Three members of the Pierce baseball team, Adrian Rodriguez, Tommy Wilson and Chris Kovach, were recently nominated for the Scholar Athlete Award, which honors their accomplishments off the field for having a 3.5 GPA.
They will officially receive the award in late April, according to Pierce athletic counselor Joseph Roberson.
“My hope is that, as an institution and as an athletic department, we get to the point of honoring and making everyone else aware of the students that excel academically,” Roberson said. “Holding them out as the exemplary student and give other students something to look forward to.”
According to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA), the Scholar Athlete Award is the “highest student achievement honor awarded annually by the CCCAA.
The winners, along with the rest of the annual honor roll, are selected by the CCCAA Awards Committee from nominations made by community colleges throughout California.”
“You’d be surprised how many athletes are good students,” athletic director Bob Lofrano said.
“It kind of goes hand in hand. You have to organize your time to be an athlete, a student, to possibly work, and organize time to be a son or daughter to your parents. That’s not easy.”
Baseball coach Bill Picketts was pleased to have three members of the team recieve the award, especially since he had three players who made the list last year as well.
“As a coach, it’s important because our goal is to get them onto the next level. 99 percent of it is on them,” Picketts said. “When the students are doing that, it makes my job easy.”
Picketts stressed the importance of what exactly this means for his team.
“It’s not easy. The players are out on the field 30 hours a week at least with travel, so their commitment level is a lot higher than the general student,” Picketts said. “I have kids that go to school and work as well, so it is special for a player to get the award”
Early this year, Roberson said that he sent out an e-mail to all Pierce College athletic teams seeking nominations for the award.
“Sometimes, the ones who excel academically might be overlooked.” Roberson said.
This is not the first time that Pierce baseball players have taken home the award.
In addition, Lofrano noted that in 2011 the Women’s Volleyball team took home Academic-All State as a team. The team award takes both the classroom and in-game performance into account.
“That was quite an honor for us and the team back then as well,” Lofrano said.
“Pierce College is an exceptional place to be,” Roberson said. “The coaches really work hard. The students work hard. So when we have individuals that excel, they deserve to be acknowledged. We live in a community, so what is good for us, is good for all.”