Senior safety Justin Lessel has been named to the Academic All-District® First Team selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Lessel was one of 26 selections in District 4, which includes all Division III institutions in Pennsylvania. The senior safety enjoyed a breakout campaign in Gettysburg’s last full season on the turf in 2019, earning All-Centennial Conference Honorable Mention. He logged 62 tackles and eight pass break-ups that fall. Lessel was named CC Defensive Player of the Week and D3football.com Team of the Week after posting two interceptions in a win over Juniata College, including a 56-yard return for a touchdown.
A history major, Lessel appeared in all 30 games in his career, including spending the entirety of 2019 in a starting role in the secondary. He finished his career with 108 tackles, 15 pass break-ups, four interceptions, and two blocked kicks. Lessel was a three-year member of the CC Academic Honor Roll and was named Academic All-Centennial in 2019.
With football unable to take the field this past year due to the pandemic, Lessel focused on his chosen career as an educator. He served as a student teacher in social studies at nearby New Oxford High School. Lessel’s younger brother, Chris, is a rising sophomore on the Bullets football team.
The Academic All-District Team recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom. First-team Academic All-District® honorees advance to the Academic All-America® ballot. First- and second-team (if applicable) Academic All-America® honorees will be announced in early July.
Lessel becomes Gettysburg’s 16th Academic All-District selection in football since 2002. Six Bullets have been named Academic All-America with Cordell Boggs ’17 being the last in 2016.