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Representatives from NAIA scholar athlete teamsBaseball, Women's Soccer Teams Among Top Academic Performers in Nation

Reinhardt College's 2007 baseball and 2006 women's soccer teams recently received national recognition as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced its 2006-07 scholar teams. To be named a scholar team, a squad must have at least a 3.0 combined grade-point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. The baseball team finished fourth in the nation while the women's soccer squad ranked seventh.

"We feel we have made great progress with our baseball program as we became a very strong academic group after only three years," said Bill Popp, Reinhardt's athletic director and head baseball coach. "I think it is a tribute to the commitment and hard work academically of the student-athletes and coaching staff.

"Women's soccer has always been one of our stronger teams academically, and I was very pleased to see that group get some recognition at the national level. Coach Kaplan does a great job motivating the team not only academically, but also competitively."

The NAIA has 205 schools that sponsor baseball as an intercollegiate sport, and Reinhardt's program was one of just 11 to qualify as a scholar team. The Eagles finished with a 3.16 GPA and fourth nationally. In only its third year, Reinhardt continued to improve on the field as well, posting a 28-27 overall record and earning its first-ever bid to the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament.

In women's soccer, 46 of 214 teams achieved a minimum 3.0 GPA last year. Reinhardt had a 3.41 GPA, ranking seventh in the country. The Lady Eagles were 8-6-2 overall in 2006, including 4-4-2 in SSAC play.

"I am very proud of the academic performance of our team," said Andy Kaplan, Reinhardt' head women's soccer coach. "We recruit intelligent young women and require them to work hard in the classroom and on the soccer field. To have the seventh highest GPA in the country is a tremendous accomplishment for our program, and we hope to move even higher in the rankings this year."

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