Athletes from every one of Mississippi Delta Community College’s five sports teams and three teams as a whole were recognized on either the state or national level for their academic excellence in the classroom this week, according to MDCC Athletic Director Domino Bellipanni.
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) recognized the Trojans’ baseball, basketball and softball teams for their cumulative grade point averages. The Baseball team, under Coach Michael Avalon, was ranked fifth in the nation with a 3.37 GPA and was first in the state among the seven Mississippi teams recognized.
The Lady Trojans basketball team, under Coach Burnadette McDonald, finished the year with a 3.12 GPA and was first in the state among the four Mississippi teams recognized. The Lady Trojans softball team, under Coach Chris Watford, was also recognized nationally and finished the year with a 3.14 GPA.
In all, 15 MDCC athletes were also honored by Mississippi Association of Junior and Community Colleges (MACJC) for their achievements in the classroom. These All-State Academic Scholars had a GPA of 3.25 or better. Those with a GPA of 3.80 of better were also recognized as Distinguished Honors. They were Bill McRight of Vicksburg (football), Danny Springer of Houston (baseball) and Kelli Stevens of Rolling Fork (softball).
The MACJC All-State Academic Scholars from the baseball team were Nathaniel Dickens of Canton, John Lafever of Holly Springs, Colby Maner of Morton, Tyler Mize of Paris, and Conner Osborne of West Monroe, LA. All-State from the football team were John Marsh of Greenville, Payton Pearson of Isola, and Eric Snow of Yazoo City. Women’s basketball All-State were India Overstreet of Hernando and Ashanti Spencer of Bentonia and men’s basketball was Michael Sapp of Holcomb. Softball was Sara Gunter of Pensacola, FL.
Nationally, during the 2013-14 academic year, the NJCAA saw 58,446 student-athletes compete on 3,705 teams in 28 different sports. Of those competitors, 3.08 percent – or 1,799 student-athletes – were recognized with academic awards for their achievements in the classroom.
Bill McRight, Danny Springer and Kelli Stevens received the NJCAA Award for Superior Academic Excellence for GPAs between 3.80 and 3.99. Sara Gunther, John Lefever, John Marsh, Colby Manor, Conner Osborne, and Michael Sapp received the NJCAA Award for Exemplary Academic Achievement for GPA's between 3.60 and 3.79.