In order to receive the NAIA scholar-athlete award, students had to be nominated by their head coach, achieved junior standing academically and maintained at least a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
“All of these players are true student athletes,” said Saint Mary Athletic Director Rob Miller. “They put as much effort into the classroom as they do on the field.”
The nine honored Spires come from a variety of USM fall sports — four from football, two from women’s soccer, and one each from men’s soccer, men’s cross country and volleyball.
The award-winners from the Saint Mary football team were quarterback Mike Keese, a senior from Olathe, Kan.; offensive lineman Evan Osborne, a senior from Conroe, Texas; quarterback Thomas Grossman, a sophomore from Stevenson Ranch, Calif.; and offensive lineman Sean Santillan, a senior from Bakersfield, Calif.
The winners from the Lady Spires women’s soccer team were midfielder Claire Beebe, a senior from Wichita, Kan., and forward Bridget O’Neil, a junior from Leavenworth, Kan.
The other USM winners were: men’s soccer midfielder Nick Alford, a senior from Topeka, Kan.; men’s cross country runner Cameron Avilez, a senior from San Diego, Calif.; and volleyball setter/defensive specialist Shelby Titus, a senior from Ottawa, Kan.