Athletes have many choices once on a college campus; almost every college offers club, intramural, and recreational sports, and that level of competition can be more than enough for the occasional athlete. For some athletes, however, the match of ability and opportunity will drive the college search.
Some dedicated athletes have to recognize that their hope of playing for a Division I (scholarship) athletic program is unlikely to materialize. Many will come close and end up at a Division FCS or Division II athletic program, but many, particularly those who prefer the smaller and mid-sized colleges and universities, may want to consider playing in Division III.
Make no mistake, play at that level is highly competitive; many successful high school athletes will not be able to make the final cut on a strong Division III team. In order to identify where those programs are and what sort of traditional strengths they have developed, here is a quick scan of the most visible Division III teams in a variety of sports.
Men’s Soccer – Ohio Wesleyan, a traditional soccer power in Division III, got by Kenyon (OH) to reach the 2015 semi final game vs. eventual champion, Tufts.. The most recent contenders, including2015 runner-up Wheaton -Ill., include: Franklin and Marshall, SUNY Oneanta, Brandeis, Muhlenberg, Amherst, Trinity (Texas), Whitworth, Christopher Newport, Berry,
Women’s Soccer – Lynchburg defeated Williams for the 2015 title. Also contending were: Kenyon, Redlands, Ithaca, Carnegie-Mellon, Catholic, Johns Hopkins, Trinity (Texas), MIT, William Smith, Roger Williams, Brandeis, Bowdoin, Emory, Illinois Wesleyan, Gettysburg, Christopher Newport, Lesley, and Conn College
Football – Four Division III colleges have dominated the post-season Division III championships: Mount Union (OH), University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, Augustana (IL), and Ithaca (NY). The 2015 rankings included: Hobart, Widener, Ithaca, MIT, St. Lawrence, Mount Union, John Carroll, Wittenberg, Wabash, Chicago, Johns Hopkins, Saint John’s (MN), Linfield, Chapman, and Pacific U (OR).
Women’s Volleyball – Hope College (MI) got by Emory to take the 2015 championship. Others in the hunt were: Washington U. (MO), Augsburg, Saint Benedict, Coe, Calvin, Wittenberg, Mount Union, DePauw, John Carroll, Christopher Newport, Juniata, Haverford, Swarthmore, Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell College (Iowa), Chicago, Williams, Bowdoin, MIT, Tufts, Amherst, Bowdoin, Coast Guard, Wellesley, Clarkson, Union, Emory, Hendrix, Washington and Lee, Randolph-Macon, Millsaps, Birmingham Soutehrn, CMC/Scripps, Trinity (Texas), Southwestern (Texas).
Men’s Basketball – Augustana (Ill) defeated Randolph-Macon to take the 2015 title. Others in the hampionship hunt incuded: Illinois Wesleyan, Washington U. (MO), Hobart, Skidmore, Clarkson, Marietta, Ohio Wesleyan, Wooster, John Carroll, Dickinson, Johns Hopkins, Trinity (CT), Babson, Bates, WPI, Bowdoin, Emory, Centre, Rhodes, St. Olaf, Whitman, and Whitworth.
Women’s Basketball – In 2015, Thomas More defeated George Fox to take the national championship. Other contenders included: Wheaton (Ill), Washington U. (MO), NYU, Ithaca, Stevens, St. Lawrence, DePauw, John Carroll, Transylvania, McDaniel, Muhlenberg, Tufts, Amherst, Springfield, Norwich, Trinity (Texas) Lynchburg, Millsaps, Whitworth, CMC/Scripps, Puget Sound.
Men’s Ice Hockey – Trinity in Connecticut defeated U Wisconsin Stevens Point to take the title. Others in the top 15 were; Adrian, Amherst, Norwich, Plattsburgh, Oswego, St. Norbert, Hobart, Babson, Nichols, and Hamline.
Women’s Ice Hockey – The top 15 in Div. III women’s hockey were” Plattsburgh, Elmira, UW River Falls, Norwich, Middlebury, Trinity, Adrian, Amherst, Gustavus Adolphus, Lake Forest, and St. Thomas.
Men’s Lacrosse – Tufts defeated Lynchburg in the finals to take the title for the second year in a row. Others contending: RIT, Gettysburg, Ohio Wesleyan, Lynchburg, Endicott, Middlebury, Bates, Ursinus, Ithaca, Denison, Kenyon.
Women’s Lacrosse – SUNY Cortland knocked out Trinity College (CT) to take the 2015 title. Others in the mix: Union, Gettsyburg, Franklin and Marshall, Catholic, Saint Mary’s (MD), Mount Union, Wittenberg, Sewanee, Wooster, Denison, Rhodes, Middlebury, Bowoin, Hamilton, Amherst, Colby, MIT, Pomona-Pitzer, Augustana, Occidental, Colorado College, Pacific U. (OR).
Men’s Tennis – Claremont got by Middlebury to take the national title. Others in the race were: UC Santa Cruz, Pomona-Pitzer, Hopkins, Kenyon, John Carroll, Kalamazoo, Bowdoin, MIT, Trinity (Texas), Mary Washington, Emory, Chicago, Gustavus Adolphus, Coe, Amherst, Rose-Hulman, Colby-Sawyer, Washnigton and Lee, Washington U (MO), Skidmore, Whitman.
Women’s Tennis – Williams edged Emory for the national title. Top contendors were: Claremont/Scripps, Trinity(Texas), Whitman, Pomona-Pitzer, Endicott, Babson, Whitman, Skidmore, Carnegie Mellon, Chicago, Augustana, DePauw, Hope, Washington and Lee, Middlebury, Simmns, Bowdoin, Ithaca, Hopkins, Amherst, Washinton U (MO), and Sewanee.
Baseball – SUNY Cortland beat U Wisconsin LaCrosse for the national Div III title. Others contending were: Emory, Trinity (Texas), Washington (MO), Ill. Wesleyan, Hopkins, Franklin and Marshall, Adrian, Wooster, Case Western, Saint John’s (MN), Wesleyan (CT), Amherst, MIT, Wheaton (MA), Clarkson, Rhodes, Emory, Millsaps, Birmingham Southern, Pacifi Lutheran, Linfield, Whitworth.