Two Dozen Wheaton Athletes Earn Conference Honors

The college’s top-ranking athletes close out their fall season with placement on the all-conference team.

Giovanni Weeks, All-CCIW First Team, playing his last game of the 2022 season. Photo by Caleb Vankerkhoff.

Last semester, 23 runners, soccer players, football players and one golfer from Wheaton College made the All-CCIW (College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) teams for their sport, an award for athletic excellence that is most often determined by the player’s performance stats. It’s about the same number of Wheaton athletes that the conference has typically recognized each fall season. 

Fourteen of this year’s honorees were first-team selections, which is based on their position in the conference. Ten others made the second team. 

The women’s cross country program had an especially strong performance in the fall. Alyssa Mantia, a senior runner, was one of six Wheaton women to make the All-CCIW Cross Country Team. Mantia was the individual conference champion and helped lead the team to the conference championship this season. 

It is a blessing to receive this honor,” said Mantia. “I am reminded of the gift it is to have coaches who believe in me, teammates who have become family, and a God who has been faithful in the highs and lows of this sport.”

Senior Susannah Bennett and first-year student Louisa Brorson also made the First Team. Junior Hope Clark, first-year student Sarah Quintanilla and senior Chloe Veth rounded out the Second Team.

For the men’s cross country squad, sophomore Sam Elsen earned second-team conference honors. The seven top runners from the men’s team finished in tenth at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regionals, up from last season’s placement of fifteenth at the same meet. 

It was an honor to help the team improve on last year’s score,” said Elsen. “I would not be where I am today as a runner without my captains from last year and the sophomore class as a whole. I am thankful for the love and guidance that they show me.” 

Thunder football players attain several all-conference spots on a regular basis. With 11 spots awarded this fall, they certainly did not disappoint. 

Five Wheaton football players made the All-CCIW Second Team, including senior defensive lineman Brayden Anthony, senior wide receiver Tyler Gautier, senior linebacker Jalen Shaffer,  senior offensive lineman Graham Wall and sophomore defensive back Max Wilson. 

Six other football players made the All-CCIW First Team, including first-year graduate student and quarterback Will Bowers, who has also been named one of 15 semifinalists for the 2022 Gagliardi Trophy, an award presented to the most outstanding football player in NCAA Division III. 

“It is truly a testament to the coaches on the Wheaton staff and all the time and effort they put into making me a better player on and off the field,” said senior defensive back Sam Bell, who received CCIW First Team honors. “I always felt prepared and they played a huge role in that preparation.”

Two players from the Wheaton women’s soccer team, senior goalkeeper Lauren Ketchum and senior defender Sarah Max, made the All-CCIW First Team and the NCAA Division III All-Region Third Team, which is an NCAA honor awarded annually to the best baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, volleyball and softball players in each region.

Ketchum says she is grateful to the defenders on her team as well as her coaches, crediting them as the reason for her success this season. 

I’m thankful for every girl on the team who has pushed me and come alongside me throughout the duration of this season,” said Ketchum. “I definitely could not have done it without them.”

From the men’s soccer team, senior defender Joey Sopikiotis and junior midfielder Alessandro D’Argento earned spots on the All-CCIW First Team. The two players also made the all-region team. 

“Getting all-conference feels great,” said D’Argento. “At the same time, it’s bittersweet that our season is over, but the team is headed towards greatness. That’s all I can ask for.”

Interim Athletic Director Michael Schauer was unavailable for comment.

The full list of All-CCIW Team honors for Wheaton players is below. 

Women’s Cross Country

Alyssa Mantia, All-CCIW First Team

Susannah Bennett, All-CCIW First Team

Louisa Brorson, All-CCIW First Team

Hope Clark, All-CCIW Second Team
Sarah Quintanilla, All-CCIW Second Team

Chloe Veth, All-CCIW Second Team

Men’s Cross Country

Sam Elsen, All-CCIW Second Team

Women’s Golf

Lizzy Stone, All-CCIW Team


Will Bowers, All-CCIW First Team

Sam Bell, All-CCIW First Team

Giovanni Weeks, All-CCIW First Team

Trevor Gabriele, All-CCIW First Team

Paul Fay, All-CCIW First Team

Ben Juska, All-CCIW First Team

Brayden Anthony, All-CCIW Second Team

Tyler Gautier, All-CCIW Second Team

Jalen Shaffer, All-CCIW Second Team

Graham Wall, All-CCIW Second Team

Max Wilson, All-CCIW Second Team

Women’s Soccer

Lauren Ketchum, All-CCIW First Team, All-Region Third Team

Sarah Max, All-CCIW First Team, All-Region Third Team

Audrey Sexson, All-CCIW Second Team

Myah Schoolman, All-CCIW Second Team

Men’s Soccer

Joey Sopikiotis, All-CCIW First Team, All-Region Second Team

Alessandro D’Argento, All-CCIW First Team, All-Region Second Team

Bella McDonald

Bella McDonald

By way of Des Moines, Iowa, Bella McDonald is a junior business/economics major on the journalism certificate track. She enjoys writing poetry, collecting vintage magazine covers, and finding new (and old) books to read.

Bella McDonald

Bella McDonald

By way of Des Moines, Iowa, Bella McDonald is a senior business/economics major on the journalism certificate track. She enjoys writing poetry, collecting vintage magazine covers, and finding new (and old) books to read.

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