Chipola’s Woodham named NJCAA Female Athlete of the Year
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), the governing body for two-year collegiate athletics, has announced its three recipients of the prestigious student-athlete of the year awards - the Betty Jo Graber Female Student-Athlete of the Year, the David Rowlands Male Student-Athlete of the Year, and the Lea Plarski Award winner.
Adding the final notch to a season and junior college career full of accolades, Chipola's Amy Woodham has been named the 2019 Betty Jo Graber Award winner. Woodham was a member of the Chipola softball team that made back-to-back appearances in the title game of the NJCAA DI Softball Championship, winning it in 2019.
During her two seasons at Chipola, the native of Slocomb, Alabama finished with a combined record of 37-2. That figure includes starting and collecting the win in all five national tournament games this May where Woodham earned the championship's Most Outstanding Pitcher honor.
In her final game in a Chipola uniform, Woodham recorded all but one out in a seven-inning 19-2 victory to seal the third softball title in program history. Woodham also was successful in the classroom as well as an active part of the community. When Hurricane Michael ripped through the Florida Panhandle in October, Woodham was there to assist in clean-up efforts and helped replant trees on campus. Additionally, Woodham was a regular volunteer with several softball organizations; including coaching with several local recreation teams as well as umpiring youth games. Woodham was also a regular volunteer with the HOPE School softball program.
Majoring in Communication Disorders, Woodham finished her time in the northwest part of Florida with a perfect 4.0 GPA, earning a spot as a member of the NJCAA All-Academic First Team.
The Graber Award completes a long list of honors and awards for the sophomore. Woodham collected First Team All-Panhandle Conference honors in both of her seasons with Chipola. This season, after posting a 29-2 record over 170.1 innings of work with a 1.64 ERA, Woodham collected Panhandle Conference Female Scholar-Athlete honors along with Panhandle and FCSAA All-Academic honors. Woodham also was a unanimous First Team All-American, collecting the honor from the NJCAA, NFCA, and Fastpitchnews.
Notably, Woodham earned her All-American status as a Pitcher from Fastpitchnews and as a Utility player from the NJCAA and NFCA after producing great numbers outside the circle, too. Woodham recorded a line of .358/.451/.663 and scored 26 times off 34 hits to add to her impressive pitching stats.
"Amy is the perfect example of the term student-athlete," said Chipola athletic director Jeff Johnson. "She excels in both the classroom and on the field. She is also involved in the community. With a 4.0 and a national championship, we feel she is a perfect candidate for the Betty Jo Graber Student-Athlete of the Year award."
Woodham will continue her softball career with Conference USA's University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The Betty Jo Graber Award was named for the influential leader in the NJCAA who helped pioneer the creation of the Women's Division of the NJCAA in 1975. As the NJCAA Region 5 Women's Director, Graber chaired the Association's women's basketball committee from its inception in 1975 until her retirement in 1991. Graber helped establish the NJCAA Women's Basketball Coaches Association and was a member of its inaugural hall of fame class in 1998. Also, a member of the National Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, Graber was a leader that exhibited dedication, service and resilience - traits that are recognized annually to the top female student-athlete with the award named in her honor.