There is one area where the East Central College Falcons dominate the Missouri Community College Athletic Conference — the classroom.
For the 10th year in a row, the school has claimed the Harold Oetting Academic Award for having the best department GPA in the league.
“The work our student-athletes and coaches put into their sport is tremendous and provides great rewards,” East Central Athletic Director Jay Mehrhoff said. “The academic success achieved by our student-athletes will provide a lifetime of value. As our students transfer to four-year schools, not only do they receive athletic scholarships, but many receive academic transfer scholarships as well.”
East Central’s volleyball, men’s soccer and softball programs combined for a 3.099 GPA during the 2018-19 school year.
Mineral Area College was next at 2.95 and Jefferson College finished third at 2.80.
During the 2018-19 school year, 14 East Central athletes were named to the NJCAA Academic All-American teams. Making the first team were:
• Mallory Feldewerth (Bowling Green) in softball;
• Seeley Friend (Newburg) in softball;
• Lauren Grunwaldt (Orchard Farm) in softball; and
• Arman Kovac (Lindbergh) in men’s soccer.
Second-team selections were:
• Marissa Boyd (Union) in softball;
• Katie Gaus (Canton) in softball;
• Kaley Roper (Bloomfield) in volleyball;
• Nicole Roper (Bloomfield) in volleyball; and
• Billy Thompson (The City School, Sheffield, England) in men’s soccer.
Making the third team were:
• Kori Fiedler (Union) in softball;
• Alyssa Moore (Kelly) in softball;
• Kayla Schmidt (Montgomery County) in volleyball;
• Leonard Sowa (Rudolf-Virchow, Berlin, Germany) in men’s soccer; and
• Samantha Staab (Mount Vernon) in volleyball.
Additional Region 16 honorees were:
• Volleyball — Jessi Kelly (Union) and Mariah Vahlkamp (Carlyle, Ill.);
• Men’s soccer — Gary Dunne (St. Peters, Dunbouyne, Ireland), Joel Konteh (Robert Smyth Academy, Market Harborough, England) and Donald Meyer (Lutheran South); and
• Softball — Kaylynn McKee (Bowling Green), Taylor Ruth (Owensville) and Maya Street (Clopton).
Joining all of the above as MCCAC award winners were:
• Volleyball — Makayla Byrd (Central Medical Magnet, Beaumont, Texas), Daeshia Ross (Chester Nimitz, Houston, Texas) and Janice Steacy (Jefferson City); and
• Men’s soccer — Lewis Brass (Cardinal Hume, Tyne & Wear, England) Gregorio Gros-Jacques (Eugenia Bona, Biella, Italy) and Randy Spence (Preston Manor, London, England).
The Oetting Award is named after longtime Jefferson College Athletic Director Harold Oetting.
It originally was a combined all-sports and academic award, but has been changed to focus on academics.