|Jones, Eccleston win top Falcon awards (04-23-13)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Tuesday, 23 April 2013 09:58|
The two Falcon Medal of Honor winners at Bowling Green State University are planning to be pretty busy for the next few months.
Seniors Chris Jones, football, and Maddie Eccleston, tennis, received the top honor at the annual athletics honors night Monday in the Stroh Center. Approximately 400 people attended the event.
Jones is busy getting all his course work done while waiting for the National Football League draft, which begins on Thursday. The Mid-American Conference defensive player of the year, Jones could be drafted anywhere between the third and seventh rounds, or he could be an undrafted free agent.
''I still have got a lot of projects to do. I have to take exams this week, just in case that once the draft is over and I get picked up by a team, I will probably have to head out next week,'' Jones said. ''I have to get as much of the academic stuff done as I can right now.''
Eccleston, who has a 3.95 grade-point average, and her teammates are playing this weekend in the MAC tournament.
"It's definitely wide-open,'' Eccleston said about the MAC tournament.
Eccleston is then getting married next month.
After the wedding, she is going to Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., in July to start her physician assistants graduate program. The PA degree is 2 1/2 years of course work.
Neither Jones nor Eccleston were expecting to receive the Falcon Medal of Honor which embodies athletic success, academic success, leadership and service to the community.
''There are so many athletes here and a lot of great people here, a lot of great leaders,'' Jones said. ''With the Falcon Medal of Honor, I read what it consisted of, that's a really big honor.
''Being here for four years, I got to meet a lot of the athletes,'' Jones added. ''The 18 sports that are here, really put a lot into what they do. It's awesome to be considered one of the top (athletes) here at BG.''
''I got an e-mail that I was a finalist, but I actually thought it was for the scholar-athlete,'' Eccleston said. ''When I didn't see my name on the program ... I was a little confused. I was a little surprised that it for was the Medal of Honor.
''It's a great honor to be recognized for not only your work on the field, on the court, but also off the court in the classroom and all the extracurriculars,'' she continued. ''I have definitely put the work in, in a lot of areas.''
Jones and junior volleyball player Paige Penrod were the male and female athletes of the year. Penrod was the MVP of the MAC tournament and a mainstay on the team which reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Zach Lemke, men's soccer, and Jen Beatty, swimming, were the senior scholar-athletes of the year. Lemke also won the award as a junior.
Brandon Silva, men's soccer, and Laura Avila, volleyball, were the junior scholar-athletes of the year.
For the second year in a row, the women's tennis team earned the female award for highest grade-point-average, this year with a 3.74.
The hockey team won the male team award for highest GPA with its 3.42.
All of BG's student-athletes combined for a school-record 3.11 GPA through the fall of 2012.
Also recognized were the 210 student-athletes with a GPA of 3.0 or better, including 24 with a 4.0.
Athletes from Wood County high schools on the academic honor roll were: Andrea Alt, Perrysburg, cross country and track and field; Lauren Diehl, Perrysburg, golf; Kaylee Draper, Perrysburg, soccer; and Ashley Dunn, Bowling Green, volleyball.
Also honored were Dr. Richard Barker, with the distinguished service award for his contributions and exceptional services to the development of BGSU student-athletes; and Ron Wellman, a former BGSU baseball player, who received the distinguished alumnus award. Wellman is currently the athletics director at Wake Forest.
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