The previous photo used was changed because the team pictured was the 2012 team, not the 2013 team.
The men’s cross-country team at American River College has been selected as the Scholar Team’s recipients for Northern California for the 2013 season.
The award is handed out every year by the California Community College Athletic Association to a team that maintains an average GPA of 3.0.
The committee meets once each every year and the winner of the award is announced in February.
For that season, the team averaged a 3.22 GPA.
Cross-country head coach Rick Anderson, who himself won the Pepsi Scholar Athlete of the Year award in 1993, says he views his athletes as being students first and athletes second.
“Academics is important to me. College education gets you through life,” said Anderson. “For a lot of these guys, track is what keeps them in school.”
Sophomore Ricky Parra, who runs the 1500-meter event, agreed with Anderson that academics was more important than athletics.
“(It’s) important. Obviously running can only take you so far, coach wouldn’t have you on the team,” said Parra.
They also finished as state champions for the third consecutive season.
Sophomore runners Luis Luna and Will Reyes earned All-American recognition in that year as well.
Sophomore Xavier Howell, who was not on the 2013 squad, also believes school should be important to the team.
“School is priority number one,” said Howell. “You’ll only be here temporarily and you’ll still need your degree.
“Accomplishments on top of accomplishments, it feels good.”