Meridian Star


June 25, 2014

EMCC softball earns academic accolades

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. —      For the second straight year, East Mississippi Community College has garnered national honors as the 2013-14 NJCAA Softball Academic Team of the Year for having the nation’s highest cumulative grade-point average among the 369 schools that compete in softball at the junior college level.      

    The 2013-14 NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards and Academic Teams of the Year were announced Tuesday by the NJCAA national office.

    Along with EMCC’s softball program collecting NJCAA All-Academic Team recognition for the fifth consecutive year for having a composite team GPA of 3.00 or higher, the EMCC men’s golf team trails close behind by claiming a fourth straight NJCAA All-Academic Team honor this past academic year. Head coach Kyndall White’s 2013-14 EMCC Lady Lions nearly matched last year’s all-time school standard (3.59) with a collective 3.57 team GPA, while EMCC’s golfers continued their annual improvement inside the classroom with a program-best 3.22 team GPA.

    Individually, a school-record 17 EMCC student-athletes received NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards in three separate categories for their respective classroom achievements. For the second year in a row, East Mississippi touted three NJCAA Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence recipients for having perfect 4.00 cumulative grade point averages.  

    The softball tandem of Corey Dawkins, from Brooksville, and Beth Hull, of Kemper Academy, along with starting center Wiley Maddox, a Bruce High School product, from EMCC’s 2013 NJCAA national championship football team all posted identical 4.00 GPAs throughout their academic careers on the Scooba campus.

    “We’re extremely proud of Coach (Kyndall) White and Coach (Taryn) Gray along with our entire softball team for earning NJCAA Softball Academic Team of the Year honors for the second straight year,” said Mickey Stokes, EMCC’s vice president for Scooba campus, student affairs, athletics and facility fundraising. “What an outstanding accomplishment and a testament to the perseverance shown by our students, coaches, faculty and staff. We’d like to also congratulate our men’s golf team for their repeat academic team honors this year as well as to all of our dedicated student-athletes who remain committed to achieving both athletic and academic success here at East Mississippi Community College.”     

    With nearly half of the Lady Lions’ 20-member softball squad garnering 2013-14 NJCAA Academic Awards, former Clarkdale High School teammates Abby Roberts (3.96) and Sarah Harris (3.89) along with Louisiana native Halie Green (3.85) combined to secure three of EMCC’s four NJCAA Award for Superior Academic Achievement accolades for posting cumulative GPAs between 3.80 and 3.99. Football placekicker Morgan Rhodes, from Northwest Rankin High School, completed the quartet with a 3.80 GPA.

    In addition, 10 NJCAA Award for Exemplary Academic Achievement certificates, recognizing those with GPAs between 3.60 and 3.79, were claimed by East Mississippi student-athletes representing five different sports. Softball again led the way with four honorees (Taylor Hackney, 3.77; Kendal Carpenter, 3.66; Meri Morgan Fortune, 3.66; and Angel Johnson, 3.62) to give the Lady Lions a total of nine NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Award recipients for the 2013-14 school year.

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