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INA, Ill. (June 13, 2013) - Rend Lake College athletics had 15 student athletes and five teams recognized for academic excellence by the National Junior College Athletic Association this year.
Jennifer Moeller of Nashville and Emily Cripps of Herrin earned perfect 4.0 grade point averages and received the NJCAA's top academic honor - the Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence. Moeller was a two-sport standout in volleyball and basketball as a freshman and sophomore. Cripps played infield for the Lady Warriors softball team her freshman and sophomore years.
The softball team, coached by veteran Dave Ellingsworth, combined for a 3.55 GPA. It is second among two-year softball programs across the country and top among RLC's teams for 2012-13. Of the 15 Rend Lake athletes recognized by the NJCAA for academics this year, five were on the softball team - Cripps, Taylor Cheek of Pinckneyville, Taylor Cicardi of Pinckneyville, Molly Whaley of Benton and Cheyenne Morgan of Mount Vernon.
RLC teams on the NJCAA's list of the best academic teams in the nation this year include Softball (3.55), Volleyball (3.24), Women's Tennis (3.12), Women's Golf (3.11) and Baseball (3.02).
The NJCAA gives out the Superior Academic Achievement Award to student-athletes who earn a 3.80 - 3.99 GPA. Receiving this award were softball's Cheek with a 3.83 GPA, softball's Whaley with a 3.91, basketball's Dennis Froemling (Campbell Hill) with a 3.95, basketball's Jesse Smith (Campbell Hill) with a 3.89, basketball's Bronson Verhines (Woodlawn) with a 3.96, baseball's Jason O'Brien (Emden) with a 3.83 and volleyball's Megan Wren (Harrisburg) with a 3.85.
The NJCAA gives out the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award to student-athletes who earn a 3.60-3.79 GPA. Receiving this award were softball's Cicardi with a 3.76, softball's Morgan with a 3.76, track and field's Jeff Stewart (Broughton) with a 3.71, volleyball's Lindsey Winter (Pinckneyville) with a 3.68, golf's Chandra Weddle (Royalton) with a 3.60 and golf's Travis Waninger (Chrisney, Ind.) with a 3.66.
Superior Academic Achievement Award
Taylor Cheek (Pinckneyville, Ill., 3.83) Softball
Molly Whaley (Benton, Ill., 3.91) Softball
Dennis Froemling (Campbell Hill, Ill., 3.95) Basketball
Jesse Smith (Campbell Hill, Ill., 3.89) Basketball
Bronson Verhines (Woodlawn, Ill., 3.96) Basketball
Jason O'Brien (Emden, Ill., 3.83) Baseball
Megan Wren (Harrisburg, Ill., 3.85) Volleyball
Exemplary Academic Achievement Award
Taylor Cicardi (Pinckneyville, Ill., 3.76) Softball
Cheyenne Morgan (Mt. Vernon, Ill., 3.76) Softball
Jeff Stewart (Broughton, Ill., 3.71) Track & Field
Lindsey Winter (Pinckneyville, Ill., 3.68) Volleyball
Chandra Weddle (Royalton, Ill., 3.60) Golf
Travis Waninger (Chrisney, Ind., 3.66) Golf
For the complete list of academic awards by the NJCAA, visit online at www.njcaa.org and click on the "Athletes of Distinction" tab.
The following student athletes also performed excellently in the classroom; however, their sports are not sanctioned by the NJCAA and therefore not considered for academic honors.