Panthers volleyball honored for classroom performance

Published 11:30 am Tuesday, July 19, 2022

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

The Jemison High School volleyball team was one of 1,213 volleyball teams in the country to be awarded the 2022 United States Marines Corps/American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award. The teams honored were announced on July 15.

The award started in the 1992-1993 academic year and honors teams who maintain a year-long GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale or 4.1 on a 5.0 scale.

“We push academics, and we hold our kids accountable in the classroom, just like we do on the court,” Jemison coach Melissa Baswell said. “The biggest win is academically, and that is what is going to get you far in life. Athleticism fades out, but the knowledge we gain from academics and from the books and classroom will always carry us through life.”

The 1,213 teams were chosen from different categories — NCAA women’s Div I, Div II and Div III, women’s two-year colleges, NAIA, collegiate men’s teams, collegiate beach volleyball teams and high school boys, girls and beach teams.

High school girls’ programs led the division nominations with 425 teams earning the award.

“Academic achievement does not happen by accident,” AVCA executive director Kathy DeBoer said in a press release. “I’m so proud of the hundreds of coaching staffs that make excellence in the classroom a priority.”

Baswell calculated her team’s GPA together and nominated her team after meeting the 3.3 threshold before the June 30 deadline.  Jemison was one of 14 teams in the state of Alabama to be honored with the award.