25 Lions honored for academics

by Claire Nobles / Beacon Staff • November 5, 2014

Emerson had 25 athletes named to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Academic All-Conference teams for fall sports, the department announced on its website Monday. 

To be eligible for the honor, students must have had at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average and been on their teams for one full season by last semester.

“They truly epitomize the term ‘student-athlete,’” said Patricia Nicol, the athletic director. “Our athletes here at Emerson are students first. They come to Emerson for the academics, yet they happen to play a sport and are very good at it.”

The team with most players named was women’s soccer, with nine honorees. Men’s soccer had seven, women’s cross country had five, and the women’s volleyball and men’s cross country teams each had two. 

“[Being named to the team] really makes me feel good about myself and my teammates,” said junior Maggie Sheetz, a visual and media arts major and midfielder on the women’s soccer team. “Not only are we dedicated to our sport, which we love, but we can also find time to actually work hard in class.”

Last fall, 33 Lions were named to the Academic All-Conference teams, including members of the women’s tennis and men’s and women’s cross country teams who did not participate in their respective sports this season. Including winter and spring sports, 58 players were awarded the honor last year. Members on the men’s volleyball team, which still plays in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference because the NEWMAC does not have the sport, are not eligible to be honored.

Nicol, however, said she is pleased with the number of athletes honored this year, despite the decrease.

“The primary reason that Emerson moved into the NEWMAC is because we are more academically aligned with [these] schools,” she said. “It’s clearly a perfect fit for us academically, and this just demonstrates the validity of that move.”

Sheetz, who has been named to the team both years she has been eligible, agreed with Nicol.

“It’s really exciting that we’re being noticed for more than just sports,” she said, “which I think Emerson should be known for.”

The announcement came right after the last weekend of NEWMAC regular season play for the fall season.