The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) has announced the Top 10 All-Academic Teams for each division. The Bethany College softball team held the sixth highest team grade point average in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), earning NFCA NAIA All-Academic Team honors.
The Swedes recorded a 3.513 team GPA for the 2013-2014 academic year, leading all softball teams in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC).
William Carey University led the 2013-2014 NFCA NAIA All-Academic Teams with a 3.704 team GPA. Following William Carey was Bethel College (3.602), William Woods University (3.588), Spring Arbor University (3.579), Lourdes University (3.564), Bethany College (3.513), Taylor University (3.503), Central Methodist University (3.477), Bethel University (3.47), and Davenport University (3.463).
“Our program is very proud of the hard work and diligence our players have in the classroom,” said Head Coach Janice Esses. “It is great for our program to be recognized and honored for their accomplishments in the classroom. Bethany College is a great environment to focus on your academics and prepare for the future as well as being competitive on the field. Many of our sports programs have been recognized for their accomplishments in the classroom. It has become a tradition at Bethany College to be both successful on the field and in the classroom.”
In addition, ten softball Swedes from last season were named 2013-14 NFCA NAIA All-America Scholar-Athletes: Eileen Vlamis, Makenzie Flaska, Danielle Bucker, Ashley Gilson, Kelli Traffas, Courtney Davis, Emily Causey, Michaela Huntington, Camille McIver, and Ashley Nicolich.
In order to be named a NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete, softball student-athletes must hold a 3.5 GPA or higher. For 2013-2014, 4,660 softball players across seven membership divisions were named NFCA All-America Scholar-Athletes.
“We are also very proud of our 10 NFCA All-America Scholar-Athletes,” Esses added. “These individuals had to have a 3.5 GPA or higher to receive this honor. It is great to have four of our freshman receive this honor. These are the individuals that are helping their teammates at study sessions, leading by example, and holding their teammates accountable. They are great examples that collegiate student-athletes can manage their time to be successful on and off the field.”
Traffas, who graduated from Bethany last spring, was also named a Daktronics-NAIA Softball Scholar Athlete last May. In order to be nominated as a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete, student-athletes must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved junior academic status.
Four Bethany softball players were named 2013-2014 KCAC Softball Scholar-Athletes in July: senior Causey, junior Ashley Montoya, Traffas, and Nicolich, who also graduated last May. In order to qualify as a KCAC Scholar-Athlete, student-athletes must have sophomore standing at the start of the sport season, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.33 on a 4.0 scale, and letter in their sport.
Quality academics has been a longstanding tradition for Swedes Softball. Bethany Softball led the NAIA with the number of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes in both 2008 and 2009: nine in 2008 and eight in 2009. In the past 11 years, Bethany Softball has developed 38 NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
“The softball team demonstrates the true meaning of being a student-athlete with good academic performance, good on-field performance, and quality service to our community,” said Dean of Athletics Dane Pavlovich. “This is a significant accomplishment and I am very proud of our softball Swedes.”
The Bethany College Swedes compete in 18 intercollegiate sports in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Bethany participates in the NAIA Champions of Character program, which encourages integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership in student-athletes, coaches, and youth in the community. Since 1902, Bethany has won 152 conference championships. Learn more about the Bethany College Swede’s athletic programs at www.bethanyswedes.com.