The College of the Canyons softball team has been named the 2015 California Community College Athletic Association Scholar Team Award recipient.
The Scholar Team Award is the highest academic team achievement given annually by the CCCAA. It emphasizes the academic achievement of all members of one specific team.
Only one team is selected for each CCCAA sport, with a total of 22 men’s and women’s teams honored for the 2014-15 school year.
To be eligible, all team members must have excelled academically with a total GPA of 3.0 or higher. The team should also have demonstrated better than average accomplishments in intercollegiate athletic competition.
The 2015 COC softball team posted a combined GPA of 3.24.
On the field, the team finished with a record of 28-12-1 to place second in the Western State Conference (WSC), Blue Division, while also earning a spot in the CCCAA Southern California Regional playoffs. Canyons concluded the 2015 season as the No. 10 ranked team in the state.
“I’m extremely proud of the way this team represented themselves, both in the classroom and on the field,” said COC head coach John Wissmath. “When we started looking at the grades from the fall and spring progress reports, I thought there might be a chance to see our girls honored with Scholar Team Award. To have received that achievement is outstanding.”
Wissmath’s team also produced a number of impressive individual performances throughout the 2015 season. Eight players were named All-WSC, including catcher Lauren Anderson who earned WSC Player of the Year honors. Shortstop Cheyenne Steward was also named an All-SoCal election.
In addition, three members of the 2015 team continued their playing careers at four-year schools.
Anderson is now attending Miami University (Ohio), pitcher Milana Casillas is at University of California, San Diego and infielder Kaitlyn Shreves attends Boise State University. All three players carried a GPA of 3.7 or higher.
“The 2015 softball team featured great leadership from the top down,” said Albert Loaiza, COC athletics counselor. “Coach Wissmath and his staff have instilled an ‘academics first’ environment and that paid off last year.
“This group of girls was hardworking and, most importantly, displayed a proactive approach to their education,” added Loaiza. “It’s great to see them recognized for all the work they completed in the classroom.
The team will be acknowledged at the Celebration of Student Athletes Awards Luncheon during the CCCAA’s annual convention on Wednesday, March 30 in Ontario.