It speaks a lot for leaders of athletic programs when their teams excel in the classroom.
The Shawnee State spring sport programs certainly showed off their hard work and excellence in the books in 2017, as 40 Bears across five different sports — including nine apiece for baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s track and field — were named as Academic All-MSC honorees this past year.
Of the 40 athletes, five of them, including Miranda Pauley (Notre Dame), Kayla Koch (Valley), Derek Moore (Wheelersburg), Brooke Smith (Wheelersburg), and Megan Shupert (West) are from the Scioto County area. An additional seven athletes are from counties that border Scioto County, including Adams, Jackson, Lawrence, Greenup (Ky.) and Lewis (Ky.).
Baseball and softball led the way as each of the units blew previous teams away with their marks in the classroom.
In all, Moore, along with JT Boggs (JR/South Shore, Ky.), Casey Claflin (JR/Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio), Andrew Dito (SR/Loraine, Ohio), Matt Dvorscak (JR/Whiting, Ind.), Josh Eplin (SR/Streator, Ill.), Austyn Goodwin (JR/Lexington, Ky.), Christian Helton (SO/Lexington, Ky.), Chase Thurber (SO/Andover, Ohio), and Kasey Wright (SO/Hancock, Ky.) all earned honors for the SSU baseball program.
The program’s nine recipients represent an uptick from last year, when the Bears had six players honored. The nine honorees are the most Mid-South Conference All-Academic selections Shawnee State baseball has had since joining the conference in 2011.
“I am extraordinarily proud of these young men and the accomplishments they, as well as the entirety of our roster, have had in the classroom this school year,” said Shawnee State head coach Chris Moore. “It shows the commitment that these student-athletes have given to their academic work and it would be impossible for me to be happier about their recognition. Shawnee State University and the baseball program are both places where success in the classroom is achievable with the right type of motivation and I am grateful to these young men for the work that they have done.”
As far as the softball program is concerned, Koch, Pauley, and Shupert, along with Brianna Brewster (JR/Springboro, Ohio), Katlyn Gleich (SO/Grove City, Ohio), Kayla Koch (JR/Lucasville, Ohio), Miranda Melvin (SR/Oak Hill, Ohio), Miranda Pauley (SR/Portsmouth, Ohio), Haley Rawlins (FR/South Point, Ohio), Mackenzie Riley (SO/Proctorville, Ohio), Ashtyn Saunders (FR/Lancaster, Ohio), and Megan Shupert (SO/West Portsmouth, Ohio) were all honored by the Mid-South Conference for their achievements in the classroom.
The Shawnee State softball program finished with the third-most All-Academic award winners for the 2017 season. Cumberlands (Ky.) led the league with 13 honorees, followed by Lindsey Wilson with 12. As with the baseball program, the nine honorees for the Shawnee State softball program is up from four last season and is the most Shawnee State have ever had since joining the Mid-South Conference in 2011.
“I am very proud of our team’s efforts in the classroom this season,” said Shawnee State head coach Steve Whittaker. “Our girls have done a tremendous job both on and off the field, and I’m proud of their commitment to excellence in all that we do. Getting our most ever award winners is a huge accomplishment and speaks to our improvement as a program in all areas.”
As with the baseball and softball programs, the men’s and women’s track and field teams also set a new standard for future teams to reach in the classroom.
The Shawnee State men had Connor Flynn, Jacob Kemper (FR/Gallia County, Ohio), Caleb Kennelly, Chad McComas (JR/Proctorville, Ohio), Andrew Polanco (JR/Woodbridge, N.J.), Cody Redman (JR/Circleville, Ohio), Ethan Richter (JR/Chillicothe, Ohio), Adrian Ross (JR/Chillicothe, Ohio), and Mark Scout (SR) earn honors, while the women put Megan Ashton (SR/Proctorville, OH), Cara Dillon, Ashley Hackworth (FR/West Union, OH), Anna Havranek (JR/Sugarcreek, Ohio), Dylan Haynes (FR), Lindsey Krause (FR/Pickaway County, OH), Katie Saling (SO/Caldwell, OH), Brooke Smith (SO/Wheelersburg, OH), and Kate Spencer (JR/Glouster, OH).
For the men, their nine selections beat last season’s eight honorees en route to the new program mark. The Bears tied with Campbellsville for the most selections in the conference this season.
As for the women, they improved by two on the seven selected in last year’s All-Academic team en route to setting a new standard of its own. Shawnee State’s women were also tied with Campbellsville with the most qualified student-athletes in the conference.
“We are very proud of our many Academic All-Conference honorees this year for outdoor track and field,” said head track coach Eric Putnam. “This is probably the best team in the classroom that we have ever had at Shawnee State in track and field.”
The men’s and women’s golf program rounded out the outstanding effort for the spring sport programs by putting Marshall Hall, AJ Hamilton, Margot Current, and Tori Walker on the list.
Hall, a junior from Zanesville, Ohio, is majoring in Pre-Medicine at Shawnee State. Hamilton, a senior from Tollesboro, Kentucky and transfer from Morehead State University, is double-majoring in Athletic Training and Physical Therapy. Current is a junior from Circleville, Ohio, while Walker is a sophomore from Meigs County, Ohio. Current is double majoring in Marketing and Natural Science, while Walker is a Psychology major.
To be eligible for the award, student-athletes must be a sophomore academically at the institution they attend and must maintain a 3.25 cumulative GPA at that institution.