MOREHEAD – The Morehead State University Student-Athlete Honors Banquet, hosted by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, was held Monday evening and recognized both the academic and athletic achievements of MSU student-athletes.
“I’m proud of our student-athletes for a great 2013-14 school year,” Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services Sara Larson said. “It’s important that we take time at the end of each year to honor their academic and athletic accomplishments.”
Senior tennis player Ji Hoon Heo and senior golfer Sofia Pettersson took home the Male and Female Scholar of the Year honors. The awards are presented to the student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade-point average (GPA) and are generally awarded to upperclassmen.
Heo, a convergent media major from Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, owns a 4.0 GPA. He was a 2012-13 Ohio Valley Conference Medal of Honor receipt and OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll member. Pettersson, a sports management major from Taby, Sweden, also has a 4.0 GPA. She is a three-time recipient of the OVC Medal of Honor and has been named to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll three times.
The Mr. and Miss Eagle awards are given to student-athletes who dominate their sport. The individuals typically stand out within the OVC or Pioneer Football League and are often in the national spotlight. Junior rifle team member Ethan Cole is this year’s Mr. Eagle, while senior volleyball player Leslie Schellhaas, junior soccer player Jade Flory and sophomore tennis player Briar Preston tied for Miss Eagle honors.
Cole was one of eight individuals who qualified for the smallbore competition at the 2014 NCAA Rifle Championships, where he finished 18th. The Somerset, Pa., native led MSU with a 579 average in air rifle and a 578 in smallbore. Cole paced the Eagles in both disciplines six times out of 10 competitions.
Schellhaas, who is one of just eight players in program history to be a league champion four times, was the first Eagle to be named OVC Defensive Player of the Year. The Edgewood native finished 2013 with 685 digs to help her become the MSU career record holder with 2,232. Schellhaas, who was also named Honorable Mention All-Region by the American Volleyball Coaches Association and Most Valuable Player at the OVC Tournament, owns the top three season dig totals in program history.
Flory was named OVC Offensive Player of the Year, as she helped the Eagles win their third conference tournament title in the last six seasons. The Chambersburg, Pa., native led the OVC with five game-winning goals, while finishing second in goals (14) and third in assists (5). Flory tied the MSU single-season school record for game-winning goals and is also tied for second in goals and third in points (33). She also earned All-OVC and OVC All-Newcomer accolades.
Preston, who was the first player in program history to be named OVC Player of the Year, posted a 24-5 singles record and 18-9 doubles mark. She went 10-0 in singles against conference opponents in the regular season, with nine of 10 wins coming in straight sets. She was also named to the All-OVC Team.
The Eagle volleyball team earned the Team Academic Award for the fourth consecutive year after posting the highest team GPA of the 16 MSU squads with a 3.75.
The Team Community Service Award is given to the team that shows the most dedication to the Morehead community. After completing 400 hours of service, the softball team earned the award. Projects included a cleanup at Lockegee, Christmas card campaign for service members, Celebrate my Drive safe driving event, Say Boo to Drugs Treat Fest, food drive at Gateway Helping Hands, Santa Shop at Rodburn Elementary, Just As I Am event for youth with special needs and free youth softball skills clinic. MSU student-athletes and coaches completed more than 2,000 hours of community service this schoolyear.
The final recognition, the Laughlin-Miller Award, was presented in honor of former MSU coaches Bob Laughlin and Len Miller, with the honoree exemplifying athletic and academic excellence, character, along with school and community service. Schellhaas earned the prestigious honor. In addition to her athletic accomplishments, she is an active member in the community. Schellhaas has a 3.93 cumulative GPA and is majoring in mathematics teaching.
“Our student-athletes are certainly expected to compete at a high level, but we also emphasize academics, community service and character,” Larson added. “The annual banquet is a good reminder of what we stand for as an athletic department.”