KANKAKEE, IL – Kankakee Community College (KCC) proudly announces that five of its athletic teams and a total of 62 student-athletes have achieved recognition from the NJCAA for their exceptional academic achievements throughout the 2022-23 academic year. This accomplishment showcases KCC’s commitment to excellence both on and off the field.
Leading the pack is the women’s soccer team, securing a place on the Academic All-American list for the first time in KCC’s history. Bryce Shafer, KCC’s athletic director, commended the teams, stating, “(It) represents the best of what KCC athletics stand for: excellence and development on and off the field or court.”
In order to receive recognition, teams needed to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
KCC’s outstanding teams qualifying for NJCAA All-Academic Team status are:
· Women’s Soccer, boasting a 3.39 team GPA with 13 students holding GPAs above 3.0
· Softball, with a 3.29 team GPA and 11 students exceeding a 3.0 GPA
· Volleyball, securing a 3.23 team GPA with 8 students shining above 3.0
· Men’s Soccer, maintaining a 3.15 team GPA and 10 students achieving GPAs above 3.0
· Baseball, achieving the minimum 3.0 team GPA with an impressive 20 students exceeding 3.0
Of noteworthy mention, KCC’s men’s soccer team is the sole NJCAA Region 4 team to achieve All-Academic Team status. Amongst the four women’s soccer teams in NJCAA Region 4 earning this academic honor, the Cavaliers lead with the highest overall GPA.
Head coach Mike Barclay expressed his delight, stating, “Enough cannot be said about the academic performance of both men’s and women’s soccer teams.” He emphasized the remarkable feat of both teams achieving recognition in the same year.
“We set a goal at the beginning of the year to repeat as a team academic All-American,” said Keith Cooper, head softball coach. “The ladies were determined to achieve that goal and worked extremely hard to accomplish it. We are very proud of the championship mentality and the work they had both in the classroom and on the field.”
“One of our core goals every year as a baseball team is to attain an average GPA of 3.0,” said Shafer, who also serves as the head baseball coach. “We firmly believe that the pursuit of development and excellence on the field and in the classroom, shapes true champions.”
This academic excellence is further reflected in the individual honors awarded to KCC student-athletes. Thirty individuals were recognized for their academic achievements during the 2022-23 school year.
The All-Academic First Team boasts a perfect 4.0 grade point average, including students like Jeannette Carrington of Auburn, Women’s Soccer; Paxtyn Hicks of Galveston, Ind., Softball; Josh Holmes of Chicago, Men’s Basketball; and Mya Ramdoo of St. James, Trinidad, Women’s Soccer.
The All-Academic Second Team, featuring grade point averages ranging from 3.80 to 3.99, includes names like Kaitlyn Marks of Frankfort, Softball; Mia Robbins of Manteno, Women’s Soccer; Jamonte Smith of Roanoke, VA, Men’s Basketball; Tess Wallace of Bradley, Women’s Soccer; and Luke Wolff of Joliet, Baseball.
The All-Academic Third Team, with grade point averages between 3.60 and 3.79, proudly features Baylee Anderson of Erie, Volleyball; Gianna Basile of Bourbonnais, Volleyball; Brooke Brian of Edmonton, Alberta, Softball; Nathaniel Brown of Maraval, Trinidad, Men’s Soccer; Tori Budde of Effingham, Softball; Mariel Camargo of Kankakee, Women’s Soccer; Malachai Daniels of Tunapuna, Trinidad, Men’s Soccer; Myllena De Sousa of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Women’s Basketball; Matt Guiney of Bradley, Men’s Soccer; Connor Janik of Frankfort, Baseball; Payton Kohl of Bourbonnais, Volleyball; Aiyanna Lopez of Kankakee, Women’s Soccer; Jose Pizano of St. Anne, Men’s Soccer; Sam Porras of Bradley, Women’s Soccer; Danny Puplava of Portage, Ind., Baseball; Marc Robertson of Caroni, Trinidad, Men’s Soccer; Danny Sorich of Bradley, Men’s Soccer; Hayden Stork of Danvers, Baseball; Chris Suchoski of Plainfield, Baseball; Makenzie Tome of Rantoul, Softball; and Jaelyn Wiers of Morris, Softball.
The collective grade point average for KCC student-athletes during the year was an impressive 3.1. For those seeking more information about KCC athletics, visit athletics.kcc.edu.