Lansing soccer players lauded for scholarship
Goal-scoring is a big deal to the Lansing High girls soccer team, but so is success in the classroom.
Lansing scored some of the biggest academic achievements in its history on Dec. 20 when the National Soccer Coaches Association of America named it one of 342 teams nationally to earn the NSCAA and adidas Team Academic Award for the 2005-2006 school year. Of those teams honored, 118 were boys and 224 were girls. Six of the teams honored (Lansing girls, Blue Valley girls, Blue Valley boys, Blue Valley North boys, Olathe East boys, Shawnee Heights boys) are from Kansas.
This is the second consecutive year the LHS girls have received the honor.
According to an NSCAA press release, qualifying teams "must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.25 for the entire academic year." Lansing's team GPA was 3.58, up from 3.48 last year.
"As a coach of a high school team, it is imperative to remember that high school sports are intended to be an extension of the classroom and that the player's academic education comes first," LHS coach Rob Elkins said. "Participation in high school sports and activities are part of the education process, but are secondary to the classroom. I have been blessed that most of my players excel academically making my job much easier."
Lansing players whose grades counted toward the honor are Lauren Algarra, Michaela Bristow, Christine Cordes, Elizabeth Cristiano, Katie Cristiano, Lauren Elkins, Erin Griffen, Abby Hauver, Kristen Huffman, Tigan Huffman, Abby Livingston-Shelburne, Bianca Manago, Katie McKee, Katie Nietzke, Lindsay Parks, Kayla Pina, Rachel Pride, Sarah Sargent, Heidi Schultz, Kathryn Sebes, Brittany Swisher and Liane Swisher.
In addition to the team honor, three LHS players garnered individual academic honors. Hauver, Manago and Elizabeth Cristiano were selected to the 2006 NSCAA and adidas Scholar All-Region Team for the central region. The region consists of teams from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin. To be nominated for this team the player must have exhibited excellence in high school soccer, be nominated by their school's head coach, have a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or above, play for a current NSCAA member school and be a graduating senior during the 2006-2007 school year.
"The selection process for these teams is very competitive and I am quite pleased with Elizabeth, Abby and Bianca's selection," Elkins said.
Manago received additional recognition when she was selected to the 2006 NSCAA and adidas Girls High School Scholar All-America Team. Manago was one of 35 females nationally to make the team and she was the only Kansas representative.