June 26, 2012

ICC tennis programs earn NJCAA All-Academic Team honors

ICC tennis programs earn NJCAA All-Academic honors
Adam Gore/ICC Sports Information Department

FULTON, MS – The academic accolades continue to roll in at Itawamba Community College as the nationally-ranked men and women's state champion tennis teams received National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Academic team honors on Tuesday.

"This is a great honor for our players and our program," said Hall of Fame tennis coach Paul Johnson. "I feel like their hard work and dedication in the classroom carried over to the courts and helped play a big role in all the success we had this season."

The Lady Indians qualified with an overall GPA of 3.26 while the Indians finished the school year with a 3.46 team GPA.

Sophomore Patrick Ballard (Shannon) earned the Pinnacle Award for Excellence given to students with a 4.0 GPA after helping lead the Indians to a 14th place finish in the NJCAA National Tennis Championships.

The Indians won their third-straight Mississippi Association of Junior and Community Colleges (MACJC) state championship while the Lady Indians earned their second-straight state title along with finishing 17th in the NJCAA National Tennis Championships.

"It's been a season to remember both on and off the courts," said Johnson, who was named MACJC Men's Tennis Coach of the Year. "Hopefully it's a season that we will be able to build on to better the future of our program."

The 2011-12 season marks the 29th year the NJCAA has recognized the success of its student-athletes in the classroom. With minimal changes, the NJCAA academic awards program has been in place since 1983.