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Raider's Shepherd named Academic All-State

Shenandoah senior Hillery Shepherd (32) guards Triton Central’s Maya Chandler (10) on the perimeter during the girls basketball championship game of Class 2A Sectional 42 at Triton Central High School Feb. 3. Shepherd led the Raiders in scoring in that contest and was named First Team Academic All-State by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.

By PAT McKEE of the IBCA and C-T Staff Report

INDIANAPOLIS — Seventy-five Indiana high school seniors — 36 boys and 39 girls — have been chosen as first-team Academic All-State by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association, it was announced Wednesday (March 7).

In addition, 181 more boys and 174 more girls were recognized as honorable mention Academic All-State for 2018, IBCA executive director Steve Witty said.

Locally, Shenandoah High School senior Hillery Shepherd was the only player, boy or girl, to make First Team Academic All-State. Shepherd was a steadying veteran presence in a young Raiders lineup that included three freshman starters. Shepherd was named to the C-T All-Area Second Team for 2017-18.

Just outside the local area, Eastern Hancock’s A.J. Muegge and Tristan Parrish of Union (Modoc) also were named First Team Academic All-State.

A few local boys were named Honorable Mention Academic All-State. Those players were New Castle seniors Matthew Dickerson and Niah Williamson and Shenandoah seniors Chase Kinsey and Dylan Frost. All four will be competing with their teams at separate regional sites Saturday.

Just outside the local area, Cambridge City Lincoln had four seniors named Honorable Mention Academic All-State: Caleb Craig, Carter Mettler, Bryce Smith, and Austin Wampler.

The IBCA Academic All-State team is a program where academic prowess and athletic prowess both are considered in the selections. Items such as grade-point average, college board scores and academic class rank are considered along with athletic performance in areas such as points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game.

“The quality of these “student-athletes shows that success in academics and success in athletics are not separate entities,” Witty said. “Rather, in many cases, a player’s success in the classroom directly contributes to his or her success on the floor.”

IBCA-member head coaches from schools across the state may nominate their seniors who meet criteria that include a 3.5 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale, a class rank in the upper 25 percent of one’s class, an SAT score of 1,100 (on the reading and math sections) or an ACT score of 24.

Once nominations are received, an IBCA committee reviews the information and determines awards for first team and honorable mention.

Those selected will receive certificates from the IBCA for their honor. Those certificates will be distributed to coaches at the IBCA Spring Clinic on April 20-21 in Indianapolis. The coaches then present the certificates to the honored players after they return from the clinic.

The IBCA has selected an Academic All-State team for boys since 1973. The program was expanded to include a girls’ Academic All-State team in 1980.