Seven student-athletes across four sports at Northern Essex Community College were recognized as NJCAA All-Academic scholars Monday by the National Junior College Athletic Association. The seven student-athletes recognized topped all community colleges across the Commonwealth.
Of the Knights seven honorees there was one first team selection to go along with three students selected each to the second and third teams. To be eligible for NJCAA All-Academic honors, students must have successfully competed 24 credits in the academic year and earned at least a 3.6 GPA for the year. Students with a GPA between 3.6 and 3.79 earn third team honors, a 3.8 to a 3.99 GPA earns second team honors while a perfect 4.0 lands students on the 1st team.
Cooper Smith, of Bloomington, Minn., of the Knights baseball team picked up first-team honors with his perfect 4.0. The sophomore who transferred to Northern Essex from Seton Hill College, will enroll at Tufts University in the fall was an All-Region 21 selection as he patrolled right field for the Region 21 and Northeast District Champions on their way to a third place finish at the NJCAA World Series.
Second team honors went to Caroline Burns of Haverhill of the volleyball program as she also garnered All Region 21 honors in the fall in helping lead the Knights to semi-final round of the tournament. She was joined on the second team by baseballs Domenic Crocenzi of North Providence, R.I., and Joshua Leaffer of North Andoverof the cross country and track and field teams.
Rounding out the honorees were three members of the men’s basketball team which captured the programs first Region 21 and East District Championship on its way to a fifth-place finish at the National Championship Tournament. Luke O’Donnell of Hamilton, Keith Pelkey of Chelmsford and Greg Duran of Lawrence all sported GPAs of 3.63 or higher to pick up their honors.
Officials said, coming off the program’s first ever Top-30 finish in the NATYCAA/Daktronics cup final standing, Northern Essex had one of its finest years in program history both in the classroom and on the courts and fields.