Three Rivers College had 24 student-athletes named to the NJCAA All-Academic Team following the 2021-22 school year, the NJCAA announced July 11.
Among those, eight earned first-team status with a 4.0 GPA. Another eight earned second-team honors (3.80-3.99 GPA), and eight earned third-team honors (3.60-3.79 GPA). Collectively, Three Rivers student-athletes earned a 3.16 GPA, with the baseball, softball, and women’s basketball teams earning Academic Teams of the Year honors by having a team GPA above 3.00.
An additional five students from the cheerleading and rodeo teams, which are not included among the sports on the NJCAA list, finished with a 3.60 GPA of higher, and 10 of the 11 cheerleaders finished the spring semester with a 3.00 GPA or higher, with a team GPA of 3.28.
“I am very proud of all the accomplishments of my team on and off the sidelines this past year,” Three Rivers cheerleading coach Kayla Sparkman said.
Tyler Freeman for the rodeo team finished with a 3.60 or higher GPA. Three rodeo members competed at the College National Finals Rodeo. Casey Roberts won a National Championship in bull riding, and Cole Skender finished third in bull riding. Kolby Krieger finished 30th in tie-down roping. With their contributions, Three Rivers finished fifth overall in the team standings.
“We were the only team to not have six people,” Three Rivers rodeo coach Chad Phipps said.
“That is pretty unheard of and that got a lot of coaches’ attention.”
Three Rivers baseball had 10 players earn All-Academic Team honors, with Cane Cancilla, Brayden Eftink, and Daniel Vogt earning first-team honors. Zach Haygood, Auston Luna, Bryson Luna, and Sam Pierce earned second-team honors. Hayes Austin, Will Hathcote, and Kevin Spooner earned third-team honors. Baseball finished with a team GPA of 3.06 and an overall record of 20-27.
“I’m extremely proud of our players accomplishments in the classroom,” Three Rivers baseball coach Tyler Smith said. “Athletes are students first and having our kids excel in the classroom is a top priority for us. Athletes putting themselves in a position for success in life after Three Rivers and baseball is something we value greatly.”
Eight softball players earned All-Academic Team honors, with four finishing with a 4.0 GPA. Halle Benskin, Jessica Hulsey, Kaitlyn Ragsdale, and Abigail Wilson earned first-team honors. Alaney Moore and Audrey Rahlmann earned second-team honors, while Makayla Bryant and Kenlee Mcauliffe earned third-team honors. Softball finished with a team GPA of 3.32 and an overall record of 33-15.
“Most programs would love to have accolades like that,” Three Rivers softball coach Jeff Null said. “These ladies are building our program up year in and year out by getting it done on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. I can’t wait to see what the future holds with this foundation.”
For women’s basketball, which finished the season 28-1 and entered the national tournament as the undefeated top seed, Five players earned All-Academic Team honors. Ahniya Melton earned first-team honors, Makenzi Davis and Gracie Price earned second-team honors, while Autumn Dodd and Jenna McMillen earned third-team honors. Women’s basketball was 52-2 over the past two years, with seven All-Academic Team members, four Athletic All-Americans, and two trips to the national tournament, including a final four appearance in 2021.
“To be the No. 1 team in the nation for six weeks, and be able to lock down in the classroom shows what kinds of kids they are,” Three Rivers women’s basketball coach Alex Wiggs said. “Whenever they come here, the one thing we tell them all, is you are going to graduate.”
For men’s basketball, Simon Akena earned third-team All-Academic Team honors and the Raiders finished with an overall record of 18-11.