father.
The elder Romick passed away Sunday in Marietta.
North can be reached at email@example.com