January 17, 2008

Wildcats Achieve in Classroom

The 2007-2008 Western Nevada College Wildcats baseball team has continued a winning streak that's not on the field, but rather, in the classroom - the team's fall semester cumulative grade point average topped 3.0, marking the fifth consecutive semester that WNC Wildcats baseball teams have finished their academic semester with a cumulative grade of a B or better. What makes the streak remarkable is that five semesters spans the entire history of the college's baseball program.

"The academic numbers for the Wildcats this past fall are in and they are good!" said Head Coach D.J. Whittemore. "A team GPA of 3.01, a 95 percent class completion rate, and 15 players who finished 18 or more units. I am so proud of the players' efforts in the classroom this past fall," he said. "The team really buys into the philosophy that athletic excellence is only part of the equation. I am grateful to coach some outstanding young men."

Freshman catcher Victor Nunez earned a perfect 4.0. "Victor's results were even more impressive considering he is the only player on the team that doesn't share living arrangements with other players. Victor's drive home is to be with his wife and his 4-year-old daughter," the coach said.

According to Nunez, "When you are in a situation like mine, you don't have a lot of time to mess around so you have to keep your priorities straight. I want to be an engineer someday soon and provide for my family. It all comes down to hard work, determination, and dedication. If you want something you have to go after it with everything you've got. For the last four years I worked and put my wife through nursing school. Now that she is finished she is doing the same for me."

Other individual players who achieved at a high academic level in the fall include: Mike Long (3.81), Kevin Schlange (3.66), Brett Moravec (3.52), Lance Ray (3.5), Cliff Shepard (3.5), Josh Moody (3.43), Kyle Starratt (3.35), Logan Odom (3.33), Darren Bruhns (3.3), Jordan Blanchard (3.28) and James Crockett (3.21).

Whittemore and the players are quick to point out that studying hard isn't the only reason for the team's continued success. They noted the efforts of the college's academic counselors, along with the time they spent in the college's Academic Skills Center, where tutors are available both days and evenings.

"I think that as with a lot of things, when you have great success there is an element of teamwork involved," said Whittemore. "The administration, from Dean of Students John Kinkella on down, faculty, tutors, peer mentors, and the players' individual effort all contributed to our performance in the classroom."

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