Former Oak Lawn high school students who are now at Moraine Valley Community College are proving that student-athletes have brains and brawn. Among nearly 60,000 student-athletes who compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), 26 Moraine Valley student-athletes were recognized with the 2016-17 Academic Student-Athlete Award for their academic achievement. Additionally, 32 students were named Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) All-Academic Athletes of the Year and 24 freshmen were named All-Conference Freshmen Academic Athletes of the year.
NJCAA Academic Student-Athletes must have a 3.6 GPA or higher and participate in the college’s sport for a least one season. Moraine Valley athletes who received this honor are: Runners Fiona Agapito (Oak Lawn), Stephanie Majewski (Reavis), Yuliana Olivares (Reavis), Theresa Orr (Reavis), Christian Delgado (Argo), Mark Harris (Lincoln-Way North), and for the second straight year Alec Altman (Sandburg) and Jeremy Morgan (Tinley Park); soccer players Alexandria Abed (Stagg), Dalila Alcala (Eisenhower), Asmaa Amara (Stagg), Togo Narusawa (Japan), Dakota Stariha (Andrew), and for the second straight year, Wiktoria Paczkowska (Reavis); basketball players Jason Roland (Oak Forest) and for the second straight year, Joe Ruzevich (Brother Rice) and Krista Brill (Oak Forest); golfer Alec Martinez (Sandburg); tennis players Eric Niewinski (Oak Forest), LeAnn Peschel (Oak Lawn) and for the second straight year, Breanna Vollan (Chicago Christian); softball players Hayley Franks (Marist) and Samantha Waller (Richards); baseball players Adrian Gonzalez (Brother Rice) and Alex Guerra (Lincoln-Way Central); and volleyball player Jessica Gavras (Oak Lawn) received this honor.
To earn the ISCC distinction, students must have earned a 3.0 or higher GPA after completing at least 48 course credit hours while participating in one of the college’s 12 sports. The athletes selected were baseball players Yunis Halim (Oak Lawn) and Gonzalez; golfer Martinez; basketball players Luke Hook (Andrew), Elonas Marcauskas (Council Rock North), Jordan Radcliff (Columbus International), Ruzevich, Michelle Borgen (Andrew), Chantel Brown (Argo), Erin Drynan (Mother McAuley), Ciarra Holloway (Argo), Taylor McGiles (Sandburg), and Brill; runners Ilse Caballero (Sandburg), Hannah Funk (Sandburg), Lydia Limas (Andrew), Sarah McCann (Marist), Weronika Staszel (Reavis), Majewski, Olivares, and Altman; soccer players Benjamin Biruete (Mexico), Evan Vouris (Sandburg), Kaylyn Egyarto (Sandburg), Ewelina Kmin (Reavis), Diana Lang (Marist), Abed, Alcala, and Paczkowska; tennis players Alexis Kasper (Reavis) and Vollan; and volleyball player Kaitlyn Myles (Queen of Peace).
Funk also was awarded the Dick Durrant Sophomore Academic Athlete of the Year Award for the highest G.P.A. (4.0) in the conference. She was one of five athletes in the ISCC to receive this honor.
The All-Conference Freshmen Academic Athletes must have completed at least 24 credit hours with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Moraine Valley recipients are baseball players Brian Alvarez (Solorio Academy) and Guerra; runners Michael Bradley (Mount Carmel), Delgado, Harris, Monica Gutierrez (Reavis), Agapito, and Orr; and soccer players Antonio Martinez (Argo), Sean McLaughlin (Andrew), Narusawa, Stariha, Jillian Steinke (Andrew), and Amara; tennis players Raul Martinez (Reavis), Miguel Segovia (Eisenhower), Niewinski, and Peschel; softball players Rachel Martin (Eisenhower), Breanna Sol (Andrew), Franks, and Waller; volleyball players Colleen Murphy (Marist) and Gavras.
“It’s not easy being a student-athlete, but they work hard on and off the field, which is reflected in these honors. They represent Moraine Valley well, and we’re proud of all their achievements,” said Bill Finn, Athletics director.