Forty-four Rattler athletes make All-Academic Team

League Commissioner Dennis Thomas named 44 Rattlers to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference All-Academic Team Tuesday.

The 2007 MEAC All Academic Team consists of 536 student athletes, sophomores to seniors, who earned a GPA of at least 3.0. FAMU contributed 24 women and 20 men from 13 sports.

The 24 women included Domonique Boatman, Tarelle Harrell and Sheritta Johnson, who represent FAMU’s women’s bowling team. Rhianna Green, Alicia Mitchell and Brittney Newby were some student athletes named from the FAMU’s softball team.

Maria Andonova and Rosa Rojas were among four student athletes from the volleyball team named to the squad. Yolanda Baylor was named from the swimming team along with Samaria Bailey and Ashley Green from the women’s tennis team.

Ifeoma Onuaku and Taniyah Dawson were two student athletes from the women’s basketball team to receive all-academic honors, along with Darah Valiville and Whitney Young, from the women’s track team.

The 20 men who made the squad included Gary Fullman, Peter Guastella and David James from the men’s baseball team.

Joining them were Lee Hochmuth and Kenneth Lanier from the football team. Quinton Strothers, from the basketball team also made the squad as well as Omari Crawford, from the men’s track team and Simbarashe Happy from the men’s tennis team.

Jason Beach, a political science student from Pensacola, is one of the members of FAMU’s football team to make the squad. He has a GPA of 3.5 and is proud to be a part of the All-Academic Team.

“I’m glad to make it,” Beach said. “It was one of the goals on my list once I found out there was a MEAC All-Academic Team.”

Determination is one of the things Beach said drives him to perform both on the field and in the classroom.

“I want it badly,” Beach said. “I want to do good in both areas, so I set time aside for both football and schoolwork.”

Stephanie Foster, a broadcast journalism student from Columbus, Ohio, was also recognized for successfully juggling sports and school. She plays on the women’s basketball team and has a GPA of 3.8.

“There are so many other things to do besides school, and you can be easily sidetracked,” Foster said. “I just learned to use my time wisely and prioritize.”

Foster took full-advantage of the resources provided by her team.

“We have a lot of tutoring and we were given a list of resources, including tutoring labs, and our coaches informed us of where they were,” said Foster.

Foster has always been a good student, and this kind of success is nothing new for her.

“This wasn’t really one of my goals,” she said. “I didn’t even know about the All-Academic Team. I was just always a good student, and my true goal is to get good grades.”

James Petty, a business administration student from Grand Blanc, Mich., is especially proud of this accomplishment.

“My grades weren’t as good as they should have been before, but I worked very hard to bring them up,” Petty said.

Petty has a cumulative GPA of 3.2 and earned a 4.0 last semester. Petty is a member of the golf team and said he was honored to be chosen for the All-Academic Team.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for my hard work in bringing up my grades,” Petty said. “I spent many long nights studying, and it’s pretty tough to do my best with practicing and studying, but I get it done.”