NJCAA Awards 22 Highland Student Athletes Academic Awards


Twenty-two Highland Community College student athletes earned NJCAA All-Academic Awards for their work in the classroom after the 2018-2019 school year, the most to receive this award in a single year in school history.

NJCAA All-Academic Awards are given to student-athletes across the association who were certified on the official team roster and finished with a cumulative GPA of 3.60 or higher during the academic school year, counting hours from both fall and spring semesters.

Depending on the student’s cumulative GPA, students could earn First Team (4.00 GPA), Second Team (3.80-3.99 GPA) or Third Team (3.60-3.79 GPA) for this award.

Five Scotties earned a perfect 4.0 GPA this school year and earned First Team NJCAA All-Academic; Emma Cohalla (Volleyball), Amber Hildebrand (Volleyball), Elizabeth Hays (Softball), Isabella Konieczka (Softball) and Sara Shinn (Softball).

Seven Scotties earned Second Team NJCAA All-Academic and another 10 student athletes earned Third Team.

Below are the student athletes who earned NJCAA All-Academic honors during the 2018-2019 school year:

First Team:
Emma Cohalla Volleyball
Elizabeth Hays Softball
Amber Hildebrand Volleyball
Isabella Konieczka Softball
Sara Shinn Softball

Second Team:
Jonathan Thompson Football
Alexis Hodapp Softball
Katie Pearson Volleyball
Kennedy Meyer Softball
Xavian Powell Track & Field
Hannah Schmidt Softball
Max Milligan Baseball

Third Team:
Skyler Zirkle Baseball
Brendon Bond Baseball
Jared Wells Baseball
McKinley Jeanneret Softball
Drake Seetin Baseball
Ryan Schemtob Football
Chevelle Sartin Softball
Eric Darden, Jr. Track & Field
Lora Shinn Softball
Hope Eckley Softball

There were three student athletes who earned both NJCAA All-Academic and NJCAA All-American honors in their specific sport and those students were Emma Cohalla (Volleyball), Chevelle Sartin (Softball) and Ryan Schemtob (Football).

Congratulations to this year’s NJCAA All-Academic award winners. All students who earn NJCAA All-Academic get their name displayed in a plaque located in the hallway of Ben Allen Field House. These names date back to the 1986-1987 school year.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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