The Reggies Lights Up Redbird Arena
Oct. 27, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - The Reggies, sponsored by State Farm Insurance, a ceremony celebrating the academic achievements, was held at Redbird Arena Sunday. All of the student-athletes who were named to the AFNI Athletics Honor Roll during the 2012-13 school year were recognized and several special academic achievement awards were presented to student-athletes throughout the evening.
Redbird baseball player Paul DeJong received the Doug Collins Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. A native of Antioch, Ill, DeJong is working towards a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, while balancing the demands of being a student-athlete. The two-year member of the Redbird baseball team was named to the Missouri Valley Conference honor roll and was the Valley Elite 18 Award winner, after ISU finished second place in the conference baseball tournament. However, DeJong's academic recognition didn't stop there, as he received the MVC Commissioner's Academic Excellence Award and achieved a 4.0 grade-point average during the fall of 2012.
During the 2013 season, DeJong appeared in 39 games and made 32 starts. He finished second on the team with a .420 on-base percentage and secured the starting second baseman position as Illinois State won 24-of-its-final-28 games en route to the first outright Missouri Valley Conference Regular Season title in school history.
The male scholar-athlete of the year award is named after Redbird basketball legend Doug Collins, who was an All-American in 1972 and went on to a successful playing, coaching and broadcasting career in the NBA. The other nominees for the Doug Collins Male Student-Athlete of the Year Award were Mike Banks (football), Parker Freiburg¬ (men's golf) and Nick Zeisloft (men's basketball).
ISU swimmer Danielle Schumacher received the Linda Herman Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. Schumacher earned All-Valley recognition, after winning the Missouri Valley Conference 500-yard freestyle in 2012. She won the title in 4:52.33 and has broken two individual school records, as well as school records in two relay events and a conference relay record. The MVC Elite 18 Award winner is also a MVC Scholar-Athlete, but her academic honors did not stop there, as the Lemont, Ill., native has been named to the Dean's List and is also a Presidential Scholar recipient and a CoSIDA Academic All-District Team selection.
Schumacher is a two-year member of the Illinois State Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and is currently serving as a graduate assistant in the accounting department. During her undergraduate work, Schumacher was named the Marcotte Family Outstanding Undergraduate Accounting Student Award, while working with several hours with local community service groups.
The female scholar-athlete of the year award is named after longtime Illinois State coach and administrator Dr. Linda Herman, who spent more than 30 years at ISU as a volleyball coach and administrator. The other nominees for the Linda Herman Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award were Rachael Brewer (cross country/track and field), Brooklyn Hlafka (volleyball), Katie Jean (women's golf), Elizabeth Kay (softball), Samantha King (gymnastics), Chloe Nelson (women's basketball), Brittany Smith (track and field) and Anna Stinson (soccer).
The Impact Award was also presented to cross country/track and field runner Kristen Zillmer. The award is given to a student-athlete who embodies a commitment to excellence and has a desire to make an impact on the lives of others with outstanding leadership skills, commitment to academics and service to the community.
The Phoenix Award was presented to cross country/track and field runner Krista DeCeault. The award is given to an individual who has overcome academic challenges and has made consistent academic progress over their scholastic careers.
The Good Neighbor Award went to soccer player Anna Stinson. The award is presented to a student-athlete who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to excellence in academics, service to others and personal conduct. The individual also volunteers to assists fellow student-athletes in their endeavors to achieve their academic goals.
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