April 19, 2016

CSU athletic awards honor academic achievement

Cleveland State University honored its student-athletes at the 26th annual John Konstantinos Athletics Academic Honors Luncheon April 8 in the Wolstein Center.

The luncheon was held to congratulate 166 students on their academic achievements while participating in a sport during the fall semester. To receive an award, a student had to play a sport while holding a GPA over 3.0 during the season.

“It feels good to be recognized for my work in the classroom and it gives me motivation to keep working hard,” said Sergio Manesio, a junior finance major and forward for the men’s soccer team.

The ceremony also took time to acknowledge the athletes who have attended multiple ceremonies. There were 68 first year recipients, 42 second year, 32 third year, 21 fourth year and three fifth year.

“This is my fourth year receiving an award and it’s an honor every year,” said Megan O’Keefe, a health sciences, pre-physical therapy and occupational therapy major and a senior cross country member.

Every athlete in attendance received a certificate. Also at the luncheon, awards for the President’s Award, “Best of the Best” Team Award, John McLendon Award and John and Sandra Konstantino’s Scholarship were announced.

Erin O’Toole was the winner of the President’s Award, given out to the student athlete with the highest GPA. O’Toole played for the women’s soccer team and started all 19 games. She thanked her parents and teammates for the support. The women’s soccer team was also the winners of the “Best of the Best” award, given to the team with the best cumulative GPA. The John McLendon Award goes to the player who best embodies the values of former men’s basketball coach John McLendon.

Those include commitment to the community and the idea of team first, last and foremost. The winner of that award is senior wrestler Riley Shaw.

“It was nice to hear such nice words out of coach (Ben Stehura) and a little weird to hear him say he is proud of me,” Shaw said, after being read the letter that wrestling coach Stehura wrote the athletic department nominating him for the award.

Samantha Sposit received the John and Sandra Konstantinos’s Scholarship. Sposit, a senior health sciences and pre-med major while being a member of the swimming and diving team, received the award for helping to make Cleveland State a better place and having a 3.0 GPA or higher for three years out of the four.

She thanked her parents and teammates for the support.

The NCAA allows teams to have up to 20 hours per week of countable activities (practices and games) along with student-athletes completing 40 percent of their course work by the end of their second year, 60 percent by end of their third year and 80 percent by the end of their fourth year to remain eligible for Division I Athletics.

“I think playing a sport has helped me become a better student,” said O’Keefe. “Cross Country forces me to focus on my grades and gives me less time to mess around.”


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