By David Carter/GCU Staff
On the heels of seeing five members of the Grand Canyon University Men’s and Women’s Bowling teams earn multiple accolades from two other national organizations last month, more Lopes are earning academic national accolades this week.
Eight different GCU Bowling team members, including Lopes Head Coach Ben Canfield, were honored by the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association (NCBCA), who presents the Collegiate Scholar-Athlete Awards, recognizing bowlers who had a 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point average throughout the season. Seven Lopes’ student-athletes were on the list, with Madison Faulk, LeAnne Kommenich and Emily Ornelas receiving honors on the women’s side; and Mathew Adragna, Jared DeLaPiedra, Michael McQuisten and Jackson Speece earning the accolades for the Lopes’ Men.
“It is no secret that college bowling takes up a lot of students’ time,” mentioned Canfield. “It is not a regular one-semester season. It is literally all year, and it is a testament to their work ethic. It is the reason all of us are here at GCU, which is to get an education. Bowling is a bonus.”
“(This award) means you are dedicated to your school work as much as you are to your bowling,” said Ornelas. “It is not easy by any means to keep your grades up as well as bowl at a high level.”
That award was not the only recognition Ornelas received from the NCBCA.
“I was as shocked as Ben, because neither of us knew that I was going to get a NCBCA Women’s Honorable Mention All-American Award,” beamed Ornelas.
Canfield himself was named a finalist for the prestigious NCBCA Kerm Helmer Men’s Coach of the Year, which is voted upon by all members of the organization.