MISHAWAKA—The NAIA Scholar Awards took place on Sept. 15 this year, and Bethel had 18 teams honored, as well as 95 athletes. The NAIA Scholar Awards are designed to recognize the hard work that student-athletes have done not only on the field but in the classroom. To qualify for the individual award the athlete must be an upperclassman with a 3.5 GPA or higher. For the team award the team must have a 3.0 GPA as a team.
“"It's very important to the athletic department,” Bethel Athletic Director, Tony Natali said. “It's nice to see us to be very well represented. We had about 10 more individual honorees than last year.”
The Bethel athletic teams that qualified for the team award were: Women’s Tennis, Men’s Golf, Women’s Basketball, Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Cross Country, Men’s Soccer, Baseball, Softball, Men’s Cross Country, Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field, Women’s Volleyball, Men’s Swimming & Diving, Men’s Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field, and Women’s Golf.
“Our average is about 17-20 teams during my tenure,” Natali said. “I think we are toward the top of the average as far as the number of teams go.”
One aspect of the Athletic Department that has been pushed is their motto of “Get Used to Different.” This idea has been pushed both on the athletic field, but as well as the classroom. One idea that Natali has pushed is to be different and not follow the “status quo.” The idea to be different is not for the sake of changing, but to have coaches and teammates to challenge each other to grow academically, athletically, and spiritually.
For more information on Bethel University athletics visit https://www.bupilots.com/index.