For the second-straight season, the Hutchinson Community College men’s track and field team was named the NJCAA Track and Field Coaches Association’s Academic Team of the Year.
The Blue Dragon women’s track and field team narrowly missed winning the award for the third-straight year by .001 point.
The Blue Dragon men’s team posted an aggregate 3.676 grade-point average in the 2016 track and field season. The HCC women’s team amassed a 3.876 team GPA. The NJCAA Track and Field Coaches Association takes the Top 10 GPA’s from each team for the spring semester to compute Team GPA for this award.
The women’s team had five athletes post 4.0 GPAs. There were 30 GPAs of 4.0 in the nation. Those posting 4.0 GPAs for the women’s team were Morgan Ash (White City, freshman), Angela Lingg (Wichita, sophomore), Angelica Soria (Topeka, sophomore), Holly Wright (Wellington, sophomore) and Jessica Yenni (Norman, Okla., sophomore). Lingg, Soria and Wright are two-time Academic All-Americans.
The Hutchinson men’s team had Ethan Artzer (Wamego, freshman), Matt Willis (Newton, sophomore) and Mark Myer (Wamego, freshman) post 4.0 GPA. Overall, there were 16 men’s 4.0 GPAs. Willis is a two-time Academic All-American.
(HCC Sports Information)
NJCAA TRACK AND FIELD COACHES ASSOCIATION ACADEMIC HONORS
1. Hutchinson CC 3.676
2. Cloud County CC 3.660
3. Lincoln College 3.536
4. Butler CC 3.526
5. South Plains College 3.306
6. Highland CC 3.271
7. Harper College 3.223
8. Vincennes University 3.190
Men’s NJCAA Academic All-Americans (HCC athletes only)
Ethan Artzer (Wamego, KS; Freshman) 4.00
Mark Meyer (Wamego, KS; Freshman) 4.00
Matt Willis (Newton, KS, Sophomore) 4.00
Jake Falder (Lincoln, KS; Sophomore) 3.79
Seth Snelling (Marion, KS; Freshman) 3.79
Weston Riner (Pratt, KS; Sophomore) 3.77
Kamdon Basinger (Brookville, KS; Freshman) 3.71
1. Butler CC 3.877
2. Hutchinson CC 3.876
3. Cloud County CC 3.630
4. Cuyahoga CC 3.623
5. Harper College 3.599
6. New Mexico Junior College 3.502
7. Lincoln College 3.452
8. Highland CC 3.440
9. South Plains College 3.320
10. Vincennes University 3.268
Women’s NJCAA Academic All-Americans (HCC athletes only)
Morgan Ash (White City, KS; Freshman) 4.00
Angela Lingg (Wichita, KS; Sophomore) 4.00
Angelica Soria (Topeka, KS; Sophomore) 4.00
Holly Wright (Wellington, KS; Sophomore) 4.00
Jessica Yenni (Norman, OK; Sophomore) 4.00
Leah Nelson (Wellington, KS; Freshman) 3.82
Kylie James (Manhattan, KS; Freshman) 3.81
Jaclyn Melillo (Wichita, KS; Freshman) 3.80
Emily Baldwin (Windom, KS; Sophomore) 3.75
Michael Helman’s sensational freshman season with the Hutchinson Community College baseball team earned national recognition on Tuesday.
Helman was named the 2016 ABCA/Rawlings NJCAA Division I Gold Glove winner at second base.
Helman is the first Blue Dragon in team history to be named to the national Gold Glove team in Division I.
Primarily a second baseman, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound freshman from Lincoln, Nebraska (Lincoln Puis X), also started games in left field, right field and on the pitcher’s mound this past season.
Helman made all the routine plays in his freshman season for the 39-20 Blue Dragons and also turned in more than his share of dazzling plays showing great range at second base.
Helman posted a .979 overall fielding percentage on 191 total defensive chances this season. His 111 assists were 12th most in Blue Dragon single-season history. He committed only four errors all season.
Helman helped turn 29 double plays in 2016.
Also named first-team All-Jayhawk West, first-team All-Region VI and a Region VI Gold Glove selection at second base, Helman was equally impressive at the plate.
Helman became the 21st Blue Dragon in program history to post a season batting average of .400 or higher with a team-high .416 batting average.
His 89 total hits are second most in program season history. Helman had 20 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, 58 RBIs and 64 runs scored. He tied for fourth in season history in total bases (140) and tied for fourth in doubles. He tied for the eighth-most runs scored. Helman also led the 2016 Blue Dragons in stolen bases going 24 for 25.
He tied an HCC single-game record with three home runs against Independence on May 7. He put together HCC’s third-longest hitting streak in program history at 18 games.
