Grace earned the rare accomplishment of having every eligible team named a Scholar Team by the NAIA. Overall, the Lancers were tied for fourth in the nation in number of Scholar Teams, behind only Concordia, Neb., (16 of 17 Scholar Teams), Hastings, Neb., (16 of 17) and Ashford, Iowa (15 of 15).
The Lancers landed two squads in the top 15 of the nation, led by women’s cross country with a team GPA of 3.72 in the 2011-12 academic year. The women’s cross country program under head coach Jeff Raymond ranked No. 11 in the nation, No. 6 in their sport and second in the Crossroads League (CL).
The women’s soccer team under head coach Michael Voss was a notch behind with a 3.71 GPA. They finished No. 13 overall and first in both their sport and the CL.
The volleyball team, led by head coach Andria Harshman, ranked No. 34 in the nation, including fourth in their sport and second in the CL after posting a 3.61 GPA.
Men’s tennis, coached by Larry Schuh, also finished in the top 100 teams in the nation. They finished with a 3.53 GPA, which ranked No. 90 overall, fourth in their sport and first in the CL.
“This is an incredible accomplishment to have all 14 teams be named NAIA Scholar Teams,” said Grace athletic director Bailey Weathers. “This is a credit to the hard work of all of our student-athletes and coaches in keeping academics as the main focus. In my opinion, this is a capstone accomplishment for a great year in Grace athletics.”
Several other programs finished first or second in the CL including men’s basketball with a 3.38 GPA (first in CL), men’s cross country with a 3.28 GPA (second in CL), men’s golf with a 3.14 GPA (second in CL) and baseball with a 3.02 GPA (second in CL).
The remaining Scholar Teams for Grace are: women’s basketball (3.46 GPA), women’s track and field (3.41 GPA), women’s tennis (3.37 GPA), softball (3.37 GPA), men’s soccer (3.16 GPA) and men’s track and field (3.09 GPA).
To achieve Scholar Team status, a team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) as defined by the institution. The team GPA includes all varsity student-athletes certified as eligible.