Jill Lee

Senior CLASS Award Year in Review

by Jill Lee June 29, 2017 in Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Baseball, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Soccer, Softball, Volleyball


Every spring when the academic year comes to a close, we get a chance to look back on the “year that was” in the world of the Senior CLASS Award (SCA). It’s always inspiring to remember the student-athletes who were honored and recall what they’d done to deserve the honor.

This year was certainly one to remember for the SCA staff, as it featured several firsts in award history. We saw our first set of twins make it to the round of finalists when Minnesota volleyball stars Paige and Hannah Tapp earned the recognition. Paige would go on to win the award and has since signed on to play professional volleyball in Puerto Rico. Her sister will play professionally in Italy during the 2017-18 season.

Another first for us came when we made the decision to recognize our first honorary Senior CLASS Award candidate: the late Sam Foltz from the University of Nebraska. It was our honor to help pay tribute to Sam—the Huskers’ first-string punter—and was one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve had since starting the award. (Read the full story here.)

Our last first was actually five: five schools that became first-time SCA winners. While each had boasted first- or second-team SCA All-Americans in the award’s history, none of them had enjoyed the honor of seeing one of their student-athletes win the top honor. So, our sincere congratulations to Holy Cross, Oregon State, Bemidji State, Michigan and Minnesota! Here’s hoping there are many more SCAs in your futures!

Whenever we finish a Senior CLASS Award year, there’s a sense of fulfillment. Not in anything we’ve done, but in knowing that a spotlight has been brought to some kids out there who are doing amazing things. True student-athletes who are focused on academics and community involvement along with their on-field performance. And we know that’s exceptionally hard to do, especially when you throw the element of outstanding character into the mix.

But that’s what makes this award so prestigious. It’s about finding those gems out there and letting them know that their efforts are noticed and commendable—that hard work and continuously doing the “right thing” really does pay off. Then, allowing the nation to celebrate with them through the Senior CLASS Award honor.

It’s our privilege to finish another year. And believe me when I say we’re looking forward to another excellent season in the fall. Because when you deal with this quality of student-athlete, you can’t have anything less.