Jun 20, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorPosting a cumulative GPA of 3.52, CWC won the award on Wednesday from the National Junior College Athletic Association.
The 2012-13 Central Wyoming College women's basketball team has been recognized for earning the highest grade-point average in junior college basketball.
Posting a cumulative GPA of 3.52, CWC won the award on Wednesday from the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Members of the CWC team were Abigail Ehlers, Abbey Wilson, Elise Cox, Emily Smith, Kaylee Walker, Tina Hosea, Lauren Bond, Marissa Hogan, Porsha Wadsworth, Samantha Hart, Shay Cooper and Stephanie Smith.
"I think that it's a huge thing for the academic department in general because if you look at the consistent track record on how we recruit, the volleyball team has been as high as No. 3 in the nation," CWC women's basketball coach Serol Stauffenberg said.
"We have been in the top 10 before. It's probably more rewarding because it's something that we emphasize in the recruiting process.
"We just didn't stumble on the academic award. The facility is willing to work with the players and set up labs at different times to be successful in the classroom. It's great to see the facility and the students working hand in hand."
The NJCAA had nearly 60,000 student-athletes compete on 3,500 teams in 28 different sports in the 2012-13 season.
"We look at talent. We look at character and their abilities in the classroom," Stauffenberg said. "It's a very rewarding award."
During the season, CWC travels a lot going in the huge Region IX division. Games start in November and finish in March.
"They have to make up a lot of time on the nature of the travel," Stauffenberg said. "This year alone, we were gone for three days of finals in December. We are on the road a lot. You have to be a good student to start with. Then you have to have the understanding that you will need to put extra time in."
"I was pretty excited to hear about the award," Cox said. "When we found out, we all texted each other. We thought that it was a pretty big accomplishment."
Cox didn't even know CWC was close to making the top spot.
"I knew that most of us have good grades," Cox said. "The majority of us were pretty high."
CWC players getting Region IX academic all-region awards were Ehlers (3.92 GPA), Wilson (3.7), Walker (3.91), Hart (3.39), Cox (3.76), Bond (3.83) and Cooper (3.79).
"We dedicated a lot of time," Cox said. "Our coach was really big on it. If we didn't have our grades made up when we had to work out, then we would have to go study. He made sure that it was important to us. If we didn't have good grades, then we wouldn't play."
Cox said sometimes it was difficult to juggle both basketball and school.
"It's really tough," Cox said. "I don't think that people understand.
Most of us have been doing it our whole life, so it was kind of what we are use to."
Cox and her basketball teammates would make it a point to take the same classes together.
"That always helps out a lot," Cox said.
"Studying together made it a lot easier."
Cox felt CWC was the perfect place for her education after high school.
"I loved the small classes," Cox said.
"The area had a big part in all of getting good grades and having good people around to support us."
Cox graduated from CWC in May.
She will attend classes this fall at Utah State in Logan, Utah.
"I will just focus on my education," Cox said.
Cox wants to be a vet technician in the future.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.