Gadsden State student-athletes earn national recognition


The National Junior College Athletic Association recently announced the recipients of the 2014-15 NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards, and seven Gadsden State student-athletes were among those recognized.

This year saw a record 1,936 student-athletes from 324 NJCAA member colleges earn national academic honors. During the 2014-15 academic year, the NJCAA saw 58,531 student-athletes compete on 3,461 teams in 28 different sports. A record 3.31 percent of individuals competing in the association qualified for an academic award, which is only available to student-athletes that have accumulated at least 45 semester credit hours or 60 quarter credit hours with a minimum of a 3.60 grade-point average. 

The Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence was presented to a record 185 student-athletes that earned a 4.0 grade-point average. There were 741 qualifiers for the Superior Academic Achievement Award, while 1,110 individuals claimed the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award.

The three NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards with the qualifying grade-point average for each honor are the Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence (4.00 GPA), the Superior Academic Achievement Award (3.80-3.99 GPA) and the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award (3.60-3.79 GPA).

Earning the Superior Academic Achievement Award from Gadsden State were Bethany Chamblee (softball) and James Surrett (tennis). 

Achieving the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award were Michael Bizilia (tennis), Hannah Liverett (volleyball), Brittney Tidmore (softball) and Pat Edmonds and Garrett Preston (basketball). 

Also honored was 2014 West End High graduate and Snead State incoming sophomore Elissa Self, who earned the Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence in volleyball. 

In addition, four Gadsden State teams qualified as 2014-2015 NJCAA All-Academic teams, which requires a minimum overall team grade point average of 3.00. The GSCC tennis team was fifth nationally with an overall 3.33 GPA. The Lady Cardinal softball and volleyball teams both had a 3.27 grade point average, while women’s basketball had a collective 3.1 GPA. 

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