Western Nebraska Community College athletics had 16 individuals and two teams earn All-Academic honors for the past season.
The Cougar softball team earned a team All-Academic honor with a 3.26 team GPA while the Cougar volleyball team had a 3.23 GPA. There were 1,026 teams that earned a 3.0 GPA or higher this past season in the NJCAA.
Volleyball head coach Binny Canales said it is an honor for his team to receive the academic team recognition.
“I think it is a great accomplishment for the team under very difficult circumstances,” he said. “They stepped it up and I am very proud of them and shows the character of these kids. We can grow from this and continue to keep our grades up and plan for our future.”
It was the second time in the last four years that the volleyball team earned team academic honors. They last time the volleyball team earned the honor was in 2015-16.
The softball team has been getting these team academic honors year in and year out. This is been the seventh straight year the softball team earned academic team honors and 13th year since 2005 they have been NJCAA All-Academic.
On the individual front, 9,555 student athletes were recognized on the individual All-Academic teams by earning a 3.60 or higher GPA.
Two WNCC sophomores earned First Team All-Academic honors with a perfect 4.0 GPA and they included women’s basketball player Yuliyana Valcheva and women’s soccer player Caroline Vieira. Both graduated in May and are signed to continue playing at the four-year level. Valcheva will be playing at the University of Texas-San Antonio while Vieira will be playing at Cumberland University in Tennessee.
Fourteen other athletes earned Second Team (3.80 -3.99 GPA) or Third Team (3.60-3.79 GPA) All-Academic honors.
The Cougar softball team had two individuals each on the second and third teams. Freshmen Taylee Braegger of Cedar City, Utah, and Jade Gomez of Wheatridge, Colorado, were Second Team selections, while sophomore Lindsey Allie of Toole, Utah, and freshman Cortney Rhees of West Haven, Utah, were Third Team selections.
The women’s basketball team had two players on the second team in freshman Georgia Berry of Australia and sophomore Taylor Joplin of Garden Plain, Kansas.
Also making Second Team All-Academic included freshman volleyball player Luisa Beining of Munster, Germany, sophomore women’s soccer player Rafaela Passos of Brazil, and freshman men’s basketball player Connor McCracken of Scottsbluff.
Third Team All-Academic honors besides Allie and Rhees went to sophomore women’s soccer player Amy Romero of Denver, sophomore volleyball player Adia Sherbeyn of Torrington, Wyoming, sophomore baseball player Elliott McNeave of Westminster, Colorado, sophomore men’s basketball player Bryce Hoerer of Bottineau, North Dakota, and sophomore men’s soccer player Daniel Matty of England.
On top of the NJCAA All-Academic honors, 36 Cougar athletes were placed on the Region IX All-Academic team.
The Cougar baseball and softball teams had the most on the Region IX academic team with eight players each. The baseball players included Luis Alcantara, Michael Felton, Dawson Hurford, Elliot McNeave, Joe Olson, William Potter, Trent Richter, and Brandon Rollinson.
The eight on the softball team included Lindsey Allie, Taylee Braegger, Maizie Clark, Tylor Comeau, Taylar Davis, Jade Gomez, Sidnee Hogan, and Cortney Rhees.
The volleyball team was right behind with seven players on the Region IX academic list. They included Luisa Beining, Gabriela Canavati, Anabell Gillen, Arianna Mitchell, Nicole Pena, Olivia Schaub, and Adia Sherbeyn.
The women’s soccer team put five players on the regional academic list in Lisa Haferkamp, Rafaella Ornelas, Amy Romero, Rafaela Passos, and Caroline Vieira.
The men’s soccer team had three on the list in Daniel Matty, Ygor Brito, and Jorge Rojas, while the men’s basketball team had two on the list in Bryce Hoerer and Connor McCracken.
The women’s basketball team had three players that earned academic All-Region in Georgia Berry, Taylor Joplin, and Yuliana Valcheva.