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OU teams, athletes receive NAIA scholar honors

The Herald Staff

The Ottawa University athletic teams and athletes were rewarded for their scholar achievements.

There were 17 teams out out of 31 during the 2019-20 season were named a NAIA Scholar Teams. The NAIA Scholar Team Award recognizes excellence in the classroom by NAIA teams. Since 2007, Ottawa University has a total of 146 of its athletic teams named a NAIA Scholar Team.

The team GPA requirements are a minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) as defined by the nominating institution. It must include every varsity athlete certified as eligible in the specific sport. The GPA will be calculated using the institutions normal GPA rules regarding repeated courses, transfer credit, etc. Fall and spring grades from the current year are to be used wen calculating the team GPA.

The teams were women's bowling, women's golf, softball, women's cross country, women's indoor track and field, women's outdoor track and field, competitive cheer, men's cross country, women's tennis, women's volleyball, baseball, men's volleyball, women's wrestling, men's bowling, men's golf, women's basketball and competitive dance.

Ottawa had 31 athletes named to the Daktronic Scholar Athletes for the 2019-20 season. Since 1987, the Braves have had 556 named Daktronic Scholar Athletes.

The Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete programs recognize excellence in the classroom by NAIA-member student-athletes who are juniors or above in academic standing with a 3.5 cumulative GPA. Students must appear on the eligibility certificate for the sport and have attended two full years as a non-transfer or one full year as a transfer. The awards are given annually to outstanding student-athletes in the various sports in which the program is active and their respective teams are eligible for NAIA postseason competition.

The athletes receiving the honor were: Jackson Flack (Baseball), Kyle Banister (Baseball), Merrick Brown (Baseball), Angel Garrett (Cheer), Bobby Harshaw (Cheer), Macy Gosselaar (Cheer), Colby Johnson (Football), Kyle Carpenter (Football), Matthew Blankenship (Football), William Wallace (Football), Kyle Patrick (Men's Basketball), Joseph Corbin (Men's Cross Country/Men's T&F), Reece Woolmore (Men's Soccer), Luke Graham (Men's Tennis), Andrew Sprague (Men's T&F), Jordyn Sarnecki (Softball), Kylee Weber (Softball), Lyndsey Loomis (Softball), Sierra Rettele (Softball), Sammi Bates (Softball), Tomi-Lyn Hickman (Softball), Whitney Kraus (Softball), Kelsey Hendricks (Women's Basketball), Madi McAvoy (Women's Basketball/Women's Lacrosse); Breanna Clayton (Women's Cross Country/Women's T&F), Dakota Bunch (Women's Cross Country/Women's T&F), Deanna Passerella (Women's Soccer), Nicole Tallent (Women's Soccer), Gabriela Arias (Women's Tennis), Brooke Fearka (Women's Volleyball) and Caitlyn Cox (Women's Volleyball).

The OU athletic department has been named a 2019-20 NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Institution, earning the Bronze Award. This is the 12th straight year that Ottawa has been named a NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Institution.

NAIA institutions are measured on a demonstrated commitment to the NAIA's Champions of Character. Schools earn points in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Each school also earns points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by obtaining zero ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year.