ZEELAND — Zeeland East sophomore wrestler Marty Landes has earned the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), in association with the United State Marine Corps, Scholar All-American award, which recognizes wrestlers who have demonstrated excellence in the classroom, wrestling room and their community.


Landes has a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average, and on the wrestling mat this past season, he was an OK Green Conference champion, placed second at districts, third at regionals and was a state qualifier.


Chix coach Martin Landes said he was proud of Marty for challenging himself with tough classes and conquering obstacles on the mat.


“The coaching staff of Zeeland East wrestling continually emphasizes to our team that we are student-athletes and that the ‘student’ part comes first for a reason,” Martin Landes said. “We are allowed to compete and wrestle because of how we do in the classroom. As his coach, I am happy for Marty that he can be recognized not only for his athletic accomplishments on the mat, but also for his hard work and dedication in the classroom.


“As his father, I could not be more proud. This award is even more impressive to me when the strength of his classes is considered.”


Marty Landes said achieving the honor was no easy task.


“I think getting the honor was a great addition to my wrestling achievement and my academics during this time,” Landes said. “I was always doing homework for about an hour-and-a-half after wrestling practice.


“I was a little tired cutting weight, but got through it. It just helps that I was gifted in some of the subjects.”


Martin Landes said the environment at Zeeland East allows his son to thrive.


“This accomplishment was only made possible with help of the tremendous staff of Zeeland Public Schools, including Woodbridge Elementary, the Zeeland Gifted and Talented program for fourth and fifth grades, Cityside Middle School and the combined educational staff of Zeeland East and West High Schools.


“While Marty may have done the work in the classroom, all of his teachers deserve the praise for their individual contributions to his education.”


— Contact Assistant Sports Editor Beau Troutman at btroutman@hollandsentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @BVTroutman.