Seven members of the Lorain County Community College volleyball, cross-country, basketball and golf team were recognized by the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for their participation in the classroom as much as on the field for the 2013-2014 season.
Katlynne Baker, Rachael Bolymeyer, Hannah Pinkie, Jerek Beltowski, Casandra Snyder, Kyle DiCapua and Alikhan Tulebayev were recognized for their GPA’s throughout the school year.
“To maintain a high GPA while participating in college athletics takes an increase focus and commitment to their academics,” said LCCC Athletic Director Kathryn Marquard , “we are proud of the hard work and dedication of these student-athletes, not only on the court and field but in the classroom.”
“To juggle all these commitments is a great accomplishment in itself,” added LCCC cross-country Coach James Powers. “To earn academic awards while handling all these responsibilities takes a unique individual, I am extremely proud of them.” Head volleyball Coach Ted Whitsel and women’s basketball Head Coach Tony Naples showed as much excitement for the student athletes as well.
The OCCAC recognizes student athletes that have at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA with at least 24 credits hours. The NJCAA Academic Award winners must have completed three full-time semesters and a minimum of 45 credit hours.
“I was very excited and grateful. It was a very pleasant surprise,” said Katlynne Baker, a member of the volleyball team who is studying dental hygiene. “I was happy to have received the awards that I was given.” Baker ended the season with a 3.579 GPA.
The athletes give credit not only to the coaching staff but to the teachers on campus.
“The administration at LCCC is very helpful when it comes to student athletes,” added Rachael Bolmeyer who also plays for the volleyball team and is studying for an associate of science and plans to transfer to Mount Union to become a physician’s assistant. She ended the season with a 3.854 GPA. “The teachers understand and accommodate for away matches when we have to leave earlier than normal. The coaches stress keeping good grades and help us in any way they can.”
Balancing school and athletics isn’t always the easiest thing to do however. “Yes, it was tricky balancing everything. School, volleyball, work, and all the other things in life. There were definitely points where I was stressed and felt overwhelmed with everything,” added Hannah Pinkie, another member of the volleyball team, who ended her season with an Exemplary Academic Achievement award with her 3.667 GPA. “Overall though, it taught me better time management and I thoroughly appreciate the support and help of my family and teammates.”
The recipients hope for future student athletes to take their place amongst other student athletes in the OCCAC and NJCAA. “Always stay focused on your school work and strive to do your very best,” said Baker. “Use all of your resources and do not be afraid to ask for help. Have a good relationship with your teachers and work with them as much as you can. Set high goals, and work hard to reach them,” added Bolmeyer.