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Black Bear Athletes Receive National All-Academic Team Honors

Posted July 14, 2020 at 3:49 pm

The National Junior College Athletic Association has announced its All-Academic Teams, and 10 student-athletes from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College have been recognized for their achievements in the classroom.

The NJCAA All-Academic Teams are broken down into three tiers: First Team is a 4.0 GPA, Second Team is a 3.80-3.99 GPA, and Third Team is a 3.60-3.79 GPA.

Students who earned a 4.0 GPA during the 2019-2020 academic year and First Team honors include Brooke Elliott of Windber (women’s volleyball), Isabella Nagy of Portage (women’s volleyball), Alayna “Rosie” Plaza of Saint Michael (women’s volleyball), and Christopher Weld of Richland (men’s bowling).

Second Team honorees include Caitlyn Guercio of Bedford (women’s bowling), Katie Swank of Friedens (women’s volleyball), and Angela Weber of Williamsburg (women’s bowling).

Third Team honorees include Maria Engleka of Berlin (women’s volleyball), Joseph Guercio of Bedford (men’s bowing), and Evan Orr of Homer City (men’s bowling).

“Despite a quick move to online learning due to COVID-19 and in uncertain times, I am so proud of our student-athletes who persevered and excelled in the classroom,” said Director of Student Activities and Athletics Sue Brugh. “I personally want to thank our coaches, faculty, and staff for their diligence to make sure our student-athletes finished strong last semester.”

In addition to individual awards, the Penn Highlands men’s bowling and women’s volleyball teams earned All-American Academic status for their respective team GPAs. The men’s bowling team had a team GPA of 3.40, while the women’s volleyball team boasted a team GPA of 3.18. The men’s bowling team had the second highest GPA in the nation.

“NJCAA student-athletes proved that no obstacle is too difficult to overcome,” said NJCAA President & CEO Dr. Christopher Parker. “These difficulties pushed our student-athletes to the limit this year, but the opportunity to overcome these challenges presented itself and our student-athletes flourished academically. The association commends all individuals for their continued success on the playing surfaces and in the classrooms.”

Penn Highlands is a chartered National Junior College Athletic Association member college, competing in Region XX. The Black Bears are a part of the Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference.