GCCC athletes receive national academic awards


The National Junior College Athletic Association released their 2014 academic awards June 24. GCCC had 12 student-athletes that were recognized in three different categories. The NJCAA Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence is awarded to student-athletes with a 4.0 GPA on a 4 point scale. The NJCAA Superior Academic Achievement Award is awarded to those with a 3.8-3.99 GPA, and the NJCAA Exemplary Academic Achievement Award is given to those earning a 3.6-3.79 GPA.

Jalen Espinosa, softball, will receive the Pinnacle Award. Espinosa was also recently awarded the Michael J. Baughman Scholar Athlete of the Year award at the Broncbuster athletic banquet.

Zach Barton, baseball, Jaden Bolmer, women’s cross-country and track, Christopher Bonk, baseball, Jake Curran, football, Joshua Heifner, baseball, and Brandon Zipper, baseball, will receive the Superior Academic Achievement Award.

Trevor Bell, baseball, Anahy Castro, women’s cross-country and track, Cale Dineen, baseball, Emilie Laliberte, softball, and Jaxon Mohr, baseball, will receive the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award.

“At Garden City Community College, we place significant emphasis on being a well-rounded student athlete. These student athletes are a great representation of the academic qualities that we emphasize and want exemplified while they represent GCCC. Every sport at GCCC had representation on the conference academic honors, with several also being included in the latest release of national recognition,” said Ryan Ruda, director of athletics and vice president for student services. “Student athletes and families choosing Garden City Community College see that academic success is a priority and quality is portrayed while representing the Broncbusters.”

In addition to the national awards, GCCC had 41 academic all-conference athletes. There were 73 students athletes who graduated this year and approximately 36 of those will be moving on to four-year schools. The overall athletic GPA was 2.87.