Estrella Mountain Community College’s (EMCC) student-athletes have proven once again that they’ve got game — and not just when they’re making that final putt or crossing the finish line, either. EMCC’s Mountain Lions are crushing it in the classroom, too, resulting in four athletes being named to two levels of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) 2022-23 All-Academic Teams.
Mountain Lion athletes Annika Axman (Women’s Cross Country), Nicholas Goodfellow (Men’s Golf), and Jake Lydic (Men’s Golf) made the First Team by maintaining a 4.0 GPA for the entire year. Abigail Werner (Women’s Golf) made the Second Team by maintaining at least a 3.80 GPA.
“Hearing news like this is awesome,” EMCC Women’s Golf Coach Jeff Thursam said. “It is a great accomplishment to excel both academically and athletically at the collegiate level.”
The students’ success both in their sports and their education isn’t an accident.
“Having a high GPA is important to me because I always strive to be the best I can be at what I do,” said Jake, who also made the First Team last year. “The desire to meet my own high standards is what keeps me working toward maintaining a high GPA.”
Jake and Nicholas, who are both President’s Honors Scholarship recipients, devote a lot of time to golf during the season. They regularly put in two hours a day six to seven days a week between play and practice. But they manage to balance school, sports, and home life while getting all A’s, they say, by creating a schedule and sticking to it.
“I have a certain order of doing things each day,” Jake said. “First, I’ll attend school, then practice golf, and finally complete my homework during the evening. And I always look ahead in the week to ensure I have enough time to fit everything in each day.”
Nicholas is big on looking ahead, as well.
“One of the major things that helped me through this process has been creating a spreadsheet or a notes document that has all of the assignments for the semester so I can see everything that is due and how everything lines up with tournaments, work, and school,” he said. “When too many things line up on a certain date, I always plan ahead and look at what can be moved and work ahead.”
He attributes much of his college success to attending University High School in Tolleson, which consistently ranks as one of the top high schools in the entire state.
“University High School promoted and taught these techniques of using planners, agendas, etc.,” Nicholas said. “I was even busier in high school than I am now so it really helped me through the whole college transition.”
In total, 2,702 student-athletes were named to the NJCAA All-Academic First Team, 3,347 student-athletes made the Second Team, and 4,117 student-athletes received third-team recognition.
To learn more about Estrella Mountain Community College’s Athletics Programs, go to https://www.estrellamountain.edu/students/athletics.
Interested in attending EMCC? Get started at https://www.estrellamountain.edu/students/enrollment-steps. EMCC offers a variety of associate degrees and certificates. It also partners closely with several schools including Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona for transfer programs. Classes can be taken in person, online, or in a hybrid format.