|Isaiah Johnson, NJCAA Award for Exemplary Academic Achievement|
The Trailblazers soccer team will begin this season without their Academic All American starter Isaiah Johnson, whom graduated in the fall. Johnson received this latest accolade, the NJCAA Award for Exemplary Academic Achievement in July, but the team is already back at work this early August in his absence; MCC-Blue River training camp has begun.
According to Trailblazers Coach David Owens, “Isaiah has been a high character student-athlete at MCC-Blue River for the past two years. He is extremely focused on his academics, having earned twenty-one college credits before he even graduated from high school. While at MCC-Blue River, Isaiah demonstrated a remarkable ability to balance academics and athletics.”
Johnson became a National Junior College Athletic Association Academic All American for his A average in the rigorous Associate in Engineering Program. Hefollows in the footsteps of his sister Anna Johnson, a 2009-2010 NJCAA Academic All-American. Additionally, he has been involved on campus and was a volunteer for the past two Martin Luther King Day of Service projects at Hillcrest (2010) and Rainbow Center (2011).
Isaiah has also excelled as an athlete. Coach Owens says that “before tryouts his freshman year, he wasn’t guaranteed a roster spot, nor was he guaranteed a scholarship. He did not let this deter him. He came to tryouts prepared, worked hard and earned not only a roster spot, but an athletic scholarship. Isaiah’s determination to succeed on the field didn’t stop there. He earned very little playing time the first part of his freshman season. He again rose to the challenge and played quality playing time towards the end of the season on a team that advanced to the NJCAA Region XVI Semifinals.”
Isaiah brought that experience to the 2010 season. He started nearly every game for a Trailblazer team which went on to become NJCAA Region XVI Champions as well as Central District Runners-up.
Coach Dave Owens continued, “Only sixteen of the 143 NJCAA soccer programs make it as far as a District Final,” Coach Owens sayd, and Isaiah Johnson was “a major contributor on one of those teams. That’s a significant accomplishment for a player that wasn’t guaranteed a place on the team the previous year. His coachable attitude, work ethic and sense of personal responsibility exemplify what it means to be a standout student-athlete. MCC-Blue River was very fortunate to have Isaiah Johnson as part of its school and athletic program the past two years.”