The University of Mobile (UM) has always been known for its stellar athletic program. Now the Rams have received recognition for their efforts off the field.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has named the university as a Champions of Character Silver Five-Star Institution. According to the award, these are schools measured on a demonstrated commitment to Champions of Character and earned points in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion.
“We are very excited about this honor from the NAIA and are extremely proud of our student-athletes for the way they conduct themselves on and off the field,” UM Athletic Director Mike Jacobs told Lagniappe.
Institutions also garnered points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by having minimal to no ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic school year.
Each season, the NAIA uses the Champions of Character scorecard to measure the pursuit of character-driven athletics. Schools scoring a minimum of 60 out of 100 points earn the Champions of Character Five-Star Institution Award. For the 2018 – 2019 school year, UM was one of 180 NAIA institutions to earn the Five-Star Award.
According to the NAIA, the program’s vision is to change the culture of sport. The association’s mission is to “provide training to instill the values that build character so students, coaches and parents know, do and value the right thing on and off the field.”
Organizers say research shows that the longer a student spends in athletic activities, their social reasoning — sacrificing for the good of the team — rises. A goal of the program is to help participants find the balance by keeping five core values at the heart of the athletics experience: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
The NAIA looks to spread the message to different areas. Students learn to understand how the values play out in both practice and competition. Coaches are taught how to intentionally define, model, shape and reinforce the values through their coaching and mentoring. Parents learn how their behavior is key to supporting their children.
To learn more about the program, visit naia.org/champions-of-character. More information on UM can by found by visiting umobile.edu or calling 251-442-2222.
Tennis in the OBA
The Battle at the Beach Junior USTA Tennis Tournament recently took place at the Orange Beach Tennis Center. There were 64 players who participated in the three-day event from Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama.
Final results were as follows:
* Co-Ed 10U – Julianna Williams of Orange Beach won the Orange Ball Champions girls’ division while Atticus George of Orange Beach took the boys’ title;
* Girls 12 – Olivia Ferguson of Mobile defeated Tereza Mojs of Gulf Shores;
* Boys 12 – Thomas Brutkiewicz of Mobile defeated Caden Phillippi of Silverhill;
* Girls 14 – Catherine Wilbur of Mobile defeated Blaeze Russell of Orange Beach;
* Boys 14 – Zachary Regan of Mobile defeated Bryson Darr of Covington, Louisiana;
* Girls 16 – Emme Clement of Mobile defeated Emily Grubach of Daphne;
* Boys 16 – Tyler Hymel of Navarre, Florida, defeated Edward Ladd of Mobile;
* Boys 18 – Gabriel Perkins of Satsuma defeated Jonathan Akins of Elberta.
The next adult/junior event at the Orange Beach Tennis Center will be the Fall UTR tournament on November 22 to 24. For more information, call Rhett Russell at 251-974-NETS (6387) or 251-233-9628.
* The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) named Madeline Knightly of Spring Hill College (SHC) as its Female Runner of the Week for the second time this season. The freshman from Chicago was the top Badger finisher with a time of 19:37.4 for a fourth-place finish out of 67 runners at the 5,000-meter Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic at City Park in New Orleans. Knightly’s time also placed as the 26th fastest time in SHC women’s 5K history.
* The University of South Alabama (USA) softball program had seven student-athletes from last season’s roster named All-America Scholar Athletes by the Easton/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). The individual award is given to student-athletes who acquire a 3.5 GPA or higher during said academic year.
Winners from the 2018 – 2019 season include Jordyn Calderon, Jamie Finnical, Dayla Gulledge, Abby Krzywiecki, Savanna Mayo, MC Nichols and Victoria Ortiz. The selection marked the third-straight honor for Krzywiecki and the second for Calderon, Gulledge, Mayo and Nichols, while it was the first for Finnical and Ortiz. As a team, South Alabama posted a cumulative GPA of 3.12.
* The nationally ranked men’s soccer team at the University of Mobile is off to a tremendous start. The Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) has recognized this by honoring two of their players.
Ronaldo Fortune was named Offensive Player of the Week. The junior midfielder got his second career honor as he collected five points on two goals and one assist in wins over Martin Methodist and Bethel.
Michael Samnik was previously selected Defensive Player of the Week. The senior goalkeeper helped to beat No. 17 Georgia Gwinnett, as he totaled four saves in 180 minutes.
* With five bass that weighed 19 pounds and 12 ounces, Scott Canterbury of Odenville, Alabama, pushed his three-day total to 59-4 and finished in 14th place for the week at the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship on Michigan’s Lake St. Clair. More importantly, he finished the season at the top of the standings with 848 points, earning the coveted Bassmaster Angler of the Year title and the $100,000 check that goes with it.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Canterbury, who was encouraged by the owner of the plumbing company where he worked to become a professional angler. “I’ve been so blessed to be here and be a part of BASS [Bass Anglers Sportsman Society]. It’s been an unbelievable year. This just proves that dreams can come true.”
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