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8 MGCCC teams win NJCAA academic awards

PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast had eight programs earn NJCAA Academic Awards in the 2020-21 season, including four that ranked in the top 10 in their respective sports.

Teams must have a 3.0 GPA or higher to be honored. The MGCCC Athletic Department’s efforts in the classroom are overseen by Athletic Academic Advisor Julie Gallup. The eight teams honored won NJCAA Academic Team of the Year Honorable Mention.

Coach Kenneth Long’s team finished fourth on the field at the NJCAA Division II Softball Championship and fifth among softball programs in all three divisions with a 3.73 GPA.

Coach Chris Handy’s men’s soccer team had a 3.40 GPA, the seventh highest in the country, to cap a season that included an MACCC South title. The Bulldogs baseball team tied for eighth with a 3.49 GPA.

Coach Sam Blackburn’s tennis teams both cracked the top 10 academically in addition to their top-20 finishes in the rugged NJCAA Division I ranks. The women had a 3.60 GPA, with the men finishing at 3.49.

Coach Tim Ryan’s men’s basketball squad just missed the top 10, tying one spot back with a 3.22 GPA. Coach Jackie Rhodes’ women’s soccer team turned in a 3.51 GPA, tied for 15th in the country.

Coach Tommy Snell’s golf team finished 17th in its sport with a 3.37 GPA.

NJCAA Academic Teams of the Year

Team                       GPA   NJCAA Rank

Softball                     3.73              5

Men’s Soccer            3.40              7

Baseball                    3.49             T8

Women’s Tennis       3.60              9

Men’s Tennis            3.49             T9

Men’s Basketball       3.22            T11

Women’s Soccer       3.51            T15

Golf                          3.37             17