Inside Athletics

Owens Top Among Conference Schools In Academic Achievement

Owens Top Among Conference Schools In Academic Achievement

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

Toledo, Ohio---The Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) have announced their postseason academic awards and Owens Community College led all conference schools with 28 student-athletes receiving honors.

OCCAC Awards

The 2013-14 All-Academic OCCAC team, which requires the completion of 24 credit hours with at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA, featured 28 Owens student-athletes.

The Owens softball team led the way with eight selections, while the baseball and women's volleyball teams had six each. Women's soccer was just behind them with five selections.

Softball selections include: Lesley Ducat (Evergreen/Lyons, Ohio) with a 3.56 GPA, Molly Gast (Southview/Toledo, Ohio) with a 3.44 GPA, Aubrey Geis (Toledo Christian/Wauseon, Ohio) with a 3.63 GPA, Brittany George (Elmwood/Wayne, Ohio) with a 3.66 GPA, Haley Hudgin (Ida/Ida, Mich.) with a 3.72 GPA, Taylor Miller (Erie Mason/Toledo, Ohio) with a 3.63 GPA, Kendall Murphy (Maumee/Toledo, Ohio) with a 3.46 GPA and Lexi Williams (Home School/Swanton, Ohio) with a 3.86 GPA.

In baseball, the Owens selections were: Zach Bobbitt (Oldham County/Oldham County, Ky.) with a 3.60 GPA, Benjamin Breymier (North Central/Indianapolis, Ind.) with a 3.54 GPA, Marcus Rozsa (All Saints Secondary/Whitby, Ontario, Canada) with a 3.66 GPA, Alex Samson (Orrville/Orrville, Ohio) with a 3.40 GPA, Nick Street (Rockford/Rockford, Mich.) with a 3.69 GPA and Matthew Zitny (Oxford/Oxford, Mich.) with a 3.59 GPA.

The Owens women's volleyball team student-athletes making the All-Academic OCCAC team include: Jessica Cooper (Brandywine/Niles, Mich.) with a 3.27 GPA, Bailey Dangler (Kalida/Kalida, Ohio) with a 3.58 GPA, Aricka LaVoy (Eastwood/Pemberville, Ohio) with a 3.74 GPA, Sara Turner-Smith (Cardinal Stritch/Toledo, Ohio) with a 3.46 GPA, Dominique Yates (Bowsher/Toledo, Ohio) with a 3.69 GPA and Lisa Urbanski (Notre Dame Academy/Toledo, Ohio) with a 4.00 GPA.

Owens women's soccer student-athletes on the team include: Haley Kreger (Bedford/Bedford Township, Mich.) with a 3.43 GPA, Abby Groll (Clay/Oregon, Ohio) with a 3.81 GPA, Haley Gasser (Northview/Sylvania, Ohio) with a 3.40 GPA, Erika Brinkman (Kalida/Cloverdale, Ohio) with a 3.36 GPA and Taylor Avers (Woodmore/Gibsonburg, Ohio) with a 3.48 GPA.

The other three Owens student-athletes on the team are: Dru Hein (Jasper/Jasper, Ind.) of the men's golf team with a 3.90 GPA, Philippe Weppernig (Luzern, Switzerland) of the men's golf team with a 3.33 GPA and Tony Boykins (Loy Norrix/Kalamazoo, Mich.) of the men's basketball team with a 3.38 GPA.

Note: Owens also led the conference last year with 31 All-Academic OCCAC student-athletes.

NJCAA Awards

Urbanski, Yates and Street were also awarded national academic honors. Urbanski's 4.00 GPA earned her the Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence from the NJCAA, while the 3.69 GPAs from Street and Yates earned them the NJCAA Exemplary Academic Achievement Award.

Urbanski was one of only three student-athletes in the OCCAC to earn the highest academic honor from the NJCAA.

Owens Community College has had at least three student-athletes earn NJCAA Academic Awards, which used to be referred to as Academic All-Americans, every year since 2001-02. Including this year, the college has had 73 student-athletes earn national academic awards since 2001-02.

The conference had four teams overall earn at least a 3.0 GPA, including the two from Owens. Cincinnati State led the conference with six national academic award recipients.

With three different levels of individual academic achievement, the NJCAA awards the Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence to students with a 4.00 GPA. Superior Academic Achievement honors go to students with a 3.80-3.99 GPA and Exemplary Academic Achievement honors go to students with a 3.60-3.79 GPA. All student must have also completed three full-time semesters.

NJCAA Team Awards

For the second consecutive year, the women's volleyball and softball teams at Owens earned NJCAA Academic Team Awards, which goes to any team with at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA. This year's softball team achieved a 3.09 GPA and the women's volleyball team achieved a 3.19 GPA. 


Since 1993-94, Owens has had 86 student-athletes earn NJCAA Academic Awards. 

During the 2013-14 academic year, the NJCAA saw 58,446 student-athletes compete on 3,705 teams in 28 different sports. Of those competitors, 3.08 percent – or 1,799 student-athletes – were recognized with academic awards for their achievements in the classroom. Receiving the highest honors with a 4.0 grade-point average, 171 student-athletes received the NJCAA Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence.

With minimal changes to its award program’s inception in 1983, the NJCAA has been annually recognizing the academic success of its student-athletes for 31 years.