Jeff Carr, BCC Athletic Director
June 11, 2012, Melbourne, FL – The equation for student-athletes at Brevard Community College is simple: To both play and progress they must perform – academically.
And it’s the job of Renee Bellamy, the student advisor for athletics since 2007 who doubles as the head women’s basketball coach, to ensure that they do.
To that end, 37 of BCC’s 116 student-athletes were represented on the President’s List, Honors List or Dean’s List for the spring 2012 semester.
Bellamy is firm in the athletes’ academic responsibilities.
“You’re here to be a student first, and an athlete second,” she said.
And she has a proven game plan for them to meet those responsibilities.
“Sitting down with each one of them, going over exactly the academic plan and making sure they know exactly and understand their courses. Some accountability falls on them.”
Two athletes – women’s soccer captain and rising sophomore Lois Edvardsson and spring 2012 graduate and softball pitcher Brittany Stone – shared the distinction of achieving the highest recognition, earning 4.0 grade point averages to qualify for the President’s List.
The honor resonated with Stone.
“I feel proud that I made the President’s List my last two semesters at BCC,” said Stone who graduated with an Associate in Arts degree and is majoring in Communication Sciences at UCFG with the goal of becoming a speech therapist. “It showed progress and adjustment from my first year in college, managing my life as a student and as an athlete.”
And managing the life of a collegiate athlete can be a demanding task.
“When you are a college athlete, it can be very overwhelming and time consuming to make good grades,” she said. “It can be a lot of sacrifice also. Sometimes you can’t hang out with your friends or even just relax.
“To save myself the stress, I usually look over my assignments well in advance. By doing that, it prevented surprise assignments and stressful or rushed situations. After looking at what has to be done for my classes, I would look at my softball schedule and find a day or night that I could plan on doing the next homework assignment. I also wrote down everything, and that kept me from forgetting important dates and homework."
To qualify for the Honors List a student must earn a GPA of between 3.75 and 3.99 while achieving the Dean’s List requires a GPA of between 3.25 and 3.74.
Women’s soccer had the most players honored – nine. Volleyball had both the highest semester GPA – 3.25 – and the highest cumulative GPA – 3.26. All seven of the college’s sports teams had players recognized academically.
Head volleyball coach Herb Tokumoto appreciates the effort his athletes put forth.
“The way I look at is when they achieve academically they show parents, coaches, teachers, fellow students that even though it is a hard road only a few travel, the determination and desire to play the sport they love requires them to stay focused and committed,” he said.
“Personally I feel these student-athletes display a level of maturity in that they listen and evaluate the options. I feel they have taken to heart the issues we stress of the importance of making the right choices and how it impacts more than just them.”
To remain eligible to play at BCC, athletes must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 GPA. Also, an athlete seeking to transfer to a four-year school must complete his or her two-year career with a 2.5 GPA to be eligible for consideration for an NCAA athletic scholarship.
In that regard, BCC has served as a bridge for student-athletes looking to play at four-year schools.
“There’s a lot of people who are very, very good high school players but they don’t understand the balancing of going to school and then having a scholarship and having to perform at a college level,” said Steve LaMontange, BCC’s 1985 NJCAA national golf champion and former PGA Tour player who is now the general manager of Suntree Country Club.
“This (BCC) eases you into that and you start understanding what your next four years is all about.”
To that end the overall academic recognition of BCC’s student-athletes – and Edvardsson’s accomplishments - resonate with Athletic Director Jeff Carr who doubles as head women’s soccer coach.
“We are very excited about the academic performances of our student-athletes,” Carr said. “The last several years our athletes have become more serious about their studies as a result of the athletic department stressing the importance of academic success; with academic success you have many more opportunities and doors open to further your education and possibly play at the next level.
“I am very excited about the soccer team’s performance and Lois our captain who is from Sweden and English is her second language, she is a very determined young lady as a student and athlete; because of her work ethic she will go far in life.”
Going far in life starts at the junior college level which presents athletes the unique opportunity to continue their education at a four-year school if they perform at the two-year level.
And it falls to Bellamy to help lay the foundation.
“The system is not set up for them to fail,” she said. “It is a golden opportunity to receive a scholarship. If you’re chosen to receive a scholarship, I would think you would take pride in that and say ‘OK, well there is somebody else sitting at home that did not get this scholarship’ that maybe we were looking at but you were the one that was chosen.
“We want them to go to the highest level possible and the opportunities are there and endless for them from the athletic standpoint. But you’ve got to also know there’s monies that are sitting there as far as scholarship money from an academic standpoint.”
The 2012 Spring Term and cumulative grade point averages for BCC athletic teams were:
|Volleyball||Semester: 3.25||Cumulative: 3.26|
|Basketball (W)||Semester: 3.15||Cumulative: 3.18|
|Baseball||Semester: 2.97||Cumulative: 3.07|
|Soccer||Semester: 2.96||Cumulative: 3.07|
|Basketball (M)||Semester: 2.92||Cumulative: 2.89|
|Golf||Semester: 2.75||Cumulative: 2.89|
|Softball||Semester: 2.56||Cumulative: 2.6|
The student-athletes who made the President’s List, Honors List, and Dean’s List for the Spring 2012 Term were: