The Western Nebraska Community College softball and women's basketball teams along with 18 individuals garnered NJCAA Academic honors this summer.
Two individuals had the highest academic honors, claiming recognition on the Academic All-American First Team with perfect 4.0 GPAs. Freshman Caroline Vieira from the women's soccer team and sophomore Eva Langton from the women's basketball team, were one of 1,616 athletes in the NJCAA to earn First Team honors among the 6,656 junior college athletes on the list.
The softball and women's basketball team were two of the 738 junior college institutions that had a 3.0 GPA or higher. The softball team finished last season with a 3.59 GPA while the women's basketball finished with a 3.29 GPA.
For Vieira, earning national academic honors is an honor, considering the obstacles that she had to overcome coming from Brazil.
"That means I am doing a great job at WNCC. This is very important for my personal and professional life because I realize that all my efforts are giving me great results," Vieira said. "In the beginning, I had many difficulties due to the language, but with WNCC's academic support, I was able to adapt quickly to the study routine. The biggest reason for my academic success was my organization and my daily study. I had many options for organizing my schedule, such as weekly and monthly plans. In addition, I spent at least 3 hours a day studying and doing my homework."
Vieira's accomplishments shows the commitment one needs to succeed on and off the playing surface.
"Being 100 percent in the field and the classroom is very difficult," she said. "This requires commitment, effort, training, and study. When I see that I have earned this honor, I realize that my hours of dedication in studies and training have been worth it. This motivates me to continue doing my best in both areas."
Vieira was one of many WNCC athletes that earned NJCAA academic accolades. Her advice to other student athletes is simple – keep a routine.
"Always do your best in the present to achieve great results in the future," she said. "The organization is fundamental to an athlete student success, so you guys must always have a consistent routine of training and study. Moreover, for everything in your life, give all your efforts."
Besides Langton and Vieira on the First Team with 4.0 GPAs, four athletes made Second Team and another 12 made Third Team.
Cougar softball had the most academic honors with six members followed by the women's basketball team with five individuals on the academic team. Second team academic members had a 3.8 to 3.99 GPA while third team recipients had a 3.6-3.79 GPA.
Softball players earning academic honors included Bri George earning second team honors while Devon Rees, Emma McMillan, Lindsey Allie, Michaela Kelly, and Reagan Solomon capturing third team honors.
Langton was the top academic performer with the 4.0 performance followed by Yuliyana Valcheva on the second team. Cougars earning third team honors included Andrijana Reljic, Merle Wiehl, and Taylor Joplin.
The men's soccer team had the third most academic members. They were led by North Platte's Scott Dike earning second team honors, while Bryan Mejia, Isaac Sam, and Leandro Faria were on the third team.
The men's basketball team had two academic performers. Bryce Hoerer earned second team honors while Martin Roub was on the third team.
On top of all the national academic honors, 34 Cougar athletes earned Region IX honors. The men's teams had 14 players earn Region IX honors, while 20 women's athletes made Region IX academic honors.
To earn Region IX academic honors, athletes need a 3.25 GPA for all college credit classes for the academic year.
Those receiving Region IX academic honors were baseball team: Zach Berg, Nathan Kolb, Kale Litzelman, Elliot McNeave, and Brevin Owen; men's basketball team: Bryce Hoerer and Martin Roub; men's soccer: Scott Dike, Leandro Faria, Bryan Mejia, Alan Pinho, Isaac Sam, Jorge Rojas, and Cade Wilmer; women's basketball: Anyssia Gibbs, Taylor Joplin, Eva Langton, Andrijana Reljic, Yuliyana Valcheva, and Merle Wiehl; softball: Lindsay Allie, Emma Flynn, Brianna George, Kendall Glasgow, Sidnee Hogan, Michaela Kelly, Emma McMillan, Devon Rees, and Regan Solomon; volleyball: Logan Belford and Adia Sherbeyn; and women's soccer: Rafaela Passos, Rafaella Ornelas, and Caroline Vieira.