Five softball players were named to the NFCA Div. III Scholar-Athlete team. Head Coach Tony Ciccarello said in his 13-year coaching career he’s always had five or more of his players make the team each year. He made the announcement about this year’s recipients at the team’s first meeting this year in September. He strives to be a coach who not only coaches athletes, but coaches students. Ciccarello meets with all of his players each week to find out how they’re doing in their classes and what their test scores are. He will do whatever he has to do in order to make sure his players have the resources they need in order to succeed in the classroom.
Chelsea Kull, fourth-year firstbaseman
Kull is a double major in marketing and management. This is the second time she has been named to the NFCA Division III Scholar-Athlete team. She expected to receive this honor because she keeps track of her grades, so she knew she had a high enough GPA to qualify. She is proud she received this honor because it’s important to be honored both on and off the field and it makes all of her hard work worth it. “In order to stay organized, I keep an agenda book, which helps me balance my schedule between academics and athletics.”
Shayna Burgess, third-year catcher and outfielder
Burgess is a communications disorders major and is minoring in deaf studies and linguistics. She said she sets aside time during the day for both academics and athletics. She said Coach Ciccarello wants the team to work hard in school, so they have a high GPA and that he places a lot of importance on academics. “I’m glad a lot of girls on the team have the same major, so we’re able to work together.”
Noelle Grande, third-year outfielder
Grande is an elementary education major with a concetration in math. It has always been a goal of hers to maintain a high GPA throughout college; however, she underestimated how much effort it requires. She said it’s hard to balance athletics and academics especially during their season. The time constraint of being a student-athlete gives her more incentive to get her work done and maintain good grades. She said Coach Ciccarello is a great motivator to do well in the classroom. “I find being a collegiate-athlete actually helps me perform better in the classroom.”
Erika Traina, third-year firstbaseman and pitcher
Traina is a communications disorders major and is minoring in deaf studies and linguistics. She is thankful of how Coach Ciccarello puts academics first and allows the players to miss a lift or practice if they have too much work. She feels that it’s beneficial that a lot of girls on the team have similar majors. The one’s who do try to schedule classes together and do homework together.
“My trick to balancing athletics and academics is by writing everything down. I write down due dates and times and when I have a meeting in order to stay organized.”
Katie Rutcofsky, second-year firstbaseman and pitcher
Rutcofsky is a communications disorders major and is minoring in deaf studies and linguistics. She didn’t expect to receive this honor and is very proud of her teammates who also received it. She said the weekly meetings with Coach Ciccarello to make sure she’s in check academically are important to her because it shows he cares. She is hoping she continues to have success in the classroom this year. “I balance academics and athletics by doing work with my teammates on the buses back from games and when we go to the library together.”