Sophomore defense man Rafael Ramos has earned the highest academic distinction from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), Scholar Athlete of the Year. Ramos had previously been named a 1st Team All-American selection for the NSCAA, as well as an NSCAA Scholar All-American. He will receive his award at the National Convention in January in Chicago, IL.
The award is given annually to the soccer player who has displayed the highest level of achievement both on the pitch and in the classroom, which Ramos exemplifies completely. Ramos, who is a two year co-captain for the Tigers was also named to the ICCAC 1st team. Ramos anchored the nation's best defense, playing all positions on the back line over the course of the season. The defense only allowed 11 goals all season, none in the National Tournament. In addition to his defensive efforts, Ramos also chipped in two goals and had an assist, and buried the winning penalty kick in the District Championship to send the team to the National Tournament.
In the classroom, Ramos is a Liberal Arts major who will graduate in May with his Associate's of Arts degree. He carries a 3.66 grade point average and was named 1st Team Academic All-Region for the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference last season, a feat he is on track to accomplish this year as well. He is from Sao Paulo, Brazil and has several Division I scholarship offers to choose from as he pursues his Bachelor's Degree in Business.
"Having success in the classroom is what we strive for in the Athletic Department, and having success on the field is a huge bonus," MCC Director of Athletics, Kathleen Brown stated. "Rafa has shown a great dedication both on and off of the field and is extremely well deserving of this prestigious award. Seeing Rafa progress through the ESL (English as a Second Language) track, putting himself in a position to excel in his other classes has been inspiring. He has allowed for himself to transfer to the four year school of his choosing which I know he will continue to achieve the highest level of success."