By Mike Ballard
CAMDEN Rutgers University-Camden placed five student-athletes on the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area teams when the newspaper announced its fall sports squads Sunday.
A pair of Scarlet Raptors were named to the All-Area Men’s Soccer team, as junior midfielder Rodney Guishard (Mays Landing, NJ/Oakcrest) and sophomore back/midfielder A.J. O’Malley (Westmont, NJ/Haddon Township) were each honored on the Inquirer’s second annual fall academic squad.
Rutgers-Camden sophomore back Jenna Perez (Deptford, NJ/Deptford) was named to the All-Area Women’s Soccer team. The Raptors also had an all-academic performer from both of their men’s and women’s cross country teams. Senior Rachel McCormick (Blue Anchor, NJ/Winslow Township) made the Inquirer Academic All-Area Women’s Cross Country Team for the second straight year, while sophomore Travis Stewart (Runnemede, NJ/Triton Regional) was named to the Academic All-Area Men’s Cross Country Team.
Guishard and O’Malley are both members of Rutgers-Camden’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), with Guishard serving as a co-chair. They helped the 13-4-6 Raptors place second in the New Jersey Athletic Conference race for the second straight year, then win ECAC Division III Men’s Metro Soccer Championship.
O’Malley, who sports a 3.5 GPA as a Business major, played in all 23 games for the Scarlet Raptors. He contributed two assists while helping the team post 10 shutouts.
Guishard, who carries a 3.63 GPA as a Marketing major, collected six goals and six assists in 21 games to finish third on the team in scoring (18 points). He recorded a team-leading four game-winning goals and was named to the d3kicks.com Team of the Week on Sept. 12. He earned all-tournament honors at the Raptors’ Cialella Soccer Classic (Sept. 8-9) and was the school’s Raptor of the Week Sept. 11.
Earlier this season, Guishard was named to the ESPN The Magazine College Division Academic All-District 2 Men’s Soccer First Team. As a sophomore, he earned NJAC All-Academic Honorable Mention.
Perez helped the Lady Raptors post a 10-9-1 record and seven shutouts this season. She has appeared in all 40 games during her Rutgers-Camden career. Perez, who has yet to declare a major, carries a 3.89 GPA. She is a Dean’s List student who has earned a Dean’s Academic Excellence Scholarship and the Provost’s Award.
McCormick, a repeat selection on the Inquirer All-Area Academic Women’s Cross Country Team, sports a 3.85 GPA as a Mathematics major. She also was named to the NJAC All-Academic First Team for the 2005-06 school year.
A three-year cross country letterwinner, McCormick was the Raptors’ No. 2 runner in all of her races as a junior and led the team in all five of her events this season. McCormick, who also has lettered on the Raptors’ indoor and outdoor track teams, earned All-NJAIAW cross country honors during her sophomore season in 2004.
Another athlete who has lettered in indoor and outdoor track, in addition to cross country, is Stewart, who carries a 3.25 GPA in Economics. He also has been the Raptors’ top runner throughout his young career, leading the team in all 15 of his career races. He set a meet record of 27:07.37 in winning the Cabrini College Invitational (Oct. 10, 2006) and became the Raptors’ first All-NJAC runner, finishing eighth overall to earn NJAC Second Team honors at the conference meet (Oct. 28). He also finished 12th at the ECAC Championships (Nov. 4) and 59th at the NCAA Atlantic Regionals (Nov. 18). He already holds four of the top 10 8K times in program history, and also holds numerous program records in indoor and outdoor track. A three-time Raptor of the Week this fall (Oct. 16, Oct. 30 and Nov. 6), Stewart earned MVP honors in both cross country and outdoor track as a freshman.