Three Red Hawk teams honored by NJCAA for academics

Three Red Hawk teams honored by NJCAA for academics

HICKORY, N.C. — A trio of sports programs at Catawba Valley Community College have been honored by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for their academic successes this past school year.

The Red Hawks' women's basketball, softball and volleyball programs were all named NJCAA Academic teams of the year on Thursday. The NJCAA Team of the Year honor goes to a member program who achieves at least a cumulative 3.0 team grade point average during the 2019-20 school year.

A total of 1,026 NJCAA athletic teams from 27 sports received this honor.

"While our successes on the field of competition are great, we take so much more pride in our student athletes achieving in the classroom," said Catawba Valley Athletic Director Nick Schroeder. "These team honors from the NJCAA reflect the hard work by our student athletes, coaches, support staff and administration who all collectively work together in creating a successful academic learning environment here at CVCC. This was a unique year for all of us here at Red Hawk Nation with COVID-19, but our student athletes continued to achieve at a high level despite difficult circumstances."

The Red Hawks women's basketball program boasted a team GPA of 3.21 — earning NJCAA Academic Team of the Year honors for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

They were one of 106 basketball teams throughout NJCAA to earn the Academic Team of the Year distinction.

"The Lady Red Hawks strive for excellence in the classroom as well as on the court," said CVCC women's basketball head coach Tisha England. "Even during the pandemic, the Lady Red Hawks were conscious about finishing strong and keeping our rich tradition of being student-athletes. It takes everyone from the students, the professors, the tutors, the mentors and the coaches to come together as a team to help produce quality student-athletes. I am proud to be a part of a program who values academics and athletics."

For the second time in three seasons, the CVCC volleyball program earned NJCAA Academic Team of the Year honors, recording a cumulative team GPA of 3.24.

The Red Hawks were one of 150 volleyball teams to earn this accolade.

"Our volleyball players have shown they are not only fierce competitors on the court, but tremendously dedicated in the classroom as well," Schroeder said. "They had the highest team grade point average of any of our athletic programs. That says a lot about the hard work they put into their academics this school year."

In just its first season, the Catawba Valley Community College softball program also received NJCAA Academic Team of the Year honors, combing for a team GPA of 3.01.

The Red Hawks softball team was one of 182 softball programs named an NJCAA Academic Team of the Year.

"I couldn't be more proud of our girls for this achievement," said Red Hawks softball coach Josh Bumgarner. "We stress the importance of being a student-athlete — not just an athlete. Working hard not only on the field, but in the classroom is something they have truly bought into."

On Friday, the NJCAA will announce its 2019-20 All-Academic Student-Athletes Awards with many Red Hawk student athletes in contention for those honors.