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April 25th, 2009
Bobcats honor top student-athletes


Boasting more than 100 student-athletes with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher during the 2008 Spring and Fall Semesters, the Texas State Athletics Department honored those achievements at its 2009 Oak Farms Dairy Academic Awards Ceremony.

The ceremony featured 24 Bobcats who received the Cream of the Crop awards after they earned a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) during one or both of the 2008 spring and fall semesters. This year’s Cream of the Crop award winners included baseball players Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler Sibley and Aaron Taylor, who received the award for the second straight year.

Other winners included Brian Quackenbush from football, Ben Campbell from men’s golf, Jarrod Budin, Clay Holland and Mathew Novak from men’s track and field, Emily Wilkes from volleyball, Marie Moser from women’s basketball, Trine Mortensen of women’s golf, Deborah Ross Jessica Smith and Marty Wright from soccer, Lainy Chafitz, Ashley Ellis, Mackenzie Farmer and Nyssa Peele from women’s tennis, and Brookelyn Dickson, Katie Evans, Taylor Hubbard, Heather Martinez, Jennifer Matthews and Whitney Perkins from women’s tennis.

For the second straight year, the men’s golf and women’s tennis teams earned the Emmett Shelton Team Academic Awards, which were giving to the male and female athletics teams the earned the highest GPA during the 2008 spring and fall semesters.

A $1,000 Outstanding Male Athlete Postgraduate Scholarship and the Dr. Jean Smith Outstanding Female Athlete Postgraduate Scholarship awards went to the male and female in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements and potential for success in postgraduate study. This year’s winners were Brian Quackenbush and Kristina Viniar.

Quackenbush earned the award after earning the Bobcat Scholar-Athlete of the Month award last October and was named the Southland Conference Classroom Champion of the Week last fall. He also was a key player on Texas State’s 2008 Southland Conference Championship team. He will graduate with Cum Laude honors with a degree in Public Administration in May.

The women’s award is named after Dr. Jean Smith, who came to Texas State in 1953 and was the chair of the Women’s Physical Education Department until 1970. She continued teaching in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation until her retirement in 1984, when she established the $1,000 postgraduate scholarship. During her tenure, she helped establish the first state athletic organization for women, the Commission of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, which governed all women’s athletics in the state until 1982.

Viniar was a four-year letterwinner, four-time Oak Farms winner, three-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and represented Texas State at the Division I Leadership Conference for Student-Athletes in 2007. She also will graduate in May with a degree in International Studies.

The Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award went to Ashley Ellis of the women’s tennis team. Ellis was an All-Southland Conference Second-Team No. 2 singles player in 2009 and a three-time member of the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll. She received the Academic Excellence award from Texas State’s Political Science Department in 2008 and 2009, along with the Texas State History Department in 2009. She has compiled more than 75 wins in her career at Texas State, and served as team captain for this year’s team. She will graduate next December in with a double major in history and political science.

The male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award was given to Paul Goldschmidt, who is a three-year letterman for the baseball team and is majoring in Finance. He has been named to the Dean’s List every semester he has attended Texas State, and was the 2008 Southland Conference Student-Athlete of the Year and the 2008 Southland Conference Hitter of the Year. Goldschmidt was named to the All-Southland Conference First Team as well in 2008.

Texas State had 22 student-athletes who graduated in 2008 and 11 of the 22 graduates earned a 4.0 GPA in one or both semesters. In addition to having over 100 student-athletes maintain a 3.5 GPA, an additional 104 student-athletes earned a GPA of 3.0 in either one or both semesters in 2008.

These Bobcats were also successful on the field as well. Texas State became the first school in Southland Conference history to win a football, volleyball and soccer team championship during the same year last fall. In addition, Texas State won Southland Conference championships women’s basketball, women’s golf and softball in the spring of 2008.

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