Sam Houston State University lives by the motto “The Measure of a Life is its Service,” and Bearkat student-athletes put that motto on display in the classrooms during the fall semester.
SHSU placed 89 student-athletes on the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll list, which was announced on Jan. 20. The honor roll acknowledges participants in all sports; and in order to receive a nomination student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA during their respective competition season.
The 89 representatives were the fifth most among Southland schools; but the Bearkats had 23 student-athletes finish with a perfect 4.0 GPA, which was the second highest total in the conference.
Athletic director Bobby Williams compared the academic accomplishment to winning conference championships and competing at a national level on the field.
“It’s like winning conference championships athletically and competing at a national level, whether it be regionals or for a National Championship if I can compare it to an athletic situation,” Williams said. “To achieve that high in the classrooms, especially with 23 4.0’s, it’s a great credit to our student-athletes and it shows that our coaches recruit quality people. I also give credit to our academic compliance staff.”
Only fall semester sports were eligible for the Commissioner’s Honor Roll and all five of SHSU’s athletic programs had representatives make the list. Football led all programs with 29 nominated student-athletes, followed by 23 soccer student-athletes, volleyball posted 15 representatives, while men’s and women’s cross country added 11 apiece.
“One of our main goals is to define the student athlete experience and we want to make sure we’re successful at defining that,” Williams said. “A part of that is achieving at a high-level academically as well as on the field of competition athletically.”
The Bearkat football team had a successful season both on the field breaking records and in the classroom. The Kats were ranked No. 1 in the nation at the end of the regular season, but fell in the FCS Quarterfinals to James Madison University.
Led by head coach K.C. Keeler, the honor roll representatives for the football program are as followed: Daniel Adams, Tucker Addington, Hunter Brown, Remus Bulmer, Adrian Contreras, Eric David, James De La Rosa, Darion Flowers, P.J. Giddens, Justin Gil, Sam Hardy, Jaylen Harris, Jessie Harris, Ragan Henderson, Macade Isbell, Quinten Jackson, Justin Johnson, Sione Latu, Alfonzo McMillian, Santiago Montoya, Shyon Motlagh, Parker Murry, Luc Swimberghe, Carlos Teal, Taner Tunstall, Bryson Wallace, Javin Webb, Sammy Webb IV, Tristan Wendt and Ryne Yost.
Just one season ago the Bearkat soccer program made an appearance in the conference title game, but the 2016 season was different as the team finished with an overall record of 2-16-1. However, the Bearkat soccer student-athletes hit the books and excelled in the classroom.
The 23 representatives from the soccer program are: Megan Bennett, Lindsey Bienski, Micaela Birt, Lexi Bullard, Meredith Carlson, Kaylee Davis, Kylie Dick, Hannah Dupin, Maddie Gangi, Josee Jacobellis, Jordan Jarzombek, Allie Johnson, Katy Johnson, Anna Kaiser, Ashley Long, Hayden Oswalt, Maddy Panozzo, Taylor Pritchard, Bailee Shanks, Acacia Shepardson, Beryl Smith, Bailey Strong and Whitney Woodward.
Despite having to call gym two of the Health and Kinesiology Center their stomping ground for the 2016 season, the Bearkat volleyball team overcame adversity and scheduling problems to have a successful year on the court. The program made an appearance in the conference championship game, but fell to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The 15 volleyball nominees are as followed: Taylor Cunningham, Meagan Elkins, Shelby Genung, Amanda Gooch, Michelle Griffith, Breanna Homer, Kayla Jones, Claire Kilpatrick, Addison Miller, Natalie Nevlud, Margaret Revell, Sarah Sherman, Jordyn Vaughn, Madison Wallace and Jaclyn Ward.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams finished the season with a handful of athletic accomplishments. The men’s cross country team finished fifth at the Southland Championships, but the women’s team took home second place. Now, both teams have received an academic accomplishment.
The 22 representatives from the cross country programs are as followed.
Men’s cross country: Evan Arambula, J.T. Bounds, Grant Buley, Connor Del Rio, Alex Hernandez, George Lowe, Mark Martinez, Robert Monticone, Stephen Southall, Colton Stoker and Cameron Theriot.
Women’s cross country: Cassidy Allen, Jamie Eckford, Camry Grigsby, Kassandra Luna, Briana McCall, Veronica Molina, Ana Moreno, Olivia Olguin, Holly Pierce, Hannah Tarrant, and Alina Ward.
The Southland Conference will announce the 2017 Commissioner’s Honor Roll within 30 days upon conclusion of the spring semester.