GREENSBORO, NC – NorthWood baseball may have come up short in hoisting any championship trophies this past season, but the team did post a major accomplishment per the American Baseball Coaches Association.
The Panthers were selected as one of 97 high school baseball teams from around the country to receive the 2018-19 ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award. The honor, given to just five schools from Indiana, and NorthWood being the only public school from the Hoosier State, is bestowed upon a team that achieves a team cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. NorthWood’s team, coached by AJ Risedorph, held a 3.5 GPA for the school year. NorthWood also won the award last season in posting a 3.35 GPA.
“As much as we talk about Accountability, Character, and Toughness on the baseball field, it’s more important that they carry those over to the classroom and their daily lives,” Risedorph said Thursday morning. “I’m proud of their efforts and their willingness to push themselves on and off the field. I’m also grateful for the ABCA to take time to recognize student-athletes for their work in the classroom. It’s very difficult to be crowned champions on the field, but through hard work and dedication you can be a Champion in the Classroom. Our 2019 group achieved that this past year.”
NorthWood joined Mishawaka Marian, Indianapolis Brebeuf, Andrean and Lafayette Central Catholic high schools from Indiana among the 97 prep programs from the United States.
A total of 208 colleges and universities were also recognized, and among the Indiana schools were Division I programs from Ball State, Butler and Valparaiso; Division III programs from Anderson, Earlham, Franklin, Hanover, Manchester, Rose-Hulman, Trine and Wabash; and NAIA programs from Indiana Tech and IUSB.
This year, 305 total colleges and high school programs received the award, including NCAA Division III national champion Chapman University and NJCAA Division II champion Northern Oklahoma College-Enid.
“We are proud to once again honor the academic achievements of so many of our member programs,” said ABCA Executive Director Craig Keilitz. “The off-the-field success of this year’s award winners is a testament to the hard work of the student-athletes and the commitment of coaches and academic personnel to developing well-rounded individuals.”