Corsicana — Navarro’s athletic landscape is filled with national and conference titles, and last November, the college’s women’s soccer team played for a national title. Heady for sure, in more ways than one.
The soccer team was one of four Navarro College athletic teams honored by the NJCAA for academic achievements last school year. The group posted a combined GPA of 3.30, earning 2014 NJCAA Academic Teams of the Year honors.
Joining the soccer team with the distinction were softball (3.20), baseball (3.05) and volleyball (3.01).
Four individuals were also honored with NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete honors: Lexi Riggs (3.67) and Judith Bast (3.79) from the soccer team, Britney Bledsoe (3.62) from softball, and Corsicana’s Cameron Washington (3.6) from the football team.
It was likely a first for Navarro, Athletic Director Roark Montgomery said.
“To place four teams on that list, I think it’s the first time,” Montgomery said. “We had all three women’s teams and baseball.”
All four did so playing at the highest level of competition in JUCO sports.
Debbie Bonner’s soccer team advanced to the program’s first-ever national title game, where it fell, 3-1, to No. 1 Iowa Western. It was a magical run for the Bulldogs (19-4-1). Bast was named the national tournament’s Most Valuable Back, and Riggs was the team captain.
The softball team, led by Jessica Karenke, went 36-15 and won the Region XIV East Zone title. The baseball team ended at 31-22 in Whoa Dill’s final season, finishing second in the East Zone. And Kacey McBrearty’s volleyball team went 7-18, but likely had the toughest road of all of them, playing in a conference with the eventual national champion (Blinn) and runner-up (Tyler).
Individually, Riggs, of Keller Fossil Ridge High School, signed with Arkansas State, and Bledsoe of Bryan Rudder High School will play for UT-Tyler. Bast returned to her native Germany.
Washington has moved on to Stephen F. Austin, where he will don the familiar No. 27 he wore as a record-setting running back at Corsicana.
“We’re proud of these kids and the teams,” Montgomery said. “We’re really happy for Cameron. When a local kid who helped us on the field as much as he did is honored academically, it’s always exciting.”