FORT MYERS, Fla. – Several Florida SouthWestern State College student-athletes have earned academic honors for their success in the classroom during the 2016-17 academic year.
FSW’s seven student-athletes who earned NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards included two students (Riley Russell, Thomas Pipolo) who were honored with First Team honors for having a perfect 4.0 grade point averages. Three Bucs (Amanda Oliver, Marta Fuentes, Sam Freitas) earned Second Team accolades for GPAs of 3.80-3.99 and the final two students (Ed Porter, Emily Martin) were awarded Third Team honors for 3.60-3.79 GPAs.
With over 59,000 student-athletes participating in the NJCAA for the 2016-17 academic year, 10.1 percent earned a slot on one of the three highly regarded All-Academic Teams – a significant increase from the last year’s record number of 7.9 percent.
Several changes have been made to the NJCAA’s academic student-athlete awards program in recent years. Prior to the start of the 2015-16 season, the association modified the awards program to allow first-year student-athletes to be considered if they met the criteria of completing 24 semester-hours (or 36 quarter-hours). This change led to the rise in total award winners the past two years.
In addition, this past year the NJCAA simplified the titles of the three honor categories to avoid confusion. Gone are the previous titles of “Pinnacle, Superior and Exemplary Award for Academic Achievement” and replaced with three new title classifications listed below (along with GPA benchmarks):
- NJCAA All-Academic First Team: 4.00 GPA
- NJCAA All-Academic Second Team: 3.80-3.99 GPA
- NJCAA All-Academic Third Team: 3.60-3.79 GPA
A total of 1,333 student-athletes qualified for First Team accolades (4.0 GPA), shattering the previous record of 663 set last year. New records were also established in the other two award designations as 1,992 student-athletes earned Second Team honors and a total of 2,681 individuals qualified for inclusion on the Third Team.
In addition to National awards, FSW student-athletes also picked up State and Conference academic accolades. Oliver, Porter, Martin, Fuentes, Russell, Freitas, Pipolo, Davie Inman, Jordan Pinto, Russell Daniels, Rebecca Hughes, Criza Bulanadi and Raina Gorman were named to The Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) All-Academic team for having a 3.3 GPA or higher.
26 Buccaneers earned the minimum 3.0 GPA in the classroom to earn Conference All-Academic team honors (Suncoast Conference for Baseball, Softball and Men’s Basketball; Southern Conference for Women’s Basketball).
NJCAA All-Academic Student-Athlete Awards (Name - Sport, Award Type)
- Riley Russell – Softball, First Team
- Thomas Pipolo – Baseball, First Team
- Amanda Oliver – Women’s Basketball, Second Team
- Marta Fuentes – Softball, Second Team
- Sam Freitas – Baseball, Second Team
- Ed Porter – Men’s Basketball, Third Team
- Emily Martin – Softball, Third Team
FCSAA All-Academic Team (min. 3.3 GPA)
- Baseball: Sam Freitas, Davie, Inman, Jordan Pinto, Thomas Pipolo
- Softball: Marta Fuentes, Raina Gorman, Criza Bulanadi, Emily Martin, Riley Russell
- Men’s Basketball: Russell Daniels, Ed Porter
- Women’s Basketball: Rebecca Hughes, Amanda Oliver
Suncoast Conference All-Academic Team (min. 3.0 GPA)
- Baseball: Sam Freitas, Davie, Inman, Jordan Pinto, Thomas Pipolo, Kyle Arjona, Ian Kimbrell, John O’Connor, Chandler Powell, Carter Smith
- Softball: Marta Fuentes, Raina Gorman, Criza Bulanadi, Emily Martin, Riley Russell, Alyssa Allender, Taylor Collins, Courtney Gettins, Mereana Makea, Kayla Rangiawha, Mikenzie Vaughn
- Men’s Basketball: Russell Daniels, Ed Porter
- Women’s Basketball: Rebecca Hughes, Amanda Oliver, Makayla Liles, Deja Swinton
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The Florida SouthWestern State College athletic program is a member of the Florida College System Athletic Association (FCSAA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The Buccaneers are one of 25 schools in the NJCAA Region 8 and are one of six schools in the Suncoast Conference. Florida SouthWestern State College currently supports four intercollegiate athletic programs (Baseball, Softball, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball).
Baseball and Softball began their regular season competition in 2016 at the City of Palms Park in Fort Myers. Located on the Thomas Edison (Lee) Campus in Fort Myers will be the brand new Suncoast Credit Union Arena (completed in fall 2016), where FSW’s men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams will compete.
The movement to form a unique sports association dedicated to America’s two-year colleges arose in 1937 when several track and field coaches gathered in Fresno, California. A year later, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rejected a petition from 13 two-year colleges in California to grant their teams and athletes permission to compete at the NCAA Track & Field Championships.
In the spring of 1938, following the NCAA’s rejection, those same 13 two-year colleges gathered again in Fresno to organize and form an association that would promote and supervise a national athletics program exclusively for junior and community colleges…and the rest is history.
On May 14, 1938, the first constitution of the National Junior College Athletic Association was accepted by its charter members and the organization held its first national championship event a year later in May 1939.
The NJCAA has played a vital role in collegiate athletics for the past eight decades and continues to be the leader in championing academic and athletic opportunities for student-athletes. This section of the association's website is dedicated to celebrating the NJCAA's rich history and tradition as the national governing body of two-year college athletics.
For more information on the NJCAA log on to www.NJCAA.org.
The Florida College System Activities Association, Incorporated (FCSAA) is a statewide non‑profit corporation regulating, coordinating, and promoting intercollegiate activities in: Athletics, Brain Bowl, Forensics, Music, Student Government, Student Publications, and Theatre.
Membership in the Florida College System Activities Association is open to any of the 28 colleges in the Florida College System. Each member institution is represented in the policy‑making deliberations of the Association through that institution's President or other designated representative. The institutional representatives constitute the FCSAA Presidents Assembly, the ultimate authority in FCSAA.
For more information on the FCSAA log on to www.TheFCSAA.com.
NJCAA REGION 8, THE SUNCOAST CONFERENCE & THE SOUTHERN CONFERENCE
Member colleges of the NJCAA are allotted to a specific NJCAA Region upon membership to the association. Unlike other collegiate organizations that defer to conference affiliation, the NJCAA guarantees each member college's membership within the regional structure of the association. In most cases, region assignment is based upon geographic location of the college.
The region structure of the NJCAA is the primary method used by all sponsored sports of the association in determining qualification for national championship tournaments. In certain sports, two or more regions are partnered to form a competition 'district', which is then used for national championship qualification. The organization of districts varies per sport and is formulated every two years under the authority of the association's board of directors.
FSW is in Region 8 and is joined by ASA College Miami (Region 8 only; non-FCSAA member), Broward College, Chipola College, College of Central Florida, Daytona State College, Eastern Florida State College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Gulf Coast State College, Hillsborough Community College, Indian River State College, Lake-Sumter State College, Miami Dade College, Northwest Florida State College, Palm Beach State College, Pasco-Hernando State College, Pensacola State College, Polk State College, Santa Fe College, Seminole State College of Florida, South Florida State College, St. Johns River State College, St. Petersburg College, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota and Tallahassee Community College.
The Bucs are also in the Suncoast Conference with Hillsborough Community College, Polk State College, South Florida State College, St. Petersburg College and State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota.
The women’s basketball program is Southern Conference with Broward College, Eastern Florida State College, Indian River State College, Miami Dade College and Palm Beach State College.
For more information on Region 8 log on to www.TheFCSAASports.com.