By: Nathan Bloechl — firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of Iowa football program has named 21 players to the 2020 Leadership Group, it was announced Friday by head coach Kirk Ferentz.
The group includes nine seniors, three juniors, six sophomores, and three red-shirt freshmen. The purpose of the group is to assist in formulating policies and being involved in team decision-making throughout the year. Players were selected following coaching staff and player input.
The leadership group was voted on one month ago.
The group consists of seniors Cole Banwart, Keith Duncan, Chauncey Golston, Matt Hankins, Alaric Jackson, Nick Niemann, Mekhi Sargent, Austin Schulte and Brandon Smith; juniors Djimon Colbert, Ivory Kelly-Martin and Jack Koerner; sophomores Dane Belton, Seth Benson, Julius Brents, Tyler Linderbaum, Spencer Petras, and Tyrone Tracy, Jr.; and redshirt freshmen Jermari Harris, Desmond Hutson, and Alex Padilla.
Williams, who is the lone Big 12 honoree on the first team, earned second team honors in 2019 and third team honors in 2018. She maintained a 3.96 GPA in Iowa State’s software engineering program, and was also an Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree. She is the fourth Cyclone softball player ever to be named a first team member by CoSIDA. Williams is one of three softball student-athletes in the nation to earn her third career CoSIDA Academic All-America honor in 2020. She is also just the third three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American in Iowa State athletics history. She joins Iowa State baseball’s Mike Gillespie (1970-72) and former women’s track/cross country standout Lisa Koll (2008-10) in that exclusive club.
On the field, Williams is Iowa State’s all-time leader in hits (250), doubles (64) and home runs (46), and was named an Honorable Mention All-American in 2019. She is also the NCAA DI active leader in doubles. Williams announced in April that she would be returning for an additional season of eligibility in 2021, due to the cancellation of the NCAA softball season caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Iowa State is the only softball program in the Big 12 to have a CoSIDA Academic All-American each of the past three years, totaling four honorees in the time span.
Drake’s Rhine and Seaberg Honored
Rhine and Seaberg are two of four Valley student-athletes awarded the scholarships by the MVC Faculty Athletics Representatives Committee due to their exemplary academic and athletic performances. They will each receive a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship from the conference.
This is the second postgraduate scholarship for Rhine, who was awarded one by the NCAA last month. Rhine was a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, including back-to-back first team honors the past two seasons. She was the first-ever three-time recipient of the MVC Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, and was selected to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team three times.
Rhine, who graduated with her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a 4.0 grade point average, is in Drake’s master of counseling program and holds a 4.0 GPA in her graduate studies. During her time at Drake, she was part of more than 5,000 community service hours completed by the women’s basketball program.
Seaberg was selected one of 11 on the 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-American First Team. A native of Moline, Ill., he graduated with a 4.0 GPA as a health sciences major. Prior to collecting Academic All-American honors this past season, Seaberg earned a spot on the Academic All-District team and was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team.
To be eligible for consideration for the MVC postgraduate scholarship, recipients must have achieved a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.40, participated with distinction in a MVC championship sport for at least two seasons at the nominating institution and must graduate from their institutions within 18 months following selection at the spring meetings of the Faculty Athletics Representative Committee.