Story and photo by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
The 2017 state championship College of the Canyons men's golf team has been named a 2016-17 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Scholar Team Award winner.
The Scholar Team Award is the highest academic team achievement given annually by the CCCAA. It emphasizes the academic achievement of all members of one specific team.
Only one team is selected for each CCCAA sport, with a total of 23 men's and women's teams honored for the 2016-17 school year.
To be eligible, all team members must have excelled academically with a total GPA of 3.0 or higher. The team should also have demonstrated better than average accomplishments in intercollegiate athletic competition.
"To be honored with a Scholar Team Award is a great accomplishment by any team but an amazing feat for a state championship team," said COC men's golf head coach Gary Peterson. "Even more impressive is the fact that several of our golfers were international student-athletes who also had to navigate through language barriers and cultural differences. To be able to succeed both on the course and in the classroom is really outstanding work."
With players hailing from Australia, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the 2017 COC men's golf team posted a combined GPA of 3.66.
On the course, Canyons captured the program's eighth straight Western State Conference title before winning the 2017 CCCAA State Championship. The state title was the program's eighth overall and third in the last five seasons.
In addition, COC golfers Michael Lindgren and Jaeyeol Kim were both named to the CCCAA All-State team. Canyons sophomore Ben Campbell was named the WSC co-Player of the Year at the conference championships, while freshman Daniel Taplin joined Kim and Lindgren as members of the All-WSC team. Peterson was named WSC Coach of the Year.
At season's end the program saw eight players transfer to four-year NCAA universities to continue competing and pursuing their academic goals.
"Our players worked hard in the classroom and on the course," said Peterson. "I'm very proud of all of them."
The team's accomplishment was celebrated at the Celebration of Student-Athletes Award Luncheon during the CCCAA Convention on Wednesday, March 29, in Concord.
A full list of 2016-17 CCCAA Scholar Team Award winners is included here.