DOBSON — The National Junior College Athletic Association has named the Surry Community College women’s golf, men’s golf, and softball teams as All-Academic teams. SCC was the only college in Region X (out of 33 junior colleges) to earn All-Academic team designations and individual academic excellence awards.
Each team recorded an overall grade point average above a 3.0, which is the threshold to receive the national all-academic recognition.
“To have three athletic teams achieve this academic status is incredible,” said SCC President David Shockley. “We are proud of each athlete who helped earn these national academic recognitions for their teams. These students made classroom work a priority along with balancing practice and game time.”
Region X consists of community colleges in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. There are 145 different athletic teams among the 33 colleges. The National Junior College Athletic Association has also named five Surry Community College athletes as Academic Student-Athlete Award recipients.
“This is a wonderful accomplishment for our athletic program and Surry Community College. To reach this level of academic excellence, you have to not only have quality and dedicated student-athletes, but also a tremendous faculty and staff. These are honors in which the entire college should be proud,” said Surry Athletic Director Mark Tucker. “To have three of the four All-Academic teams in Region X is incredible. This is also the second consecutive year that our softball team has earned this distinction, which is a tremendous achievement.”
The Surry Knights’ team GPA averages are as follows: Women’s golf, 3.44 GPA; men’s golf, 3.13 GPA; and softball, 3.12 GPA. The women’s golf team ranked first of all seven women’s golf teams in Region X by GPA team averages. This team also ranked No. 1 among all the 145 athletic teams in Region X by team GPA average. The Surry Knights women’s golf team was ranked seventh in a national academic ranking of 86 women’s golf teams in the NJCAA. The women’s golf team members are Kasie Tolbert and Gatlin Hiatt.
The men’s golf team ranked first of 11 men’s golf teams in Region X. The team placed third among the 145 athletic teams in Region X and was listed as team No. 22 of 202 men’s golf teams based on team GPA average in the NJCAA. Members of the men’s golf team are: Dalton Berry, Ryan High, McKinley Johnson, Matthew Snow, Chandler White, and Ryan Wilson.
The Surry Knights softball team ranked first of 13 softball teams in Region X, academically. The team was ranked fourth academically of all the 145 athletic teams in Region X. This team was ranked 90th of 369 softball teams nationally according to the team’s GPA average in the NJCAA. Team members are: Emily Worley, Morgan Shiflett, Maris Yohn, Evelyn Wells, Courtney Barnes, Shey Steelman, Candace Newsom, Brandi Hudson, Tori Clontz, Natalie Hauser, Rachel Wagoner, Brittany Myers, Molli Huffman, Sydney Caudle and Sarah Scott. The head coach is Blaine Bullington; the assistant coach is Andy Scott; and the athletic trainer is Ewell Vernon.
Each of these teams also earned several on the field-course accolades. The men’s golf team was Region X Champions, which allowed them to be a qualifier in the national tournament. Chandler White was named Region X Player of the Year and Region X Tournament Medalist. McKinley Johnson was a Region X Tournament Medalist Runner-up. Coach Tom Pendergraft was honored as Region X Coach of the Year. He has received that honor three consecutive years. Women golfers Gatlin Hiatt and Kasie Tolbert were both Women’s National Tournament qualifiers.
The Surry Knights Softball Team also performed well on and off the field. Natalie Hauser was Region X Player of the Year. Shey Steelman was Region X Pitcher of the Year. All-Region First Team players were Natalie Hauser, Shey Steelman, Sarah Scott and Sydney Caudle. The All-Tournament Team honorees were Shey Steelman, Morgan Shiflett and Candace Newsom.
These teams were recognized at the Surry County Commissioners meeting July 21 at the Surry County Government Center in Dobson. The teams enjoyed a reception sponsored by the Knights Athletic Club prior to the recognition.
— submitted by Julie Pharr, Public Information Officer, Surry Community College