Having already completed one of the more successful athletic seasons in school history, Surry Community College’s student-athletes have also proven to be winners off the field.
Five SCC student-athletes have been named to the 2016-2017 National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) All-Academic team. Jessi Marion earned first-team all-academic honors, Brock Jessup and Jack Edwards both were named second-team all-academic, while Erynne Chalk and Cheyenne Kota garnered third-team accolades.
Surry had the sixth-most academic award recipients among North Carolina’s community colleges and ranked 10th among the 34 Region X member institutions. Surry had four recipients last year. This marks the fifth consecutive year that SCC has had at least two student-athletes earn NJCAA All-Academic honors.
“We are extremely proud of our student-athletes for receiving national recognition for their academic achievements. They have all worked exceptionally hard in the pursuit of academic excellence,” said Surry Athletic Director Mark Tucker. “Having five national award recipients is an outstanding accomplishment and certainly speaks highly of our institution.”
Surry Community College’s Student-Athlete of the Year in 2017, volleyball player Jessi Marion was named First-Team NJCAA All-Academic after finishing the year with a perfect 4.0 GPA. A three-sport star at East Surry, Marion continued her success in Dobson, leading Surry in kills, blocks, and hitting percentage, a category she ranked 42nd nationally in while earning the team’s Offensive Player of the Year award in addition to First-Team All-Region X honors.
Marion has been a Dean’s List and President’s List student both of her years at Surry, where she finished with an overall GPA of 3.84. Also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and a Phi Theta Kappa nominee, she was named an Exemplary Academic Achievement Award winner by the NJCAA with a 3.75 cumulative GPA her freshman year.
Brock Jessup, a golfer from East Surry High School in Pilot Mountain, finished with a 3.90 GPA in 2016-2017 to earn a place on the NJCAA All-Academic Second Team. Jessup was part of the Knights’ golf team that won the Region X title in 2017 and just missed qualifying for nationals.
Jessup’s golf teammate, Jack Edwards, also earned a spot on the NJCAA All-Academic Second Team after posting a 3.80 GPA in 2017. A two-sport athlete at East Surry, Edwards served as two-year captain of the football team and helped guide the Cardinals to a second-place finish in the state in golf. He was a key component to Surry’s run to the Region X golf title this season and was named Surry’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2017.
Over the past two years at SCC, Edwards has been a Dean’s List and President’s List student with an overall GPA of 3.55, including a perfect 4.0 this past fall. The recipient of the Alex Chatham Award the last two years at Surry, Edwards has also volunteered with the SCC Golf Foundation Tournament along with collecting food for the Foothills Food Pantry at the most recent Dobson Christmas parade.
A sophomore softball player from Fred T. Foard High School in Newton, Erynne Chalk was selected to the NJCAA All-Academic Third Team with a 3.69 GPA. Chalk also excelled for the Knights on the softball diamond as she captured First-Team All-Region X honors as an infielder both of her seasons in Dobson. Chalk also was selected as Surry’s Best Offensive Player Award in 2017 and won the team’s Best All-Around Award in 2016.
SCC’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, volleyball player Cheyenne Kota posted a 3.69 GPA in 2016-2017 to earn a spot on the NJCAA All-Academic Third Team. On the court, Kota helped lead the Lady Knights to a 19-9 record and a third-place finish in Region X this past season. She led the team in service aces while finishing second in hitting percentage to earn Second Team All-Region X honors as well as the team’s Coaches Award. A three-sport standout at East Surry, Kota helped lead the Cardinals to the state championship in volleyball her senior season. Her academic success in high school continued at SCC the last two years as she made both the Dean’s List and President’s List with an overall 3.43 grade point average (GPA), including a perfect 4.0 GPA this past fall.