Helman had a team-high 30 multi-hit games, including three four-hit games. He had 14 multi-RBI games as well.
As a pitcher, Helman made eight total appearances with five starts. He was 0-1 with one save and a 2.45 ERA. In 22 innings pitched, Helman had 22 strikeouts to only three walks and opponents hit .269 against him. He worked a season-long five innings twice against Garden City and Longview.
Helman’s save came against Cloud County on March 26.
(HCC Sports Information)
For the first time in Hutchinson Community College baseball history, two Blue Dragon baseball players earned NJCAA All-America recognition in the same season.
Outfielder Caden Doga and shortstop Shane Cooper were both named honorable mention All-Americans as the NJCAA released the 2016 Division I teams on Monday afternoon. In all, eight Jayhawk Conference players were listed on the top three teams and honorable mention list.
Doga and Cooper become the 11th and 12th All-Americans in Blue Dragon baseball history, the second and third for HCC head coach Ryan Schmidt.
Doga and Cooper combined to break seven season records during HCC’s 39-20 campaign in 2016.
Doga, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound freshman left fielder from Rustin, La., had the best season in terms of power in Blue Dragons history. Not only did Doga break HCC’s single-season home run record (19) in 39 games, but he smashed the career mark of 27 in 56 fewer games than Tim Olson (1998-99) set it in.
Doga led the NJCAA with 31 total home runs this season posting seven two-home runs games. He tied Seward County Corey Patton’s Jayhawk Conference home run record.
HCC’s freshman outfielder also set single-season Blue Dragon records for RBIs (87), total bases (180) and extra base hits (43). His .861 slugging percentage was third in the nation and fourth in single-season program history. His 180 total bases were sixth most in the nation.
Doga hit .340 for the season with 71 total hits and 67 runs scored (third most in program history). He also had eight doubles and a team-high-tying four triples. He walked 32 times and had an on-base percentage of .444. Doga also was 12 for 15 in stolen bases.
Doga posted 20 multi-hit games with a season high of four hits on Feb. 26 at Rose State. He had 26 multi-RBI games, which included a season high of six against Garden City on April 24 at Hobart-Detter Field.
Defensively, Doga led the Blue Dragons with five outfield assists.
Cooper, a 5-11, 170-pound transfer shortstop from O’Fallon, Mo., became the 22nd Blue Dragon in program history to register a .400 batting average, finishing right at .400 for the season in a team season record 240 at-bats.
Cooper set a Blue Dragon season record with 96 total hits with 23 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs, 49 RBIs and 69 runs scored. His 23 doubles, 156 total bases and runs scored all ranked No. 2 in their respective HCC season categories.
Cooper was eighth in the NJCAA in total hits and 17th in doubles.
Cooper had a season-high four hits six times this season and had 27 multi-hit games and 11 multi-RBI games overall. Cooper was one of seven Blue Dragons to string together a hitting streak of 10 or more games.
Cooper’s 161 defensive assists shattered Jake Schleppenbach’s 2014 team season record for assists.
(HCC Sports Information)
BLUE DRAGON BASEBALL NJCAA ALL-AMERICANS
1995 – Corey Brittan Honorable Mention - Starting Pitcher
1998 – Chris Finnegan Honorable Mention – Catcher
1999 – Tim Olson Honorable Mention - Infield
2000 – Kent Becker Honorable Mention - Catcher
2002 – Brad Flanders 2nd Team - Catcher
2006 – Thad Weber 2nd Team - Infield
2009 – Stewart Hoover 3rd Team - Outfield
2010 – Shawn Lewick Honorable Mention - Starting Pitcher
2012 – Tanner Lubach 2nd Team - Catcher
2014 – Kyle Simonds 1st Team - Starting Pitcher
2016 – Caden Doga Honorable Mention – Outfielder
2016 – Shane Cooper Honorable Mention – Infielder
Former Hutchinson Community College pitcher Kyle Simonds is in the midst of perhaps the biggest day of his playing career.
Pitching for Texas A&M this season, the 2014 Blue Dragon graduate will start Game 2 of the Aggies’ Super Regional against TCU on Saturday night in College Station, Texas with the Aggies’ season on the line.
But Saturday got off to a raucous start when the Grand Island, Nebraska, native became the 31st Blue Dragon baseball player to be selected in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft.
Simonds was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 14th round with the 424th overall pick on Day 3 of the Draft.
This is the third-straight draft that at least one Blue Dragon has been selected. In 2014, Matt Jones was a 25th-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Last season, Tanner Lubach was drafted in the ninth round by the Los Angeles Angels and Logan Landon was a 10th-round pick of the Dodgers.
Simonds is the 13th Blue Dragon to be taken in the top 15 rounds.
