Members of the Martin girls’ basketball team amassed a cumulative team GPA of 3.76 to rank 19th among all Division 4 teams. (File photo)

Clippers receive Academic All-State recognition

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk
The Martin girls’ basketball team shined on the court during the 2019-20 season, racking up a 22-1 record and advancing to a Division 4 regional final before the season was suspended and ultimately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Clippers also excelled in the classroom.
With a cumulative team GPA of 3.76, Martin ranked 19th among Division 4 squads and earned Honorable Mention Academic All-State as a result.
The award is a reflection of the players’ character, according to Martin coach Ben Schipper.
“This award speaks volumes to our entire team’s commitment beyond the court and in the classroom,” he said. “As coaches, there are so many things running through our minds at all times. When you can eliminate even just one of those things, it reduces stress and allows focus to be spent on other things.
“I was so fortunate to have a team that academics were never an issue for,” Schipper said. “Every week I would get the academic report for my girls without having to worry about them slipping up in classes.”
Team members included Kelsey DeMann, Freddie Elkins, Faith Guritz, Jaclyn Hildebrand, Jordyn Seiser, Gracie Shettler, Briana Warner, Kiaya Warner and Natalie Yowler.
“The girls are very self-motivated in everything they do,” Schipper said. “They understand the importance of academics, and beyond that, they want to do well. They want to be the best student they can be in addition to the best athlete. Their diligence to their academics is evident in their involvement and the ways they challenge themselves.”
Four members of the team were dual enrolling in college classes throughout the school year.
Strong time-management skills were important for those and all the players on the Martin roster as most had other commitments with which to deal as well.
“Several of the girls are also involved in National Honor Society, student council, tech center programs and drama class putting on productions,” Schipper said. “High school students have a lot asked of them and the way these girls handled themselves through it all is truly amazing. 
“I am an extremely proud coach.”

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