Darton State College athletics rank No. 9 nationally

Eight of the 11 Darton sports in 2013-14 competed at nationals

Mike Kiefer

Mike Kiefer

ALBANY — After an excellent 2013-14 season, Darton State College athletics ranked No. 9 among all NJCAA Division I athletics departments, the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletics Administrators announced this week.

Darton Athletics Director Mike Kiefer called it a big win for the Darton community.

“A ranking like this in large part is due to the commitment from everyone involved — the coaches, student-athletes, administration, faculty, staff and our supporters within the community,” he said. “You don’t see this type of success unless you have that — the total buy-in from everyone involved.”

It was another banner year for Darton, which saw eight of its 11 programs earn a spot at nationals.

Twenty-two Cavs were named All-Americans, and 39 student-athletes earned All-Region XVII awards. Four Darton athletes won Region Player of the Year or Most Valuable Player awards, and seven Cavs coaches took Region Coach of the Year honors. The school also had three District Coach of the Year awards and a National Coach of the Year honor from diving coach Ed Goodman.

Other individual highlights for Darton were two gold, two silver and two bronze medals, a National Diver of the Year award (Crawford Berry), one Golden Glove in baseball (Trey Haygood), two non-scholarship division national titles and two district championship titles.

Darton ranked highest among athletics programs from the southeast U.S., and the honor follows Darton’s program-record 11 academic awards the NJCAA announced last week.

“If you want to win, you come to Darton,” said Jamie Barker, Darton assistant professor of English and men’s soccer academic advisor. “This just further demonstrates the esteemed dedication our coaches and athletes have for athletic and academic excellence.”

Iowa Western Community College was named the top NJCAA athletics program in the country with 169.5 points in the NATYCAA Cup standings. Darton’s 84 points were split evenly between the men’s and women’s programs.

The next highest NJCAA school from Georgia on the list was South Georgia College, which accumulated 36 points. Other Region XVII programs listed in the scholarship division were ABAC (24.5), Georgia Military College (18), Georgia Perimeter (18), South Georgia Tech (17), Chattahoochee Tech (13.5), Andrew College (10) and Central Georgia Tech (1.25)