The all-district awards are given annually to recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.
District VI encompasses the states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
First team Academic All-District honorees will advance to the Capital One Academic All-America® Team ballot where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.
With his selection to the District VI first team, Leonards earned a spot on the national ballot for Academic All-American honors.
“Ryan epitomizes the word student-athlete,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “Ultimately a student-athlete will have to succeed academically in order to obtain the college diploma needed to develop a successful career in the work force once they’re done playing baseball.”
This is the first Capital One Academic All-District VI award for the Notre Dame High School of Crowley product, and comes during his first season of eligibility for the honor (student-athletes must have spent one full year at an academic institution and maintain at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA to be nominated).
It’s the third straight season a Ragin’ Cajuns baseball student-athlete earns Capital One Academic All-District VI honors. Alex Fuselier received second team recognition in 2010 and was a first-team honoree in 2011.
“This award doesn’t surprise me,” Robichaux remarked. “My wife is a teacher at Notre Dame High School and if you speak with any of the other teachers there they will tell you how committed of a student he was while excelling in both football and baseball. For a person of his character and commitment to academics, this is a well deserved award.”
Leonards, a native of nearby Crowley, carries a 3.56 cumulative GPA majoring in geology.
He leads the Cajuns and ranks Top 15 in the Sun Belt Conference with .333 batting average. His average has been above .300 the entire season.
Leonards is tied for the team lead with 15 multiple-hit games (includes pair of four-hit outings), has scored a team-best 25 runs and sports a team-high .412 on-base percentage.
In his first season as the Cajuns starting shortstop, he has tallied 100-plus assists (117 actual) and ranks 10th in SBC in assists.