For the fourth consecutive year, Sam Houston State athletics has won the unofficial Southland Conference academic championship by placing the most student-athletes on the annual Capital One/Southland Conference Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll.
The Bearkats totaled 144 student-athletes on the honor roll. In the fall, Sam Houston had 55 student-athletes make the honor from football, cross country, volleyball, and soccer. This spring, the Bearkats produced 89 honor roll selections from the baseball, basketball, golf, softball, tennis, and track and field.
Highlighting the Bearkats' selections are Student-Athlete of the Year recipients Ryan Bright in men's basketball and Jennifer Heinz in women's golf. Bright and teammate Shamir McDaniel received first team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Region honors and Bright was selected for Academic All-America.
McNeese State was second in the Southland Conference academic standings with 140 honor roll selections followed by by Texas State-San Marcos (135), Northwestern State (129), Central Arkansas (117), Southeastern Louisiana and Stephen F. Austin (116 each), Nicholls State (101), Texas-Arlington (100), Texas-San Antonio (97), Lamar (91), and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (61).
Presented by Capital One Bank, the honor roll recognizes student-athletes who competed in league championship sports and maintained a 3.0 grade point average during the semester in which the individual's sport championship is held. Each student-athlete must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours. A total of 1,347 athletes from the league's 17 sports were recognized on the honor roll.
"We are extremely proud of our student-athletes' achievements in the classroom and commend our coaching staff for the tremendous job they do in recruiting quality young men and women," Sam Houston State director of athletics Bobby Williams said. "Congratulations also go to Chris Thompson, our associate athletic director for student services, and her staff for the outstanding job they do coordinating the academic support program for our student-athletes."
Included among the honor roll selections were 42 student-athletes who received either first team, second team or honorable mention Academic All-Southland Conference recognition.
Joining Bright, McDaniel, and Heinz as first team Academic All-SLC honorees in 2007-08 were Bobby Verbick and Todd Sebek (baseball), Brett Hicks, David Branch, Nolan Bucek and Eric Mikolojchak (football), Brandon Frankhouser and Beau Willis (men's golf), Kristi Hermes, Tiana Lee and Tiffany Singleton (women's track and field), Chris Cralle (men's track and field), and Kendra Spivey (softball).
"This is such a tremendous accomplishment by our student-athletes.," Thompson said. "They take a lot of pride in their achievements both on the playing field and in the classroom and are such outstanding representatives for Sam Houston State University and Huntsville, Texas. Also, credit must go to our coaches who bring these quality student-athletes onto our campus."
The complete list of 2007-08 Capital One/Southland Conference Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll selections for Sam Houston State University follows:
MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY
R. C. Fairchild#
Eric Mikolajckak *
MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD
WOMEN'S TRACK AND FIELD
+ Southland Conference "Student-Athlete of the Year"
* Academic All-Southland Conference
# Honorable mention Academic All-Southland