76 student athletes receive distinguished academic achievement award


Courtesy of SEU Athletics Communications

Senior Matt Parker hopes to continue balancing his athletic and academic excellence this season.

Amongst the 11,660 recipients that were selected for one of the most prestigious awards presented to collegiate student-athletes, St. Edward’s University is proud to have 72 representatives whose commitment and ambition contributed to their success both within the classroom and within the game.

The Academic Achievement Award is bestowed upon Division II students whose two years of academic and athletic work concluded with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.  Debbie Taylor, the university’s Athletic Director, noted the significance of the discipline instilled by both the professors and the coaches. In its 12th year of recognizing productive scholars, it brings great pleasure to witness our fellow Goats make their mark and take on their world one challenge at a time. 

“I am very proud of our student-athletes.  They understand the importance of and prioritize their academic goals.  I am also thankful for our coaching staff who set the tone for academic success,” Taylor said.  

Alongside Taylor, student-athletes Matthew Parker and Alexa McAndrew also shared their appreciation for the team’s willingness to work with each other. 

Matthew Parker, a senior on the men’s soccer team, was a recipient of the Academic Achievement Award.  Recounting the moments that led to this victory, he mentioned the satisfaction of the coach and feeling of fulfillment for the entire unit.  “We have a GPA goal for the whole team so the coach was quite happy…” 

Alexa McAndrew, an accomplished senior on the women’s volleyball team, observed her fellow teammates’ triumphs with such delight. “I love seeing them succeed,” she said.  She attributed their performance to the numerous opportunities offered at the university, particularly study hall. McAndrew called attention to the importance of accountability for the individual as well as for the team, both of which contribute to the unspoken, yet collective idea of  “we compete. we drive.”

While it may be a dream on some occasions, players remain conscious of the realistic aspects of being a student-athlete. Offering some insight on the internalized thoughts of an experienced participant in these trials, Parker identified some of the obstacles that he and his fellow teammates face while trying to put forth equal amounts of effort into preparing for games and maintaining grades.  

“You miss a lot of lessons and you don’t really understand some of the topics so you’re scrambling on the bus trying to get your friends to help you. You definitely get stressed,” Parker admitted.  

Student-athletes are enduring what may be, arguably, one of the most difficult phases of their lives.  However, rather than taking the time to consider how exhausting it may be, student-athletes appear to place more emphasis on how rewarding the journey is.  It was recognized that the skills that are learned, especially in the most high-pressure situations, are skills that can be applied beyond time at the university.