True Blue Award Nominees for Rock Chalk Choice Awards Released
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Nominees for the True Blue Award, honoring a student-athlete who demonstrates devotion to excellence in academics and athletics while advancing Kansas Athletics through participation in student organizations or community service projects, were released by the Rock Chalk Choice Awards committee Sunday afternoon. The winner of the award will be announced at the Academy Awards-like event at the Lied Center of Kansas, Sept. 7.
Drew Matthews (track and field), Elizabeth Scherer (rowing), JaCorey Shepherd (football), Maddie Stein (softball) and Michelle Woods (women’s golf) have been nominated by their coaches and peers as candidates of four of the seven total awards to be presented at the Rock Chalk Choice Awards have now been announced.
Following a red-carpet entrance and a reception in the Lied Center lobby, accolades in seven different categories – Jayhawker Award, Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role, The Crimson Climb Award, True Blue Award, Rock Chalk Moment Award, and Male and Female Athlete of the Year – will be unveiled and special student-athlete academic achievements will be recognized during the ceremony in the Auditorium. For the final four awards will be announced in the coming weeks.
As in years past, due to space limitations at the Lied Center the event is by invitation only and limited to athletic department staff, student-athletes and their families, KU faculty and selected dignitaries.
Matthews, a junior from Sammamish, Washington, is a middle distance runner for the men’s track team and a was a member of the 4×400-meter relay team that qualified for the NCAA Championship in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in addition to competing at the NCAA West Regional as an individual in the 400. He was on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll both semesters of the 2013-14 academic year, is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) executive team and was active in planning and participating in community outreach activities.
Scherer, from Wamego, Kan., was a member of the varsity eight boat and she earned All-Big 12 honors during her junior and senior campaigns. As a member of the first varsity eight boat her junior and senior year she helped earn three victories and 22 top-five finishes. Voted as the 2014 Kansas Oarswoman of the Year by her coaches and teammates, Scherer was named Conference USA Scholar Athlete of the Year, received the Big 12 Prentice Gautt Academic Award and was a Big 12 Gerald Lage Recipient. Scherer was very active in community service through SAAC events and also volunteered at the hospital.
During the 2013 season Shepherd, a senior from Mesquite, Texas, started all 12 games at cornerback for the football team and earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. He led KU, ranked third in the Big 12 and tied for 17th in the NCAA for pass defense. Shepherd was also named Academic All-Big 12 Second Team and was a member of the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. For the last three years, Shepherd has been involved in the Big Brother Big Sister program and was named KU’s Galen Fiss Award winner for demonstrating exemplary service to community and campus.
Stein played first base for the softball team and was named to the All-Big 12 Defensive Team, playing all 57 games for the Jayhawks while batting .358 for the year. The senior from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was an integral part of the team earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Stein was also named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team for the second time in her career and was a two-time member of the Athletic Director’s honor roll during the 2013-14 academic year. Also a member of the SAAC executive board, Stein was very active in planning and participating in community outreach programs.
Woods’ collaborative and competitive spirit helped the women’s golf team reach the NCAA Championships. Throughout the year the Manhattan, Kansas, native improved her game and her work ethic combined with a positive attitude motivated the team to compete at a higher level. A senior this year, Woods was a two-time member of the Athletic Director’s honor roll for the 2013-14 academic year and notched a perfect 4.0 GPA in the spring. Woods is an active member of SAAC and was helpful in planning and participating in community service activities.
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