Liberty Athletics: Six Flames named to VaSID Academic All-State Team
Liberty student-athletes Jovaine Atkinson, Chase Burton, Ruben Garcia, Mikayla Herich, Amelia Johnson and Allison Schaefer have earned spots on the 2019-20 Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) Academic All-State Team.
Every Commonwealth college and university, including NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA and independents, had the opportunity to submit student-athletes to be honored. To be eligible, student-athletes were required to have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better. The student must have achieved sophomore status, and he or she could not have been in the first season of competition at their current school.
Burton and Garcia are both repeat honorees from the 2018-19 VaSID Academic All-State Team, while Atkinson was previously a member of the 2017-18 VaSID Academic All-State Team.
A native of Spanish Town, Jamaica, Atkinson recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics, maintaining a 3.82 GPA. He was voted the Flames’ first-ever ASUN Men’s Indoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the year and was a CoSIDA Academic All-District® selection. The ASUN men’s 60 hurdles champion ranked No. 18 nationally in the event with his season-best time of 7.75.
Burton recently became Liberty’s first men’s tennis player ever to earn CoSIDA Academic All-District® recognition. A three-time ITA Scholar-Athlete and the 2019 ASUN Men’s Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Burton owns the program record for career singles wins (77). Last month, the native of Naples, Fla., graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration: entrepreneurship and a 3.92 GPA.
A CoSIDA Academic All-America® second team selection, Garcia started 41 straight games to close out his collegiate career with the men’s soccer team. He completed his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a 4.0 GPA and owns a 3.92 GPA during his graduate work in graphic design. The Madrid, Spain native was selected as the 2019 ASUN Men’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Herich, a redshirt junior, helped the Liberty women’s swimming & diving program successfully defend its CCSA title. She was named the CCSA Meet Most Outstanding Swimmer after winning three events (200 IM, 400 IM, 1,650 freestyle). A native of Hebron, Ky., Herich graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a 4.0 GPA.
Johnson was a CoSIDA Academic All-America® third team honoree after a breakthrough redshirt junior season. The Roseau, Minn., native was voted the ASUN Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was a first team All-ASUN honoree. She graduated in May 2019 with a 4.0 GPA as an interdisciplinary studies major and currently boasts a 3.89 GPA during her graduate studies in public health.
Schaefer, who hails from Millersville, Pa., was named a NFHCA Scholar of Distinction for the first time and a NFHCA National Academic Squad member for the fourth time. She started all 74 games in goal during her four seasons with the field hockey team, setting program records for wins (39), shutouts (16) and saves (354). She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a 3.82 GPA in May 2019. Schaefer currently maintains a 4.0 GPA as she pursues a master’s degree in human performance – strength & conditioning.