published Friday, June 27th, 2014

Chattanooga State TCCAA diamond leader in academics

  • photo
    Kim Smith, Chattanooga State athletic director
    Photo by Ron Bush /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The National Junior College Athletic Association released its all-academic teams for the 2013-14 school year this week, and Chattanooga State was represented in both baseball and softball. The local school was, in fact, the only one in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association that was all-academic in baseball for a minimum team grade point average of 3.0, and it had the best GPA of the four TCCAA softball programs making the list.

The Lady Tigers not only finished third in the NJCAA Division I national tournament but had a 3.23 team GPA. The baseball Tigers' GPA was 3.16.

But that is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg for Chattanooga State's four-sport athletic program.

"We also had two individuals recognized for distinguished academic awards," athletic director Kim Smith reported, citing Baylor School graduate Amber Howard in basketball with a 3.60 GPA and softball player Kelsey Thomas from Sequatchie County High School with a 3.69.

That "exemplary academic achievement" honor requires a 3.60 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and a minimum of 45 college-level credit hours.

Cleveland State baseball player Evan Speicher from McCallie School (3.66) also got the "exemplary" recognition, and Cougars teammate Bobby Towne from Walker Valley received a "superior academic achievement" honor for his 3.9 GPA, by the way.

Walters State baseball player James Fowlkes from Soddy-Daisy was another NJCAA "exemplary" honoree with his .374, and Motlow softball pitcher Lindsey Knoer from Huntland High School got the "pinnacle award" with a 4.0.

Thomas and baseball player Michael Goss were Chattanooga State's first outstanding athletic academic female and male award recipients, honored at this year's Hats Off to Excellence ceremony.

Howard and Jasmine Mailoto from basketball; Brandon Day, Tyler Hendley, Tyler Troutt, Chaz Vesser, Ryan Whitt, Lane Bloom, Austin Godwin, Alec Meadows, Hunter Plott, Stefan Remus, Brennan Swindoll and Ben Young from baseball; and Emily Dagnan, Elyse Ferguson, Khadija Neely, Shelby Willard, Baylee Williams, Courtney Crawford, Sharlene Godoy, Dana Horgan, Katy Richardson, Syndey Sloan, Sydney Spurgeon and Lindsey Stickrod from softball made TCCAA academic teams from Chattanooga State.

"I am very pleased and proud to know the hard work these students and their coaches exemplified off the field has been noticed," Smith said. "They have represented themselves, their families and Chattanooga State in an outstanding, first-class way."

Contact Ron Bush at or 423-757-6291.

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