Thursday, July 17, 2008

Of Superlatives and Seasons...

Here at SHOUT, we praise many athletes and programs that succeed on and off the field...but today's post is a little different--this isn't just about success, this is about being the BEST.

This week the Big South Conference released the results of its annual balloting held to recognize the Conference Athletes of the Year (Male and Female) and Scholar-Athletes of the Year (also Male & Female awards).

Out of all the student-athletes in the league, that's four tremendous honorees to salute--and in this case, two schools to credit for helping them develop into stars in competition and in class.

Felicitas Mensing of Neuhausen, Germany, graduated CCU in three years with a 4.0 in mathematics...she also won the Bob McCloskey Insurance Big South Conference Graduate Fellowship this year (an award she will apply to her upcoming grad studies at Minnesota).

Jack Leasure of Rochester, New York, graduated this spring with a 3.85 average in history...he is the only player to win the title of Big South Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year three times--and on the court he set the Conference mark for three-pointers in one season (411).

Now let's turn our attention to the 2007-2008 Big South Athletes of the Year--both from Liberty University:

Megan Frazee of Xenia, Ohio, had an amazing season for the red-hot Flames, earning the titles of Big South Women's Basketball Player of the Year and Conference Championship Tournament MVP as a junior. Frazee becomes the first Liberty student and/or women's basketball player to win the Women's AoY honor since Katie Feenstra did so three years ago.

Josh McDougal of Peru, NY, has made winning almost look easy on his path to being the Big South's most-decorated runner ever (14-time All-American)--peaking this season with the 2007 NCAA National Cross Country Championship. You can run out of superlatives trying to describe the collegiate record of this guy...suffice to say he has now won the Howard Bagwell Male Athlete of the Year award THREE CONSECUTIVE TIMES, a first in the nine-year history of the award.

And as tremendous as all those past accomplishments are, I must confess I'm already looking ahead. You see, some folks may think this is the "off season"...well in truth, there's no such thing. Next week is Big South Football Media Day and the launch of our 25th Anniversary Season. As I write this, I'm sitting in an edit suite at WTVI-TV in Charlotte, NC, producing the 2008 Football Preview Video--so I'm in gridiron mode right now. They'll hit the field in about six weeks, so snap your chinstraps and get ready for the change of seasons: not summer to fall, but summer to FOOTBALL...and volleyball, soccer, and still more! Hang on, folks, we're in for some fun this year, and that's a promise--talk to you again soon...

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