Chapple Named Candidate For 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

March 6, 2009

2009 Lowe’s CLASS Candidates Get Acrobat Reader


Kansas softball senior Val Chapple has been named a candidate for the 2009 softball division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award it was announced Friday. Chapple is one of 30 collegiate softball student-athletes named to the list.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact. Student-athletes chosen for the award excel not only on the playing field, but also in the classroom and in their community.

In her fourth year as KU’s starting third baseman, Chapple currently leads the Jayhawks with a .340 batting average and nine RBIs and was named to the North Texas All-Tournament Team earlier this season. Through three seasons, Chapple also holds numerous single-season and career records with the Jayhawks.

Off the field, Chapple completed a four-year education program in just three and a half years while also maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA in the process. Since receiving her degree this past December, Val has started taking graduate classes this semester and is pursuing a master’s in education. For her efforts, the Overland Park, Kan., native earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Second Team honors in 2008 and is a two-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 selection.

Chapple has also been a part of numerous events in the community during her time as a student-athlete at Kansas. She has participated in events such as Jubilee Cafe serving breakfast to the homeless, Women and Sports Day clinic teaching young girls the basics of softball, traveling to area elementary schools to read to children and encourage active and healthy lifestyles, Habitat for Humanity, and “Hawks, Cops, N’ Kidz” just to name a few.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition.

Twenty-nine NCAA colleges and universities are represented among the 30 candidates for the 2009 award, with the University of Alabama being the lone school with two selections.

The list of 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. The ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans. The award winner will be announced and recognized at the 2009 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

“These 30 young women represent the tremendous opportunities offered by collegiate athletics,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing and advertising. “We at Lowe’s are pleased to highlight student-athletes of this caliber and help lead the way in building our nation’s future leaders.”

This marks the third year for the softball division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.

Sportscaster Dick Enberg, Honorary Chairman of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, first conceived the idea of an award for seniors in 2001 in response to the growing trend of men’s basketball players leaving school early for the NBA. The award was launched to honor senior student-athletes who remained in college, exhausting their collegiate athletic eligibility, to pursue their college degree.

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