- Cullman, Alabama

June 24, 2014

WALLACE STATE: Lions’ Russell receives NJCAA Pinnacle Award; five teams achieve All-Academic Team status

Wallace State Media Relations

HANCEVILLE — Wallace State’s Sabrina Russell won a National Junior College Athletic Association Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence in a list of individual and team academic honorees released Tuesday by the NJCAA.

Russell, a member of Wallace State’s 2013 NJCAA Division I national championship softball team, achieved the NJCAA’s highest academic recognition for a student-athlete after finishing the 2013-14 academic year with a 4.0 GPA. On the field, the Fairview graduate hit .300 in 59 games, finishing with a pair of homers and 31 RBIs and tying for a team-high 23 doubles.

Russell was among eight Wallace State athletes recognized as NJCAA Athletes of Distinction for their academic accomplishments.

Wallace State baseball’s Rupert Alcantara (3.95) and golf’s Patrick Twesme (3.84) were named Superior Academic Achievement honorees for earning a GPA between 3.80-3.99. Exemplary Academic Achievement recipients (3.60-3.79) were golf’s Ryan Bowie (3.74), men basketball’s Cody Farley (3.68), Molly Thompson (3.67) of the women’s basketball team, softball’s Ashleigh McClure (3.65) and baseball’s Izaac Yarbrough.

Wallace State also had five teams recognized as NJCAA All-Academic teams for their collective efforts.

Wallace State’s golf team, the 2014 NJCAA Division I national runner-up, produced the college’s highest mark with a 3.40 GPA, good for fifth in the nation among golf teams and tops in the state. The golf team is coached by NJCAA Hall of Fame member Dan York.

Jayne Clem’s softball team finished with a 3.35 GPA, and the five-time defending state champion Wallace State volleyball team, coached by Randy Daniel, compiled a 3.27 GPA.

Wallace State’s women’s basketball team earned a state-best 3.21 GPA as a group, and baseball was first among its counterparts in the state with a 3.10 GPA. The women’s basketball team is coached by Ron Burdette and baseball by Randy Putman, a NJCAA Hall of Famer. A team has to achieve a 3.0 GPA to be designated as a NJCAA All-Academic Team.