The Seward County Community College athletic department is synonymous with success on the field and court, but it is their academic success that is once again putting them into the spotlight in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference and National Junior College Athletic Association. This summer the Seward County baseball and women’s tennis programs each led their respective sport in the 2006-2007 KJCCC Academic Team standings.

The Lady Saints tennis program went one step further and received the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year, with a national-best 3.73 team grade point average.

The Saints baseball team was recognized with the Academic Team Scholar Award that is presented yearly to the KJCCC baseball team with the highest team grade point average added to their overall conference winning percentage. The Saints led the KJCCC with a 3.17 team GPA and also tallied a .719 conference winning percentage. The Academic Scholar Award was started in 2004 by Tom Sloan. Sloan, a Kansas state representative and former college baseball player, wanted to recognize a team for their academic accomplishments along with their on-the-field success.

Seward County Community College Dean of Instruction Cynthia Rapp is pleased with the emphasis that SCCC coaches have place on academics with their student-athletes.

“I am so proud of this academic recognition for our baseball and women’s tennis programs,” Rapp said. “The SCCC athletic department works very closely with our faculty to assure that our athletes accomplish their educational goals. It is truly a “team” effort and I thank our coaches and faculty for preparing these students for success in and out of the classroom.”

The women’s tennis program excelled in 2006-2007 with three NJCAA Academic All-Americans including sophomores Uthala Abdullah (Distinguished Academic All-American), Hanna Hepp and Amina Abdullah. Head Coach Darin Workman’s team had a 100% team Athletic Department Honor Roll rate (5-for-5) with one player recording a perfect 4.0 GPA. In addition, the Lady Saints were also NJCAA Academic Team of the Year Runner-Up in 2000-2001.

The Saints baseball team posted two NJCAA Academic All-Americans, which included sophomores Curtis Hamilton (Distinguished Academic All-American) and Erik Hegstad. Since 2000, SCCC head baseball coach Galen McSpadden has coached 24 NJCAA Academic All-Americans. The Saints had 16 players named to the Athletic Department Honor Roll with three student-athletes receiving perfect 4.0 GPA’s.