By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---Owens Community College had eight student-athletes earn academic honors as the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Academic Student-Athlete Awards were announced yesterday.
The NJCAA awards each student-athlete who earns at least a 3.60 GPA with at least 45 semester credit hours or 60 quarter credit hours by placing them into three award categories. The Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence is awarded to student-athletes who achieve a 4.00 GPA, while the Superior Academic Achievement Award is given to student-athletes with a 3.80-3.99 GPA. The third tier is the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award, which goes to student-athletes with a 3.60-3.79 GPA.
In addition to those two, six others earned Exemplary Academic Achievement honors including softball's Lesley Ducat (Evergreen/Lyons, Ohio), women's soccer's Abby Groll (Clay/Oregon, Ohio), golf's Dru Hein (Jasper/Jasper, Ind.), softball's Haley Kreger (Bedford/Temperance, Mich.), baseball's Marcus Rozsa (All Saints Secondary/Whitby, Ontario, Canada) and men's basketball's Austin Somerfield (Greenville/Greenville, Mich.)
Since 2001, Owens has now had 81 student-athletes earn NJCAA Academic Awards, which were formerly known as NJCAA All-Americans. For a full list of past Owens recipients, visit here
This is the fourth straight year an Owens baseball student-athlete has earned academic honors from the NJCAA, and Somerfield's selection marks the first Owens men's basketball player to earn honors since Cal Edwards in 2010-11. Groll becomes the first NJCAA Academic Award recipient in women's soccer, although Kreger played two seasons with the women's soccer team prior to playing softball this year.
This year saw a record 1,936 student-athletes from 324 NJCAA member colleges earn national academic honors, which works out to an average of just under six per school. Therefore, Owens is about two student-athletes above the national average.
In the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC), Owens led all schools with eight selections. Furthermore, they had eight of the conference's 20 total student-athletes honored by the NJCAA.
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.
For a full list of recipients nationally, click here
About the NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards
Formerly known as NJCAA Academic All-America honors, the NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards program has annually recognized the academic success of the association’s student-athletes since the program’s inception in 1983. Nominations are submitted by each student-athlete’s respective institution.
About the NJCAA
Since 1938 the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has been the governing body of two-year college athletics, offering athletic and academic opportunities to college students. The NJCAA is the second largest national intercollegiate athletic organization in the United States with over 500 member schools in 43 states. Each year nearly 60,000 student-athletes compete in one of 28 different sports and the organization sponsors 48 national championship events and nine football bowl games. NJCAA Headquarters has been located in Colorado Springs, Colo., since 1985. For more information visit www.njcaa.org.