In 2014, Simonds was one of the main cogs for the 2014 Jayhawk West champion Blue Dragons, turning in what is considered the best single season by an HCC pitcher in Blue Dragon history.
Simonds was the 2014 NJCAA Division I Baseball National Pitcher of the Year.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound sophomore right-handed starting pitcher was also Blue Dragon baseball’s first NJCAA First-Team All-American. In addition to those awards, Simonds was the 2014 Jayhawk West Pitcher of the Year, first-team All-Jayhawk West and All-Region VI and was the Region VI Gold Glove winner as a pitcher.
Simonds finished the 2014 season as the national leader in pitching victories posting a 13-0 record in 13 starts. The Blue Dragon ace finished with a season earned-run average of 2.20. He set team records for strikeouts in a season with 103 (sixth in the NJCAA) and tied team season records for complete games (9) and shutouts (3). Simonds was second in the nation in complete games and fourth in the nation in shutouts.
In a team-season record 94 innings pitched, Simonds allowed just 75 hits, 32 runs, 23 earned runs and walked just 12. Opponents hit just .210 against Simonds in 2014.
Simonds had six games of 10 or more strikeout, including a career-best 13 against Allen in Game 1 of the Region VI Sub-Regional opening-round series at Hobart-Detter Field.
Simonds finished his Blue Dragon career with a 15-4 record and a 3.02 earned-run average. He is tied for fourth with Craig Reed (1999-2000) and Shawn Lewick (2009-10) for fourth on the career wins list. His ERA is 13th best in team history. He threw 128 career innings (ranks seventh on HCC’s career list). His 123 career strikeouts rank sixth best in HCC history. His 10 complete games rank No. 5 on the career list and his three shutouts tie for fourth best in a career.
As a junior at Texas A&M in 2015, Simonds made 22 appearances, including five starts. He posted a 3-2 record with two saves and a 2.39 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 52 2-3 innings.
This season, Simonds made national news when he authored a no-hitter against Vanderbilt, the first no-hitter in a Southeastern Conference game in 12 seasons. One week before that, Simonds tossed his first Division I complete game in a 6-2 win at Arkansas.
Simonds is 10-3 this season with a 2.73 ERA. He has struck out 74 and walked just 23 in 92 1-3 innings.
In his first postseason start of 2016, Simonds struck out 10 over seven innings in a 13-3 victory over Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament. Last week, he worked just 5 1-3 innings, but picked up the win in 4-2 Aggie victory over Binghamton in the opening game of the College Station Regional.
(HCC Sports Information)
Before Holley Kelley starts her pitching career at Missouri State this fall, the Hutchinson Community pitcher received a little more recognition for her outstanding 2016 performance with the Blue Dragons.
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) named Hutchinson’s sophomore pitcher to the second team of its junior college Division II All-America team, which was announced on Friday.
Last month, Kelley was named to the second team of the NJCAA Division II All-America team. She becomes the first Blue Dragon softball player to be named All-American on two different teams in the same season.
Kelley is the first NFCA All-American since Sarah Rothe in 2014, the same year she was named the Catcher of the Year in junior college Division II by that organization.
The hard-throwing right-hander from Cypress, Texas, produced one of the best pitching performances in program history in 2016.
Kelley is only the second Blue Dragon pitcher to win 20 or more games in back-to-back seasons, joining Tammy Parrish (1986-87). Kelley won 20 games in her freshman season. This season, Kelley carried the Blue Dragons in the pitching circle as HCC posted one of its best seasons in history at 38-8 and a No. 8 final national ranking.
The hard-throwing right-hander finished her sophomore season at 26-5 with a 1.97 earned-run average with 23 complete games, six shutouts and five saves. Her 262 strikeouts led the Jayhawk Conference and were third in the nation. She also ranked first in the KJCCC in wins, second in saves and third in ERA.
In the NJCAA, Kelley ranks fourth in wins, second in complete games and 21st in ERA.
Kelley threw two no-hitters this season, including a perfect game against Hesston College. She has had eight games with 10 or more strikeouts, including a career-high 14 against Kansas City.
Kelley owns seven single-season and nine career pitching records at HCC.
Offensively, Kelley had a .438 batting average with a team-high 70 total hits, 17 doubles, 13 home runs, 51 runs scored and 57 RBIs. Her on-base percentage was .495 and slugging percentage was .800.
Kelley ranks fifth in the Jayhawk in batting average, fourth in hits, sixth in doubles and RBIs and seventh in runs scored and home runs.
She has had 23 multi-hit games, including two four-hit games.
Kelley ranks in the Top 5 of nine different HCC single-season offensive categories and has already set the record for total bases with 127.
(HCC Sports Information)
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