The Softball team received the Easton/NFCA Academic Honors award for the 2017-2018 school year. Nine players with grade point averages above 3.8 were recognized as scholar-athletes. Nationally, the team ranked 28th based on their combined GPA of 3.51.
“We’ve been ranked before. This is the highest we have ever been ranked. My players work really hard in the classroom, and they understand the importance of showing up and doing the work every day,” Coach Amy Weaver said.
Setting up a routine allows for better time management. Whenever a new player joins the team, she must learn to balance softball with academic life.
“It’s not easy; it’s a challenge at times. It’s a routine of: go to class, go to practice, go do your homework, and then go to sleep. You just do that for the entire season. You use road trips as time to do homework. It’s a real give and take kind of thing.” Sophomore Brooke Lowry said.
Freshman year provides an adjustment time for players. To ensure that they manage their time well, freshman players are required to attend a mandatory study hall overseen by upperclassmen. Once a freshman player earns a GPA above 3.0, she is no longer required to attend study hall. Weaver prefers players to have a cumulative GPA of 3.5.
“Your freshman year, you are given some leeway; everyone’s allowed to play. Once you get past your freshman year, you have to make a certain GPA to even be allowed to play in games,” senior Savannah Draud said.
“[The award] shows that our team can collectively push each other to do better,” senior Emily Stockalper said. “It’s really exciting. It’s good for the Hendrix community as a whole. There’s not this divide of ‘you do sports’ and ‘you do school.’ I think it’s helpful for people who want to come here and do both. You can get good grades and you can have all of these different extracurriculars.”
The softball team also offers incentives for players who do well in class. Students who don’t receive interim reports are allowed to skip certain workouts.
“[Sports and academics] don’t have to be mutually exclusive,” Weaver said. “Obviously, the softball coach wants them to win games, but it’s about them in four years walking down the aisle and receiving their diploma. You don’t graduate with your glove; you graduate with a diploma.”