LakePoint, Ga. - The ASUN Conference recognized its 2016-17 Spring Winners for Life team on Thursday. The team is comprised of one student-athlete from each of the eight institutions in the conference and honors those who display excellence on and off the playing surface.
The Winners for Life team honors a campus citizen that is respected as one who shares and/or demonstrates the ASUN Core Values: Education, Honesty, Student-Athlete Experience, Fairness, Health, Ambition, Respect, Diversity, Inclusion, Leadership, Responsibility, and Sportsmanship. To be eligible for the award, the student-athlete must have competed in the current academic year in an ASUN sponsored sport and be in good academic standing at his/her university.
FGCU Men's Tennis student-athlete Andres Alfonzo was selected to represent the Eagles on the Spring Winners for Life team. The senior graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 as a Finance major this spring. He served as the representative on the Eagles Council and Athletics Health & Wellness Committee. As a captain, Alfonzo led the Eagles to the 2017 ASUN Conference Championship and was a First Team All-Conference selection in 2016. In the Fort Myers, Fla. community, Alfonzo volunteered at the Hapehatchee Center and Maden's Match raising funds for non-profit organizations.
Cristina Finan earned the Spring Winners for Life recognition for the Dolphins after an outstanding year on the Beach Volleyball courts and in the Jacksonville community. Finan owns a cumulative GPA of 3.712 as a Nursing major and appeared in 22 matches for the Dolphins. The junior is an active member of Jacksonville's SAAC and in her role plans and implements community outreach programs for the entire student-athlete body on campus. She has worked with her department to log volunteer hours to better support the JU and Arlington communities.
Kennesaw State's Taylor McGhee is one of the standout performers on the Owls Lacrosse squad. She recently graduated with a degree in management from Kennesaw State and is a three-time ASUN All-Academic team honoree. Her cumulative GPA is 3.82 and she recently won the Wise Owl Award for highest female GPA, while graduating Magna Cum Laude. She concluded her on field career as one of only three Owls to surpass the 100 goals scored mark. Her play this year was a key part in the Owls setting a new program record for most wins in a season. In the community, McGhee has collected and packed books for kids in Africa, while also volunteering with Children's Health Care of Atlanta.
McCarley Thomas of Lipscomb graduated in May with a degree in English Teaching and a minor in Spanish. Thomas' cumulative GPA was 3.95 at Lipscomb and she earned several academic honors, including NFCA All-American Scholar-Athlete and ASUN All-Academic team recognition. She had her best year on the diamond in 2017, ranking seventh in the ASUN with a 2.50 ERA and sixth in strikeouts with 120. She has been the Lipscomb FCA President during the 2016-17 academic year and has been a tutor in both the Lipscomb Academy and with the IDEAL Mentor program, helping students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
NJIT's Cody Kramer has been on the Dean's List with a 4.0 GPA every semester of his Highlander career and earned a degree in Biology in May. He graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors and has been a member of Chi Sigma Alpha National College Athletic Honor Society. He was an ASUN Baseball All-Academic team selection in 2016. A team captain for the Highlanders, Kramer recorded his 100th career hit during the 2017 campaign. He finished with the second highest batting average of any Highlanders this year at .292. Kramer volunteered at the Northampton Area Food Bank in 2016, and helped set up "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" Walk in 2015 and 2016.
Senior pitcher Alex Smith collects the Spring Winners for Life team honor for North Florida. The right-handed pitcher from Tampa, Fla. has been on the ASUN Academic Honor Roll every year of his Osprey career. Smith was effective out of the bullpen as he finished the 2017 season with a 1.11 ERA, the best among Osprey relievers. He finished the year with a 3-0 record, and did not allow an earned run in 15 of 16 appearances. Smith has volunteered for the mentoring program Real Men Read and has been a member of the facility staff at the Eleven Twenty Two church. Smith has also been a member of North Florida's SAAC and has logged multiple hours reading at elementary schools.
USC Upstate's star softball pitcher Lexi Shubert adds Spring Winners for Life team honors to her long list of honors. Shubert graduated with a degree in Graphic Design and owns a cumulative GPA of 3.88. She was a Dean's List member seven times, while earning President's and Chancellor's List honors three times. Shubert is a two-time ASUN Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earned ASUN Pitcher of the Year honors in 2015 and All-Tournament MVP honors. She has been voted ASUN Pitcher of the Week eight times during her outstanding career and helped the Spartans reach the NCAA Regionals in all four seasons. In the community, Shubert has volunteered with the Spartanburg Miracle League, the art department at Providence Baptist Church and FCA camp in Spartanburg.
Jessie Tenbroeck of Stetson graduated with a degree in Accounting and is a member of Beta Alpha Psi and on the Hatter Honor Roll. The infielder has been a standout on the field for the Hatters throughout her career. She is a two-time First Team All-Conference selection (2016-17) and stole a league-high 48 bases during the 2017 campaign. She finished her athletic career with 142 stolen bases, a new ASUN Softball career record. Tenbroeck has volunteered with the Stetson Fall/Spring/Summer Softball clinics since 2014. The senior also volunteered with New Horizon Service Dogs, and was a member of the Sports Business Association in 2016.