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Eight Wiley College student-athletes have excelled in the classroom while competing in their sport as they were named National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Daktronics Scholar-Athlete, the NAIA announced on National Awards Day Thursday.

Volleyball players Merritt Elder, LeAndria Jackson, Marissa Neal, Hailie Williams and Kailie Williams, track and field athletes De Lisha Paul and Carmen Garcia, who graduated last spring, and basketball player Demarius Houston earned the honor by maintaining a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or higher while competing in their sport.

This is the second time Elder, Neal, Hailie and Kailie Williams have earned the award. All four also earned Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar and Red River Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete. Jackson earns Daktronics Scholar-Athlete for the first time in her career. She also earned Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar and NAIA Daktronics Scholar-Athlete.

Houston nabs his second NAIA Daktronics Scholar-Athlete award. He also earned Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar, College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District and Red River Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete while maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average.

Paul and Garcia garnered the award for the second time. Both were named Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars and Red River Athletic Conference Scholar-Athletes.

More Honors

The Wiley College women’s track and field, women’s basketball and volleyball teams were recognized for their academic achievements as they were named 2021-22 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Scholar-Teams, the association announced Thursday during National Awards Day.

The teams earned the honor by maintaining a team grade-point average of 3.0 or higher during the academic year. They had to deal with their classes being both in person and virtual as the College adjusted to the ever-changing coronavirus pandemic.

This is the sixth straight season in which women’s track and field and volleyball have garnered the award. The track and field team had two Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars, two NAIA Daktronics Scholar-Athletes and eight Red River Athletic Conference Scholar-Athletes. The track and field team led the athletic department with a 3.11 grade-point average. The volleyball team held a 3.08 grade-point average with five Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars and NAIA Daktronics Scholar-Athletes. Nine of its athletes were RRAC Scholar-Athletes.

The women’s basketball team earned recognition for the fifth straight season with a 3.10 grade-point average. Seven athletes earned RRAC Scholar-Athlete.

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