SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College athletics department, led by an effort from the Student Athlete Advisory Council, is celebrating the second annual NCAA Division III Week, which runs from April 8-14.
NCAA Division III week serves as a celebration by member schools of the division’s unique philosophy that equally values academics, athletics and student-athletes’ involvement in a full and rich campus life. Austin College student-athletes have been active in the community and excelled in the classroom throughout the year, as well as earning accolades for their performances in their sports.
As part of this celebration, Austin College student-athletes will be wearing team jerseys on Thursday and Friday, and will also be hosting a Faculty Appreciation Ice Cream Social at 8:00 p.m. in Sid Richardson Gym on Thursday night.
So far this year Austin College has had 32 student-athletes earn All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference honors, with 16 student-athletes also earning SCAC Player of the Week honors. In the fall semester, the volleyball, soccer, football, and women’s cross country programs also had a school record 62 student-athletes named to the SCAC Fall Academic Honor Roll.
In addition to their performances in their sports and in the classroom, the Kangaroos have also had five student-athletes honored by the SCAC with the Character and Community Award, which recognizes individuals who are active both in the Austin College community and within the community as a whole. These individuals have volunteered with various causes, taken part in charitable events, and are active in on campus organizations. This year Austin College’s honorees have been volleyball player Kelly McDaniel, men’s soccer player Mitchell Camp, men’s basketball player Jackson Ross, women’s basketball player Lexi Beeson, and softball player Rachel Ramos.
It has not just been a few individuals who have been active in community service, however, as several teams have worked with groups within the community for various events throughout the year. For the second straight year the women’s soccer team held a Give Cancer the Boot fundraiser, and the women’s basketball team held a free clinic in December to benefit Toys for Tots.
The men’s basketball team also took part in community service at Fairview Elementary School, and recently the softball team hosted a clinic for area kids and over the holidays volunteered at Presto Retirement Home. The softball team also volunteered at a 5K race held in Denison. The football team has had members read to students at elementary schools three times this season, and is in the process of planning another service project before the end of the year. The men’s and women’s tennis teams are also working on a Kangaroo Tennis Clinic in May for local children. Also, for the second year in a row, the Austin College SAAC will be volunteering with Special Olympics.