15 Students Receive NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Fifteen LSU Eunice athletes were recognized by the NJCAA for their work in the class.  They join a record-number 4,587 student-athletes nationwide honored with 2015-16 NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards.

Of the 57,472 student-athletes that participated in the NJCAA during the 2015-16 academic year, 7.98 percent earned national academic honors – over double the previous mark of 3.31 percent set last year.

There are three classifications of the NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards based on the following cumulative GPA qualifications:

  • Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence: 4.00 GPA
  • Superior Academic Achievement Award: 3.80-3.99 GPA
  • Exemplary Academic Achievement Award: 3.60-3.79 GPA

LSU Eunice had three Pinnacle Award Winners.  Conner Bates, a freshman pitcher from Houma; Mark Fontenot, Jr., a sophomore outfielder from Oberlin; and Molly Willson, a freshman outfielder from Heflin earned 4.0 GPAs.

Bethany LeJeune, a freshman guard from Mementau; Orynn Veillon, a freshman pitcher from Lafayette; and Rebecca Skains, a freshman first baseman from Calhoun earned Superior Academic Achievement Awards.

Earning Exemplary Academic Achievement awards were Jeannemarie Angelle, a freshman outfielder from Arnaudville; Allison Daigle, a sophomore second baseman from Rayne; Elizabeth Fontenot, a freshman pitcher from Port Barre; Madison Edmonston, a sophomore outfielder from St. Amant; Mary Guillory, a freshman infielder from Lake Charles; Olivia Gabor, a freshman infielder from Kaplan; Evan Kissinger, a sophomore pitcher from Baton Rouge; Jaci Lavigne, a sophomore shortstop from Gonzales; and Evan Richardson, a sophomore pitcher from Prairieville.

In a change from previous years, first-year student-athletes with at least 24 semester-hours or 36 quarter-hours became eligible for the awards in 2015-16. This modification to the award qualifications led to a 133 percent increase in the number of student-athletes earning national recognition for their academic achievements.

Formerly known as NJCAA Academic All-America honors, the NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards program has annually recognized the academic success of the association’s student-athletes since the program’s inception in 1983. Nominations are submitted by each student-athlete’s respective institution.


Jeff Willis, Athletic Director