MANHEIM, Pa. — Fort Hays State wrestlers Brandon Ball and Mason Turner were named on the 2020 National Wrestling Coaches Association Division II All-America team, released Thursday (April 9) by the NWCA. The Tiger wrestling program now has 82 All-Americans in its storied history, including 43 during the DII era and 17 under head coach Chas Thompson.
The coaches typically recognize the top DII student-athletes based on their achievements at the national championships, but due to this year's cancellation in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, All-American honors were based on each wrestler's overall body of work through the super-regional tournaments and up to the national championships.
Brandon Ball earned All-American honors for the third time in his career, becoming just the fifth Tiger in program history to reach All-American status three or more times. Ball finished his senior season with a 16-1 record, including seven bonus-point wins (one pin, three tech falls, three major decisions). He wrapped up his career with the best winning percentage in program history, winning 85.5 percent of his matches over the last five seasons (130-22). Ball qualified for the national championships for the fourth time in his career after a runner-up finish at the Super Region 4 Championships. He was named the MIAA Dual Meet champion at 141 pounds this season, his third conference title.
Redshirt-freshman Mason Turner picked up All-American honors for the first time after posting a 16-6 record. All but two of his victories were bonus-point wins, recording 11 pins, two tech falls and one major decision in the 125-pound class. Turner placed second at the Super Region 4 Championships after defeating a pair of ranked wrestlers, including a pin of the defending national champion. The Kansas City, Kan. native is 22-9 as a Tiger including his redshirt season.
In addition, Ball and Turner were recently named NWCA Scholar All-Americans and both earned the MIAA Scholar-Athlete Award for their dedication in the classroom as well as on the mat.