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Cardinal athletes, teams receive national and state academic recognition

Gadsden, Ala.— The National Junior College Athletic Association and the Alabama Community College Conference recently announced its All-Academic teams for 2019-20. The NJCAA recognized 15 Gadsden State student-athletes and two athletic teams for their academic achievement while ACCC honored 26 Cardinals and two athletic teams.

The NJCAA reported in a press release that 9,555 student-athletes garnered All-Academic recognition for achieving a GPA above 3.6 through determination and a quest for excellence in the classroom.

"NJCAA student-athletes proved that no obstacle is too difficult to overcome," said NJCAA President and CEO Christopher Parker.  “The association commends all individuals for their continued success on the playing surfaces and in the classrooms."

To qualify as an academic team, student-athletes must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Cardinal teams qualifying include volleyball with a 3.17 GPA and men’s tennis with a 3.0 GPA.  Connie Clark is head coach for the Lady Cardinals volleyball team, and Buster Stewart is head coach of the tennis team.   

In addition to team honors, the NJCAA recognizes the achievements of individual student-athletes. Despite an academic year that was interrupted due to COVID-19, NJCAA student-athletes flourished in the classroom as 1,026 teams earned at least a 3.0 GPA or better.

Cardinal players with a 4.0 GPA receiving First Team honors include Landry Bussey of Anniston and Gracie West of Hokes Bluff, both from women’s volleyball; Landon Johnson of Gadsden from men’s basketball; Landon Macoy of Oxford from men’s tennis and Sydney Prater of Piedmont from women’s basketball.

Student-athletes with a 3.80 to 3.99 GPA named to the Second Team include Kendrick Buskey of Daphne from men’s basketball; Alex Ivey of Henegar from men’s tennis; China Lane of Alexandria, Madelyn Massey of Decatur and Leigh-Anna Tralongo of Madison, all from women’s volleyball.  

Student-athletes with a 3.60 to 3.79 named to the Third Team include Justin Blake of Trussville, Jac Myrick of Anniston, both from men’s tennis; Joan Lang of Somerville and Grace Nolen of Pelham, both from women’s volleyball and Jesse Ralston of Muscadine from women’s basketball.

To view a full list of all student-athlete award winners, visit: NJCAA All-Academic Awards

‚ÄčThe ACCC named athletes and teams to the Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll for 2019-20. There were 26 Gadsden State student-athletes and two teams recognized. The teams were the Cardinal volleyball team and men’s tennis team were recognized for both maintaining a collective grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Individual student-athletes named to the Honor Roll include Shelby Bates, China Lane, Joan Lang, Madelyn Massey, Grace Nolen, Aubrey Pope, Leigh-Anna Tralongo and Gracie West, all from women’s volleyball; Justin Blake, Alex Ivey, Landon Macoy and Jac Myrick, all from the tennis team; Christian Blue, Kendrick Buskey, Jacorian Dalton, Corien Frazier, Jeremiah Harris, Landon Johnson, Jalen Taylor and Tyler King, all from men’s basketball and Vanessa Carter, Dalayiah Crawford, Deyana Dodd, Maya Langham, Sydney Prater and Jesse Ralston from the women’s basketball team. 

“It’s very rewarding, year after to year, to see our student-athletes continue to excel academically,” said Mike Cancilla, athletic director.  “This year has seen several highs and lows, ranging from the success of our volleyball team in its quest for a national title to having the season abruptly brought to a halt by COVID-19.  We are very proud of all of our athletes and their coaches who play an important part in the success of the student and the athlete.” 

Dedric Tarver is head coach of men’s basketball and Bryan Phillips is head coach of women’s basketball.