Ten Eagles earn NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete honors


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (July 7, 2017) – The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has announced its 2016-17 All-Academic Teams and a school-record ten Tallahassee Community College student-athletes were recognized for their work in the classroom. 

Softball's Elisa Cecchetti and Alyssa NeSmith earned NJCAA academic honors for a second straight season while teammates Brooke Bates, Callie Paine and Payton Parker were recognized for the first time. Rounding out the Eagles' academic all-star contingent are first-time honorees Ellie Stubblefield, Regan Ward and Mia Wiederkehr, who ran cross country, baseball's Jack Hartman and women's basketball's Shaigna Wentz. 

"I'm extremely proud of these student-athletes," said director of athletics Rob Chaney. "Our coaches are committed to building a student first, athlete second culture within our department, and this is evidence that our student-athletes value excellence in the classroom just as much as in their respective sport. 

"It is also a testament to the quality service a student receives from Tallahassee Community College – starting with admissions and orientation, through the advising process and right on into the classroom with our outstanding faculty and academic support resources. It is truly a team effort." 

This year, the NJCAA introduced simplified titles for the three academic honor categories. The previous titles of "Pinnacle, Superior and Exemplary Award for Academic Achievement" were replaced with NJCAA All-Academic First-team, Second-team and Third-team. 

Cecchetti, Hartman, NeSmith and Stubblefield were NJCAA All-Academic First-team honorees for having achieved a 4.0 GPA during the 2016-17 academic year. Nationally, 1,333 student-athletes qualified for First-team honors. 

Cecchetti, previously named the top female scholar-athlete in the Panhandle Conference for 2016-17, earned NJCAA All-Academic First-team honors in 2016.   

Ward and Wentz were named NJCAA All-Academic Second-team for having achieved a 3.80-3.99 GPA while Bates, Paine, Parker and Wiederkehr were named NJCAA All-Academic Third-team with a 3.60-3.79 GPA. 

While cross country was the primary sport for Stubblefield and Wiederkerh, both made the list as two-sport participants, having run in the NJCAA half marathon last November. 

During the 2016-17 academic year, more than 59,000 student-athletes participated in the NJCAA and a record 10.1 percent (6,006) earned national academic honors by completing at least two full-time semesters or three full-time quarters and accumulating at least 24 semester- or 36 quarter-hours with a minimum 3.60 grade point average. 

All ten student-athletes have been honor students while enrolled at Tallahassee Community College and were previously named All-Academic in 2017 by both the Florida College System Activities Association and the Panhandle Conference. 

The NJCAA will announce its 2016-17 team academic awards on Monday.