Doane College senior second baseman AJ Spanel has excelled academically and athletically for the past four years at Doane College. Today, he receives one of the most prestigious awards given to a college athlete as he has been named the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year for the College Division.
For the second straight season, he has been named to the First Team for the Capital One Academic All-American list. The team is voted on by one Sports Information Director representative from each conference in the division.
"AJ is a well-deserving representative for the Academic All-American of the Year honor," Doane Sports Information Director Rick Schmuecker said. "As a voting member for this award, I saw numerous student-athletes who deserved strong consideration. When you look at the accomplishments AJ has had during his four years on the field and combine that with his academic success, holding a 4.0 grade point average, it is tough to argue that someone is more deserving."
Spanel was named First Team All-Conference in the Great Plains Athletic Conference this season at second base. He batted .321 this year with 22 runs batted in at the No. 2 hole in the Tiger batting order and added 17 stolen bases. He had a .944 stolen base percentage this year (17-of-18), ranking 3rd best for a single season at Doane.
He graduates with the second most defensive assists in school history with 337, second only behind former teammate Anthony Hincy. He has the third most hits all-time with 213 and is third in walks with 76. Defensively, he ranks third in double plays turned with 53.
"I feel very honored to be selected for the Capital One Academic All America Team," Spanel said of the recognition. "To be included in such an outstanding group of student-athletes is one of the greatest compliments I have ever received."