TCC student-athletes named to all-academic teams

October 17, 2016

Tallahassee, Fla. (October 17, 2016)—Student-athletes at Tallahassee Community College are proving that hard work pays off in the classroom, just like it does on the court or the playing field.

At a recent meeting of TCC’s District Board of Trustees, Rob Chaney, director of athletics, talked about student-athletes’ successes during the 2015-2016 academic year. He noted that TCC’s student-athletes had a course completion rate of 94%, compared to 77% for the general student body. Even more impressively, second-year athletics participants had a 100% graduation rate. Nineteen of those graduating student-athletes transferred to a four-year college or university to participate in intercollegiate athletics.

“That shows that our students are succeeding both athletically and academically,” said Chaney. “That’s a tribute to the hard work of the students and their coaches, and to the faculty members, advisors and other TCC staff who support them.”

Thirty-five TCC student-athletes were named to the 2016 Panhandle Conference All-Academic Team, and 20 of those were also named to the Florida College System Athletic Association’s All-Academic Team.

3 TCC softball players on national all-academic teamSix student-athletes even earned a spot on the National Junior College Athletic Association All-Academic Team: softball players Elisa Cecchetti, Casey Durham, Bre NeSmith and Alexandra Cook, along with baseball players Octavio Marin and Craig Olson. Cecchetti was recognized in the Pinnacle category, for players with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Cecchetti, Durham, NeSmith and Marin are sophomores this year, while Cook and Olson have graduated. All four current students emphasized the need for good time management to balance practices, games and workouts with a rigorous class schedule.

“With softball we are not going to pay bills, so we need an education,” said Elisa Cecchetti. “Coach Patti [Townsend] always tells us life is about choices. So if we want to be successful, in life as in softball, we’ve got to focus on school and practice.”

Cecchetti, who plays catcher for the Eagles, plans to major in journalism and would like to become a sports journalist. She attended high school in Arese, Italy.

Octavio Marin, a left-handed relief pitcher from Miami, agreed on the importance of time management.

“If you don’t manage your time, you’re going to be stressing all the time. The less stress you have, the better you perform in the classroom and on the field.”

TCC baseball player Octavio MarinMarin plans to major in athletic training and hopes to become a physician’s assistant. He would like to continue playing baseball at a four-year school after graduating from TCC.

Casey Durham is a utility player from McDonough, Georgia, and is interested in criminology. Her teammate Bre NeSmith, who plays catcher, intends to major in education. She is a graduate of Chiles High School in Tallahassee.

TCC participates in five intercollegiate sports: baseball, softball, men’s and women’s basketball, and women’s cross country, which is a new addition this year. Athletic director Chaney pointed out that TCC’s student-athletes are expected to participate in community service in addition to their academic and athletic responsibilities.

For information contact Rob Chaney at (850) 201-6085 or