Edison State Community College (D-II) has been selected as the 2019–2020 OCCAC All-Sports Award winner. This season marks the first for which this honor has been given to Edison State. Last season, Edison State finished as the 2018–2019 runner-up among all nine schools in Division II.
"I am very proud of all the coaches and student-athletes for being named the OCCAC All-Sports Award winners," Nate Cole, Edison State Director of Athletics & Student Life, said. "Our student-athletes do a great job in the classroom and on/off the court and fields. Our focus on academics first and sportsmanship is key to our student-athletes doing a great job in the classroom and the game/match."
Cole continued with "Our process of academic support for our student-athletes is another big factor to our success. We do weekly grade checks, have student-athletes utilize the Tutoring Center if they need academic assistance, host multiple mandatory weekly study table sessions, and hold weekly one-on-one meetings with every student-athlete to check in with them and provide help with any problem they might have at school or home."
With the arrival of Nate Cole as Edison State's Athletic Director in 2015, Edison State's athletic programs continue to excel. Fielding teams in women's volleyball, basketball, and softball along with men's basketball and baseball, things are definitely moving in the right direction for the college's sports initiatives. Additionally, Cole appreciates the leadership of Edison State President Dr. Doreen Larson. "She has always been very supportive of athletics at Edison State and continues to show leadership and tenacity in what the college is doing and I can't give her enough credit for that. That makes my job easier knowing I have her support as we grow and gain recognition in our athletic programs."
The award is tallied by issuing points to schools based on their place of finish in each OCCAC-sponsored sport and dividing that total by the number of sports at each respective school. Conference divisional champions earn 10 points, second place earns nine and so on. Ties are divided (i.e., a two-way tie for second place would result in both schools receiving 8.5 points; a three-way tie for second place would give each team 8.0 points).
Edison State was impressive across the board, finishing inside the D-II top-3 for all three sports, including a shared championship for women's basketball led by OCCAC Coach of the Year Tim McMahon. Sarah Pothast, a two-sport star for the Chargers, was selected for the All-OCCAC First Team in both volleyball and basketball.
With the Chargers continuing to excel both on and off the playing field, Edison State's future for student-athletes and division titles looks bright. Cole summed it up correctly, "Edison State Athletics proves you can win by focusing on academics and sportsmanship and doing things the right way." From the looks of things, it appears that is working out just fine.