COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's golf program earned the Northeast-10 Conference Team Academic Excellence Award for its sport for the 2018-19 school year after posting the highest cumulative grade-point average in the league.
Under fourth-year head coach Jason Bedard, the Purple Knights posted a cumulative 3.376 GPA behind all 10 members of the program landing on the NE10 Academic Honor Roll, necessitating a 3.0 term, for at least one semester this past school year. Eight of the 10 were recognized in both semesters. The academic accolade capped a year that saw the squad continue surging toward program records and historic achievements.
Chief among the on-course accomplishments this past school year was the program having representation on the national stage for the first time, when rising senior Matt Johnson (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) qualified for the NCAA Atlantic/East Regional Championship. He tied for 50th in a field of 107. Johnson also landed NE10 All-Conference honors.
As a team, the Purple Knights regularly competed with the best squads in the region, and registered two of the lowest four round scores in school annals. Four shot 75 or better for the first time in program history during an eighth-place tie with two 2018 NCAA qualifiers at Southern New Hampshire University in September, when the Purple and Gold's tournament score was its best in at least 25 years. Saint Michael's later fired its second-fewest strokes at an NE10 Championship. By taking sixth out of 12 schools at October's Le Moyne College Invitational, the Purple Knights trailed four 2018 NCAA competitors while besting the hosts, another NCAA squad.
The College nearly had three programs land the accolade, as men's basketball and women's soccer were fractions of a point off of the league lead. Four Purple and Gold programs paced the conference in 2017-18, with women's basketball, men's ice hockey, softball and men's swimming & diving leading the way.
The NE10 Team Academic Excellence Award is bestowed upon teams with the top GPA among each of the league's 24 sponsored sports. In all, 72.0 percent of the programs in the conference accumulated a 3.0 GPA in 2018-19. Fourteen of the 18 Saint Michael's programs that compete in the NE10 registered 3.0 GPAs.