Moraine Valley Community College student-athletes not only demonstrated their athletic skills this season, but also their intelligence in the classroom. Among nearly 60,000 student-athletes who compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), 28 Moraine Valley student-athletes, including several educated in Oak Lawn, were recognized with the 2017-18 Academic Student-Athlete Award for their academic achievement. Additionally, 29 students were named Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) All-Academic Athletes of the Year and 29 freshmen were named All-Conference Freshmen Academic Athletes of the Year.
NJCAA Academic Student-Athletes must have a 3.6 or higher GPA and participate in the college’s sport for at least one season. Moraine Valley athletes who received this honor are: Runners Louis Cavalier (Sandburg), John Donovan (Lincoln-Way East), Ettore Gaytan (Tinley Park), Caitlin Griffin (Richards), and for the second year, Fiona Agapito (Oak Lawn), Mark Harris (Lincoln-Way North) and Theresa Orr (Argo); baseball players Brian Alvarez (Solorio Academy) and for the second year, Alex Guerra (Lincoln-Way Central); basketball player Celeste Lozano (Kennedy); for the second year, golfer Eric Niewinski (Oak Forest); soccer players Benjamin Biruete (Mexico), Brooke Janeczek (Lockport Township), Michael Kaczmarczyk (Shepard), Sylvia Kordaczka (Lockport Township), Karen Montoya (Eisenhower), Drake Silver (Lockport), Jillian Steinke (Andrew), Abby Tiemersma (Chicago Christian),and Jennifer Warja (Andrew); tennis players Michelle Ambriz (Argo), Donato Figueroa-Ramirez (Bremen), Yash Patel (Oak Forest), Audrey Stocklen (Shepard), Mary Stocklen (Shepard), and for the second year, LeAnn Peschel (Oak Lawn); softball player Rachel Martin (Eisenhower); and for the second year, volleyball player Jessica Gavras (Oak Lawn).
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 are baseball players Alvarez, Guerra and Robert Peterka (Shepard); basketball players Ameen Hussein (Richards) and Kristin McGee (Merrillville); runners Agapito, Michael Bradley (Mount Carmel), Cavalier, Matthew Garza (Argo), Griffin, Harris, Orr, and Jordi Rangel (Eisenhower); golfers Mitchell Crook (Richards) and Niewinski; soccer players Sohaib Abdulhadi (Saudi Arabia), Claire Collevy (Marist), Sean McLaughlin (Andrew), Silver, Meghan Stapleton (Marist), and Steinke; tennis players Ambriz, Patel and Peschel; softball players Jeanna Kuligoski (Sandburg) and Martin; volleyball players Gavras, Kazune Hinomoto (Japan) and Colleen Murphy (Marist).
Patel and Peschel also were awarded the Dick Durrant Sophomore Academic Athlete of the Year Award for their high GPAs in the conference. Patel earned a 4.0 and Peschel had a 3.92. The All-Conference Freshmen Academic Athletes must have completed at least 24 credit hours with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Moraine Valley recipients are baseball players Joseph Martin (Evergreen Park) and Thomas Moran (Chicago Christian); basketball players Nicholas Holmes (Homewood-Flossmoor), Ashley Hunter (Homewood-Flossmoor), Lozano, and Lauren O’Leary (Sandburg); runners David Alvarez (Sandburg), Guadalupe Diaz (Reavis), Donovan, Gaytan, and Natalie Moreno (Reavis); golfer James Goich (Lincoln-Way East); soccer players Bedour Elbeitoni (Stagg), James Finn (Stagg), Janeczek, Kaczmarczyk, Kordaczka, Karl Kosary Jr. (Andrew), Montoya, Zulma Montoya (Eisenhower), Patricia Rzadkosz (Reavis), Tiemersma, and Warja; tennis players Figueroa-Ramirez, Alex Kokoszka (Shepard), and Audrey and Mary Stocklen; softball player Megan Pyles (Evergreen Park); and volleyball player Elizabeth Coffey (Peotone).
“These student-athletes have a lot on their plate between working in the classroom and on the field. Their hard work and efforts are reflected in these honors. We’re very proud of their achievements and how well they represent Moraine Valley,” said Bill Finn, Athletics director.