FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
(Kansas City, MO) –Thirty NCAA® baseball student-athletes who excel both on and off the diamond were tabbed as 2009 candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award today. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact on their circle of influence. Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA®, expanded the award program in 2007 to include numerous NCAA® Division I sports – men’s and women’s soccer, men’s ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, baseball, and softball in addition to men and women’s basketball. With the addition of football this year, the number of sports encompassed by the nation’s premier award for seniors reaches nine.
This marks the third year for the baseball division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Rice University pitcher Cole St.Clair received the title of “Nation’s Premier Senior Student-Athlete” for the 2008 season and University of Alabama infielder, Emeel Salem took home the inaugural baseball award in 2007.
These 30 student-athletes will be narrowed down to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot. The ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select the candidate that best exemplifies excellence in the “Four C’s” of Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition.
The 2009 candidate class has representatives from thirty different NCAA® Division I schools, each of which has outstanding accomplishments on and off the field. The award winner will be announced and recognized at Omaha’s Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium during the 2009 NCAA® Men’s World Series.
“It is a thrill for Lowe’s to recognize these 30 outstanding student-athletes,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing and advertising. “These candidates work diligently in the classroom, and are also making a difference in the communities where they live. These young men are true role models.”
Sportscaster Dick Enberg, Honorary Chairman of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, first conceived the idea of an award for seniors in 2001 in response to the growing trend of men’s basketball players leaving school early for the NBA. The award was launched to honor senior student-athletes who remained in college, exhausting their collegiate athletic eligibility, to pursue their college degree.
2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Baseball Candidates
Name Position School
Chris Auten First Base New Mexico State University
Scott Bittle Pitcher University of Mississippi
Andrew Carraway Pitcher University of Virginia
Louis Coleman Pitcher Louisiana State University
Brian Cloud Pitcher Texas Tech University
Clinton Cox Pitcher University of New Mexico
Steven Daniels Outfield Brown University
Chris Drechsel Catcher Wagner College
Brandon Eller Infield Arkansas State University
Grant Escue First Base/Outfield Bradley University
Nick Faunce Outfield University of Kansas
Nate Freiman First Base/Catcher Duke University
Nick Gaudi Pitcher Pepperdine University
Jason Haniger Catcher Georgia Tech University
Chris Hervey Outfield Indiana University
Trevor Holder Pitcher University of Georgia
Drew Johnson Outfield University of San Francisco
Tyler Love Infield University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
Brandon McArthur Infield University of Florida
Brian Morrell Pitcher Eastern Illinois University
Matt Nohelty Outfield University of Minnesota
James Oliver Pitcher UAB
Ben Orloff Shortstop University of California, Irvine
Kyle Rhoad Outfield Eastern Michigan University
Michael Rockett Outfield University of Texas at San Antonio
Joe Serafin Pitcher University of Vermont
Nick Sullivan Outfield University of Nebraska
Kyle Thebeau Pitcher Texas A&M University
Adam Warren Pitcher University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Matt Williams Catcher Duke University