College of the Redwoods


Humboldt State University

College Matters | Student-athletes excel in sports and in the classroom

This article was originally posted in the College Matters column of the Times-Standard.

Thursday, March 9, 2023 - 1:30pm

In past College Matters columns, we wrote that our athletic program was dedicated to building a student-centric program that was deeply committed to ensuring all our student-athletes can compete at the highest level athletically and achieve at the highest level academically. I am proud to say that, under the leadership of our terrific athletic director Bob Brown, along with his coaches, staff and, of course, our student-athletes, we have made that a reality.

We are proud of the successes our student-athletes have achieved inside and outside of the classroom. Our student-athletes exemplify what intercollegiate athletics is all about. I am in awe of our student-athletes every day; they serve as role models on campus and in the community while exhibiting a passion for their sport and their academics.

At our recent meeting of the CR Board of Trustees, several students and teams were honored for their achievements in the classroom and on the field of competition.

I want to applaud the historic efforts of Golden Valley Conference (GVC) Coach of the Year Ryan Bisio and our men’s basketball team for setting the single-season program record of 25 wins and for earning the coveted title of GVC champions for the third straight year. We are proud that Trey Neff was named conference Most Valuable Player, Jon Nchekwube and Jett Cheong were all-conference first team selections, Kai Purcell was an all-conference honorable mention, and Aidan Atkins-Salazar was selected to the GVC all-defense first team.

We also commend Coach Jain Tuey for her exemplary leadership in guiding our women’s basketball team through a demanding season. Under Coach Tuey’s guidance two of our women basketball athletes — former Fortuna Huskies Gracie Betts and Kendall Stewart — received GVC all-conference honors.

Head cross country coach Reed Elmore led our women’s team to a fourth-place finish in the NorCal Championship and advancement to the state championships. CR sophomore sensation Hannah Hartwell continued her remarkable running career by taking first overall at the NorCal Championship meet and the State Champion women’s individual title.

Congratulations as well to first-year football head coach Jason White and his assistant coaches for an extremely successful season with a 7-4 record capped by a 2022 Grizzly Bowl appearance. Not only did we compete in a bowl game — a feat that we had not accomplished in 27 years — we also had offensive lineman Weyk-seyr Hutchinson, receiver Jaydan Burns, defensive lineman Julian Garcia, punt returner Mason Priddy, and utility player Damario Watson named to the All-Region Team.

But the on-field achievements of our student-athletes is only part of the story. Our athletes are students first and athletes second. Many of them are also performing exceptionally in the classroom. Our preliminary data show that we will see a cumulative GPA of 3.21 for the athletic program in its entirety, five student-athletes will be named as All-State Academic Athletes, and 71 student-athletes will finish the year with a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher.

The volleyball team had the highest team grade point average of 3.46, with seven above a 3.5 cumulative GPA. Abigail Costello Anderson is on track to finish the academic year with a 3.84 GPA, Ella Day with a 3.96, Maile Kapahu with a 3.80, Lily Larue with a 3.77, and Molly Slayton with a 3.79. Zoe Zerlang will finish with two degrees and a 3.73.

Although the volleyball team’s academic success is impressive, it is not unusual. Take a look at the stats for other teams:

  • Baseball – cumulative GPA of 3.27 with 9 players above a 3.5 GPA
  • Men’s Basketball – cumulative GPA of 3.29 with 6 above a 3.5 GPA
  • Women’s Basketball – cumulative GPA of 3.28 with 5 above a 3.5 GPA
  • Men’s and Women’s Cross Country – cumulative GPA of 3.03 with 5 above a 3.5 GPA
  • Football – cumulative GPA of 2.87 with 14 above a 3.5 GPA
  • Men’s Soccer – cumulative GPA of 2.73 with 5 above a 3.5 GPA
  • Women’s Soccer – cumulative GPA of 2.66 with 5 above a 3.5 GPA
  • Softball – cumulative GPA of 3.321 with 6 above a 3.5 GPA
  • Women’s Tennis – cumulative GPA of 3.17 with 1 above a 3.5 GPA
  • Men’s and Women’s Track & Field – cumulative GPA of 3.28 with 8 above a 3.5 GPA

We are all very proud of our student-athletes for their dedication to excellence in their sports and in their commitment to academic success. We thank our coaches, athletics staff, and faculty whose individual and collective contributions to student success helped make this student-athlete tribute possible.

I am also in awe of our incredible network of CR alumni and community who have supported CR over the years. We could not do what we do every day without you, and we hope you are as excited as we are about what’s to come.

Dr. Keith Flamer is the president of the College of the Redwoods.