Jill Lee

2017-18 Senior CLASS Award Highlights

by Jill Lee June 14, 2018 in Dev Football, Dev Lacrosse, Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, Baseball, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer, Softball, Volleyball

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Another year. Another 10 outstanding student-athletes honored as Senior CLASS Award winners. We love it! From fall to spring, the 2017-18 academic year gave us some incredibly memorable winners. So, to recap this season, we’d like to recount three of our internal highlights from this Senior CLASS Award year. Take a look!

1. Okay, let’s be honest here. Football winner Shaquem Griffin had one of the most amazing stories in all of sports this year, and we were thrilled to be able to honor him with a Senior CLASS Award. (See our blog, “The Phenomenal Shaquem Griffin.”) Not just because he had an awesome story, but because he truly embodied what we honor through the SCA: excellence in the areas of classroom, character, community and competition. Not only had he overcome a physical attribute that would have prevented most people from even attempting to play football, he also was an outstanding student and focused on helping the next generation coming up behind him. What an incredible story and what an honor for us to recognize him.

2. With the timing of the Senior CLASS Award announcements, we don’t always know who will be recognized with the major player-of-the-year awards in each sport until after we’ve revealed our winners. So, to our delight, this year our Senior CLASS Award winners in soccer were both recognized as their sport’s top competitor. How awesome! Both Jon Bakero of Wake Forest and Andi Sullivan of Stanford took home the MAC Hermann Trophy this season, and we couldn’t be happier for them knowing they were two of the hardest-working and deserving athletes in collegiate soccer.

3. Sometimes the things these student-athletes overcome to go on to excel in so many areas is just remarkable. Shaquem Griffin was only one example of an overcomer in this year’s group of winners. Lacrosse winner Jake Pulver overcame ulcerative colitis as a teenager to achieve his goal of playing lacrosse at the Division I level. Baseball winner Troy Squires didn’t let being a career walk-on stop him from working to become an all-conference performer at Kentucky. Volleyball winner Haleigh Washington came back from surgery in 2016 to perform at an incredible level just months later receiving first-team All-American honors as a junior that fall and then again as a senior. It’s absolutely incredible to see what these kids battle through in their lives to achieve their dreams. And it’s not just on the field. They overcome these obstacles to excel in EVERY area. That’s what truly blows us away, and we hope we never stop being amazed.

Of course there were more highlights than this. Each winner gave us something unique and wonderful to celebrate, and we’re thrilled with each selection. We encourage you to read the press releases from each sport’s winner to learn more about these outstanding men and women.

Now that school is out for the summer, we’re turning our attention to 2018-19 and looking forward to discovering more inspiring stories next year. We know we won’t be disappointed. Knowing the nature of the human spirit in collegiate athletes out there, how can we be? It’s a beautiful thing to observe and an incredible honor for us to recognize.