Award’s 12th year wraps up with winners who make a difference

by Sam Kovzan July 12, 2013 in Football

With the completion of the 2012-13 academic year, the Senior CLASS Award® wraps up its 12th year recognizing the most outstanding senior student-athletes in 10 NCAA Division I sports. These individuals, chosen by a nationwide vote of coaches, national media and fans, exemplified excellence in four areas—classroom, community, character and competition—and used their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders their communities.

Brown defender Ryan McDuff, who helped the… Continue Reading

Lopez keeps a low profile but makes huge contributions

by Connor Casey June 27, 2013 in Baseball

He didn’t have the highest batting average. He had two teammates drafted before him. He might not have been the player reporters would flock to for comments after a win. But Carlos Lopez, first baseman for the Cal State Fullerton Titans, was the total package as a baseball player and exemplified the qualities of a Senior CLASS Award winner.

On the field Lopez was a dedicated and consistent offensive force. After redshirting his freshman year due to a knee surgery, Lopez led the Titans’… Continue Reading

Braud refuses to break under pressure

by Connor Casey June 19, 2013 in Softball

Picture this: You are a college student-athlete and you’ve just finished your freshman year at the University of Alabama. You’re on the softball team and finished the season as a huge offensive threat with a .505 batting average. But it doesn’t stop there. You’ve been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year and named a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American as a second baseman. You helped your team win the SEC Tournament championship and make it to the NCAA®… Continue Reading

Army lacrosse captain considered worth the risk

by Connor Casey June 06, 2013 in Lacrosse

Every professional sports team is taking a risk when they draft an athlete from a military academy. But in the case of Senior CLASS Award winner Brendan Buckley, one team decided the risk was worth it.

With the 54th pick in the 2013 Major League Lacrosse Draft, the Boston Cannons selected Buckley, Army’s top-rated defenseman. Team vice president and general manager Kevin Barney talked about his thought process for Buckley.

“It is always a risk in selecting a military guy as… Continue Reading

Time management not a problem for hockey winner Cheyne Rocha

by Laurie Bollig April 22, 2013 in Hockey

Cheyne Rocha is a master of time management.

Somehow, this extremely bright overachiever has recorded outstanding grades, fashioned a solid collegiate hockey career, scored an interview for the Rhodes Scholarship and introduced a charity to both his school and its hockey conference.

It should be mentioned that he’s doing all this as a member of the United States Military Academy, where discipline heads a list of characteristics of the student body in general.

An engineering… Continue Reading

Loyalty never an issue with Delle Donne and Hulls

by Laurie Bollig April 08, 2013 in Women’s Basketball

Delaware All-American Elena Delle Donne considered leaving her home state for the bright lights of a much bigger women’s college basketball stage. Indiana guard Jordan Hulls committed to his hometown team in the midst of a monumental rebuilding period.

Delle Donne signed with Connecticut out of high school, but after two days on campus, she longed to be closer to her family, including a sister with whom she shares an unbreakable bond. The easy choice would have been for her to remain… Continue Reading

Patience pays off for volleyball star Mancuso

by Laurie Bollig January 22, 2013 in Volleyball

As her sister Dani was busy helping Nebraska win the 2006 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship, Gina Mancuso was tearing it up on the court as a sophomore at nearby Papillion-LaVista High School. Two years later, Gina was named the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year – the first high school athlete from the state to win the honor.

So, taking up where Dani left off and making an immediate impact on the Husker volleyball team – no problem, right?


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Perseverance and faith help write Te’o’s story

by Laurie Bollig January 10, 2013 in Football

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o was everywhere you looked – on every television channel up and down the dial, in every newspaper’s sports section, being interviewed on the radio, chatted about endlessly on social media and the subject of just about every water-cooler conversation.

There was a stretch of time in early December – when he was on the awards circuit – that he wasn’t exactly sure what city he was in when he woke up each morning.

It’s all good though. That’s… Continue Reading

Jewell and McDuff experienced life as student-athletes in uniquely different ways

by Laurie Bollig December 10, 2012 in Men’s Soccer

When it came to selecting a college at which to play soccer, Tishia Jewell and Ryan McDuff couldn’t have chosen more divergent paths.

Jewell, a Satellite Beach, Fla., native, chose to stay close to home, enrolling at the University of Central Florida in Orlando – the ultimate American tourist destination. UCF boasts an enrollment of 60,000. McDuff, who grew up in Plano, Tex., decided to move 2,000 miles away, choosing to attend Brown University in Rhode Island – geographically, the… Continue Reading

Amber Brooks pays it forward with soccer tournament

by Michael Lewis November 19, 2012 in Women’s Soccer

At an age where most soccer players are more concerned about playing in tournaments, Amber Brooks was organizing one as a senior at Pennington High School.

In 2009, Brooks and teammate Heidi Sabatura helped found “Score for a Cure” tournament in New Hope, Pa. It is a 3 v 3 tourney for Under-9 to U-13 girls in honor of Charlotte Moran. Moran, a long-time beloved and respected Olympic Development Program administrator who impacted many lives, including Brooks, passed away… Continue Reading

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