The University of Houston-Victoria Jaguars softball team recently was named a 2007-2008 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Scholar Team for maintaining a team grade-point average above 3.0.
|2008 UHV Softball Team
The players maintained a 3.14 team GPA (on a 4.0 scale) during their inaugural season.
"I always tell these ladies that we aren't just here to play softball, we're here to get an education first and foremost," head softball coach Keri Lambeth said. The team GPA is closer to a 3.3 when transfer credits and classes taken at Victoria College are included, she added.
The NAIA is committed to high standards and the principle that participation in athletics serves as an integral part of the total education process, said Jim Carr, NAIA president and chief executive officer. Furthermore, the association is dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics and provides student-athletes an environment that values academic and athletic success.
"This team has demonstrated academic and athletic excellence under Coach Lambeth's strong leadership," UHV Athletic Director Ashley Walyuchow said.
Lambeth requires her players to attend at least 10 hours of study hall a week and that's if they carry a 4.0. Anything lower requires additional hours.
"Since the days of ancient Greece and Rome, the ideal of the complete individual was a fit mind in a fit body," UHV President Tim Hudson said. "These women, these fine student athletes, are wonderful examples of the types of individuals we are producing here."
Hudson added his personal thanks to the numerous supporters and community members who have made the new athletics program possible.
The award is the latest in a string of recognitions the softball team has received from its inaugural season for successes on and off the field.
The Jaguars are ranked No. 15 in the nation and hope to be ranked in pre-season polls expected out later this year.
Shortstop Stephanie Lavey, designated player Kristen Lindley, outfielder Cirby Ryan and pitcher Lauren Garza were named in June to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association NAIA Southwest All-Region First Team. The four players were previously selected in May for the All-Region VI teams.
Lambeth and her staff were named NFCA NAIA Southwest Regional Coaching Staff of the Year in June.
The players were praised for their 32-18 record, their mentoring work with public school students and their academic record earlier this summer on the floor of the U.S. Congress by Rep. Ron Paul. They received similar praise in a Texas Senate resolution and a letter from U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.
The softball team will begin its second year with scrimmage games at the Spring Klein College Classic Oct. 4 and 5 in Spring, Texas.