Outlook

Celebrating the student-athlete tradition

Sunday, July 10, 2011

President Potter

President Earl H. Potter III listens to a question during the May 25 WJON Morning NewsWatch with Bob Hughes. To his right is Steve Costanzo, wrestling coach and NCAA Division II Coach of the Year. Wearing the Husky cap is Pat Dolan 92, baseball coach.

Along with thrilling victories and prestigious honors to celebrate, the teams and coaches of Husky athletics have given us significant reminders this year that the quality of a student-athlete is measured in ways that go far beyond scores and stats.

Our student-athletes are well rounded men and women who come to St. Cloud State for an education as well as for love of their sport. When our coaches recruit, they look for the right fit academically and socially as well as athletically then proceed to mold character along with athletic prowess.

And so we have the privilege of celebrating student athletes who have their lives in balance. They excel in a variety of arenas and are involved in activities that make a difference in the lives of others as well as in their own. They embody the NCAA Division II values that have the commitment of Husky Athletics and are shared by WCHA hockey.

The numbers prove our athletes are good on the playing field and in the classroom. In addition to their scholarship, hundreds of Husky student-athletes each year demonstrate leadership in the community, volunteering to coach youth sports clinics and benefit such organizations as Make-a-Wish Foundation, Toys for Tots, Boys and Girls Club, the Salvation Army and a local women's shelter. They get involved in reading programs at local elementary schools and lend their strong hands and minds to help meet community needs.

This year's leading scorer in men's hockey, Drew LeBlanc, is a guy who enjoys working with kids and whose favorite class was calculus. A math education major, he gets a kick out of solving problems on and off the ice. He's a Husky in the tradition of baseball player Kent Koch, whose election to the position of mayor of his hometown, Loretto, this year turned him into a poster boy for the engaged student athlete. His story has been hard to miss, as regional and national media – including the New York Times (http://goo.gl/5ieWh) – featured his unusual set of accomplishments, including serving as co-captain of the Husky baseball team that won the 2011 NSIC tournament and was ranked number one in the region.

We're fortunate to have administrators, coaches, faculty/staff, students and alumni who provide and lend support for experiences that touch our student athletes and influence their character and their capacity to make decisions with their hearts as well as their minds. Softball player Emily Edgerton was voted team MVP, earned conference and district academic honors and led the team's cancer-awareness fundraising for teammate Kelly Laas '11, who lost her life March 2 to cancer. These outstanding student-athletes – Emily, Kent, Drew and the hundreds like them who play for Husky teams every season – are excellent reasons for building and supporting athletic programs on our campus.

These outstanding women and men are unique members of our learning community who come to campus at an exciting, pivotal time in their lives and proceed to distinguish themselves and their university. They perpetuate a proud tradition of student-athletes who have benefited from the kind of solid coaching, character building and team building that leads to graduates who are well rounded and well educated – prepared to succeed in life and work in the 21st century.

Highlights of another great year to celebrate in Husky Athletics:

  • St. Cloud State placed third in 2010-11 NSIC standings.
  • Steve Costanzo honored as 2011 Division II wrestling coach of the year.
  • Seth Mischke named the men's track coach of the year.
  • Senior wrestler John Sundgren won national title at 157 pounds
  • Wrestling team had historic second-place showing in the NCAA Division II national championships; six wrestlers had All-American status.
  • Husky football made its third NCAA Football Championship appearance and advanced to second round of NCAA Division II playoffs for the second time in school history.
  • Twelve Husky teams advanced to NCAA regional or national championship competition, with four winning conference or regional championships.
  • Baseball team set school record 43 wins and won first league championship since 1991.
  • Freshman Elizabeth Simak first St. Cloud State Nordic ski athlete to earn All-Central Collegiate Ski Association Second Team honors.
  • Junior middle distance runner Roshane Boreland, Rend Lake, Ill., earned All-American honors and set a school record in the 800-meter run.
  • Women's swimming and diving team achieved Scholar All- American status with combined 3.42 grade point average.
  • Ninety-three Husky athletes earned NSIC All-Academic Team honors.

{ Web extra } Read the New York Times coverage on Kent Koch

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