Gadsden State Community College recently announced that the school’s men’s tennis team and four student athletes have earned honors for their work in the classroom, qualifying as one of seven Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic teams and ITA Scholar Athletes for 2015.
Tennis players Michael Bizilia of Auburn, Granger Surrett of Centre, Kevin Triplett of Guntersville and Jordan Younghouse of Albertville earned honors as scholar-athletes. In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status, a player must be a varsity letter winner, have a grade point average of at least 3.50 for the current academic year and have been enrolled at their present school for at least two semesters (including freshman through senior year).
“It’s an admirable accomplishment to not only excel on the tennis court but also in the classroom,” said GSCC athletic director Mike Cancilla. “We are extremely proud of the academic accomplishments of this team. They and their coach (Buster Stewart) are to be commended for the honor.”
The Cardinal tennis team finished the 2015 season as runner-up in the Alabama Community College Conference Regional Tournament. Younghouse and Bizilia were named to the tournament team in addition to qualifying as a 2014-2015 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Academic team. Surrett and Bizilia were also recognized as NJCAA scholar athletes.
The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any member program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or above. All eligible student-athletes whose names appear on the NCAA, NAIA or Junior/Community College eligibility form and have competed in one or more varsity matches must average into the GPA for the current academic year (including fall 2014 and spring 2015).
“At its core, college tennis is about higher education,” said ITA chief executive officer Timothy Russell. “Our sport has always been a leader when it comes to high performing scholar-athletes. This group represents the best of the best, as do their coaches who regularly serve as such great teachers and mentors of our sport’s finest young people.”