Spartans Garner NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete Honors
Oct 10, 2017
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) is pleased to announce that a record 7,351 softball players across seven membership divisions earned NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete honors for the 2016-17 academic year. The University of Dubuque under the direction of Wendi Wipperfurth, were honored to have nine student-athletes earn the prestigious Easton / NFCA NCAA Division III Scholar-Athletes honors.
NCAA Division I led the way with 1,843 student-athletes earning a 3.5 grade-point average or higher, while 1,825 in Division III garnered recognition followed by 1,268 Division II student-athletes. High School weighted and High School unweighted posted 751 and 609 honorees apiece. NAIA amassed 559 recipients and Junior College totaled 496.
Established in 1983, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) is the professional growth organization for fastpitch softball coaches from all competitive levels of play. The national office, located in the Crescent Hill community of Louisville, Ky., moved to the Bluegrass State in 2012.
Although collegiate coaches comprised the majority of the organization's membership in the early days, today they are joined by high school, travel ball, professional and international coaches, along with umpires, clubs, businesses and fans of fastpitch softball. Growing from 40 members in 1983 to over 4,000 today, the NFCA boasts members from all 50 states and nine international countries- Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and Sweden.
There are many services offered to the membership. Highlighted by the All-America teams, the awards program is about recognizing student-athletes for their athletic and academic prowess and coaches for their contributions both on and off the field.
The NFCA conducts an annual National Convention in November or December. In addition, it works with USA Today in producing polls for NCAA Division I and high school softball as well as compiling NCAA Division II and Division III national polls. The NFCA also conducts collegiate tournaments, hosts skills and academic camps throughout the nation and provides educational clinics and classes to its members.
University of Dubuque 2016-17 Honorees:
Taylor Allard (Utility, Fr., Lake Mills, Wis./Fort Atkinson)
Taylor Blair (P, Jr., Warrenville, Ill./Wheaton-Warrenville South)
Nicole Blum (Inf., So., Dubuque, Iowa/Marquette Catholic)
Brandy Heraty (Inf., So., Hainsville, Ill./Grayslake Central)
Randee Jackson (P, So., Burlington, Wis./Burlington)
Kayleigh Leddy (Inf., Sr., Milledgeville, Ill./Milledgeville)
Gabrielle Marchese (OF, Fr., Waukesha, Wis./Pius XI Catholic)
Ellie Schneider (Inf., Jr., New Elm, Minn./New Ulm Public)
Hailey Wang (OF, Fr., Elkhorn, Wis./Elkorn Area)