Lion Volleyball wins the AVCA Team Academic Award.
LEXINGTON, Ky.– The Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team has earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association 2018-19 Team Academic Award as announced Monday by the AVCA. This marks the third time in the past four seasons the Lion volleyball team has received the award and the fourth time in program history.
“We had one of the best team grade point averages this year since I’ve been here. You couple that with an amazing year on the court and I just couldn’t be more proud of this team” said Lion volleyball head coach Craig Case. “Winning a Lone Star Conference Championship, appearing the in regional finals, and having all of the other on-court success was great. However, I’m equally proud of our academic performance from this past year.
“In both semesters, our team led all the LSC with the most perfect 4.0 averages and total members on the Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Our goal is to be Best In Class on the court, in the classroom, and in the community. This team not only met those goals but also exceeded them. It was such a great blessing to be able to work with them every day.”
The award was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year. It honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year. They maintain at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 collective team GPA on a 5.0 scale. The Lions are one of 141 schools from the NCAA Division II to receive the award, and one of four teams from the Lone Star Conference in 2018.
During the 2017 season, Jaslyn Wacker repeated as CoSIDA Academic All-American was nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year and was named LSC Scholar-Athlete. She was joined by Shelley Chapron and Jaryn Wacker on the LSC’s All-Academic team. 17 players from the team earned recognition on the LSC Commissioner’s Fall Honor Roll while 15 members of the team made the Commissioner’s Spring Honor Roll.
The Lion volleyball team was just as successful on the court during the 2018 season, winning 30 matches and the Lone Star Conference Tournament championship. A&M-Commerce qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament for the second straight season, advancing to the South Central Regional final.
Lion women, five individuals, earn USTFCCCA All-Academic honors.
NEW ORLEANS – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s track and field team earned the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Award. Five individuals earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors for their work in the 2018-19 academic year.
To be considered for Scholar Team of the Year, a program must finish highly at the national championship meet and have at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA as a team. The Lion women had their best-ever finish at the outdoor national event with an 11th placemark. The Lion women also had a collective team grade point average of 3.1.
To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic award, a student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and have reached a provisional or automatic qualifying standard for the NCAA Championships in either the indoor or outdoor season.
Four Lion women – Atiana Alexander (San Antonio – Northside Taft), Chelsea Cheek (Baytown – Lee), Mackenzie Clark (Garland – Naaman Forest), and Minna Svaerd (Karlstad, Sweden) – earned All-Academic individual honors. On the men’s team, discus throw National Champion Joseph Brown (Mansfield) earned All-Academic status.
“In my opinion, the academic awards are some of the most important honors a student-athlete can receive,” said Lion track and field head coach George Pincock. “Without a doubt, our student-athletes work hard at practice, but they work even harder in their academic endeavors. These awards are a great reminder that the long hours spent studying and in the Thrower Center are absolutely worth it.”
Boateng, Clark, and Steele to represent Lions on the international and national stage.
LIMA, Peru and DES MOINES, Iowa – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s track and field program will be represented on the international and national stages in the coming weeks at the Pan American Games and USATF National Championships.
Rising senior thrower Josh Boateng will represent his home nation of Grenada in the discus throw at the 2019 Pan American Games on Tuesday, August 6. The Grenada Olympic Committee announced Boateng as one of 11 total athletes representing the country in the top competition in the Americas and Caribbean.
Boateng was a 2019 First Team All-American in the discus throw and the USTFCCCA South Central Region Field Athlete of the Year. He set the school record in the discus throw at 61.00 meters (200-1), which was the fourth-longest throw in Division II history. He is also the school record holder in the shot put.
Former Lion student-athletes Rashard Clark and Devontae Steele will compete at the USATF National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, at Drake University on July 25-28. Clark will compete in the 400-meter dash for the second consecutive season, with Steele competing in the triple jump.
Clark was a 10-time All-American in his Lion career and earned First Team All-American honors in the 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash in 2019. He finished his A&M-Commerce career as the school record holder in seven events. He has a career-best time of 45.54 seconds in the 400-meter dash. Competition in the 400-meter dash begins Thursday evening in the first of three rounds, with the finals on Saturday afternoon.
Steele earned First Team All-American status in the triple jump at all eight national meets (indoor and outdoor) in his Lion career. He was the National Champion in the indoor season in 2016 and 2018 and the National Runner-Up in the outdoor season in 2018. Steele set his collegiate-best mark of 15.97 meters (52-4 ¾) at the 2018 national meet. Since his time at Commerce, he has pushed his lifetime-best mark to 16.34 meters (53-7 ½). Triple jump competition will be held on Friday evening.
“Any time you get the chance to represent your country, in Josh’s case, or go qualify to represent your country is a great opportunity, and all three of these young men are deserving of that,” said Lion head track and field coach George Pincock. “All three of them have worked extremely hard to get to where they are at. Josh has represented Grenada on an international stage before, and he’s always looking to make his country proud every time he competes. For DeVontae and Rashard, it’s important for them to be seen with the nation’s best and athletes who are professionals and have a chance to represent our country.”
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