Two Buccaneers Named United Soccer Coaches Junior College Scholar All-Americans
Blinn College soccer players Ethan Unger (Frisco) and Hope Hillhouse (Amarillo) were named to the 2020-21 United Soccer Coaches Junior College Scholar All-America teams on Tuesday.
The lists include 15 men’s players and 26 women’s players recognized for academic and athletic excellence during the 2020-21 academic year. Unger and Hillhouse are the first Blinn soccer players to receive the honor.
“Seeing Hope and Ethan become the program’s first recipients of this prestigious award makes this very special moment,” head coach Michael McBride said. “They epitomize what we are looking for in our soccer programs – a combination of academic success and athletic excellence. Their ability to manage the rigors of being a full-time student with the time commitments associated with being a college athlete is commendable, and they are a fine example of what can be achieved with discipline, hard work, and talent.”
Unger, a sophomore midfielder, helped lead the Blinn men’s soccer team to its third postseason appearance in the program’s three-year history, posting four goals two assists in 14 games. In addition, he maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout the 2020-21 academic year and was one of four student-athletes that won the 2021 Dr. James H. Atkinson Cup for maintaining the highest cumulative GPA (4.0) in the Blinn athletic department. Unger signed with Dallas Baptist University to continue his athletic and academic career.
“Ethan has represented Blinn extremely well with his athletic and academic performance, and his overall character, both on and off the field,” assistant coach Jacob Beerman said. “This past year he really stepped up as one of our captains and did a great job of always demanding more of players around him. I am extremely proud of Ethan for receiving this award, and it will be something that our players will strive to achieve in the future.”
Hillhouse, a sophomore goalkeeper, helped lead the Blinn women’s soccer team to its first playoff appearance in the program’s three-year history. The Buccaneers finished the season at the Region XIV semifinals with a program-best 6-3 overall record. Hillhouse led Blinn with 27 saves, four shutouts, and five wins in seven games. She was named the NJCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Goalkeeper of the Week for her outstanding performance against No. 1 Tyler Junior College and Ranger College in Week 3. Hillhouse maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout the 2020-21 academic year and plans on pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering at Texas A&M University.
“Hope is highly driven and has a desire to improve in everything she does, so seeing her become our program’s first scholar All-American is no surprise,” assistant coach Alexandria Jackson said. “Achieving this accomplishment is a testament to her hard work, as she has always gone above and beyond the standards. She is the true definition of a student-athlete and is deserving of this recognition.”
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.