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Flawless play

Travis Leach Among Program’s Best

Travis Leach

2015 summer issue

EAGLE Insider


University of the Ozarks


Player of the Year: Travis Leach Shines On The Pitch

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Cheer Dominance: First Year Brings Championship

2015

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WHAT’S INSIDE

18-19

Mission Trip Success: Josh Ferrell Grows Faith In Florida

EAGLE Insider is a biannual publication of the Sports Information Office. @uofoAthletics

University of the Ozarks

Editor: Josh Peppas Photography: Otto Mejia, U of O Sports Information Office, U of O Public Relations Office Print Production: U of O Public Relations Office

University of the Ozarks + 415 College Avenue + Clarksville, Ark. 72830

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CONTENTS

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EAGLE Insider

Flawless Play:

Soccer star Travis Leach Among Program’s Best

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2015

ard work and determination define who Travis Leach is, on and off the pitch. Leach, the reigning American Southwest Conference Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Year, was brilliant at center back and team captain, leading the Eagles to the semi-finals of the ASC Tournament in 2014 while racking up numerous individual accolades. Leach is much more than one of the top players in the conference though. According to Head Coach Matt Torok, he epitomizes the program and its standards. “He is not just a student that came here to play

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soccer,” said Torok, who was named the 2014 ASC Coach of the Year. “He chose Ozarks to be both a student and an athlete. He exemplifies the type of student-athlete I want in my program. He works hard on the field and in the classroom, and his teammates recognize that.” Away from the pitch, Leach has been active in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and will serve as its President for the 2015-2016 academic year. In the classroom, he is a two-time member of the ASC All-Academic Team and made the NSCAA Scholar All-South Region Team last season. A Mathematics major, Leach enters his senior University of the Ozarks


University of the Ozarks

His determination and will to make the team succeed is why he succeeds. Matt Torok, Head Coach

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“If I had two Travis Leach’s I would put one up top,” said Torok. “He is really good in the air. He has a lot of natural goal scoring ability with his head. That is why we push him up on every set piece. He has scored some timely goals for us.” Leach has proven to be a clutch player, too. Two moments stand out for Torok during last season, both of which occurred in important conference matches. “Last year in the Texas-Tyler match, he headed in a key goal,” said Torok. “Against Hardin-Simmons at home, he put us up 1-0 on a set piece to provide momentum. That is how he leads the team. He leads by a tackle, he wins a ball, he keeps a ball out of harm’s way, or he scores a timely goal.” The list of outstanding men’s soccer players from the university’s most successful athletic program is lengthy. Since its inception in 1996, the program has produced countless All-Conference players, 15 All-Region performers and a handful of conference Players of the Year. Leach has already etched his name among the school’s best. “He is the best defensive player I’ve coached here,” said Torok, who will enter his seventh year in the program. “He is really athletic on the soccer field. His determination and will to make the team succeed is why he succeeds.” summer issue

season as one the top students in the Sciences and Mathematics Division. “He is the complete NCAA Division III student-athlete,” said Torok. “He is just one of those kids that has a will and determination on and off the field.” While Leach is unassuming by nature, his play is anything but that. Leach’s tenacious ability to defend and consistent play are what sets him apart, according to Torok. “He is always in the right defensive position and rarely makes a mistake,” said Torok. “His consistency is so high. That is why he is brilliant at his position. There is never really a drop off day to day, even in training. You know the effort you will get from Travis Leach. He does exactly what we need him to do as a center back. He is a rock back there.” Leach, a senior from Denton, Texas, produced a season to remember in 2014. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Leach was named Conference Defensive Player of the Year as well as First Team All-Conference. He spearheaded the Eagles’ defense to a conference-leading seven shutouts and helped Ozarks own one of the lowest goals against averages (1.21) in the conference and qualify for the postseason. “He is a physical, dominant defender,” said Torok. “He rises to another level that other players can’t get reach in regards to his frame. He never loses a head ball at his size. That is what is special about him.” Leach’s offensive prowess is also noticeable on the field. He has an uncanny ability to score goals. In 2014, he netted two goals, while recording one assist.

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EAGLE Insider

Eli Garcia

Men’s Wrestling Team Completes Inaugural Season

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Under the direction of Head Coach Jason Zastrow, the 2014-2015 men’s wrestling team completed its inaugural season. Ozarks competed in eight events, including the NCAA Division III Regional in Dubuque, Iowa, February 28. While the Eagles didn’t advance to the national tournament, Zastrow believes the experience was an important part of the building process. “It was a good opportunity to wrestle against top-notch competition,” said Zastrow, who previously coached at powerhouse Wartburg. “We just need to continue to progress and carry forward the things we 4

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learned from year one.” In all, the Eagles had a roster that included just one senior. With a solid foundation in place and a large incoming freshmen class for the 2015-2016 season, Zastrow’s team is primed for future success. The program has a new on-campus practice facility, complete with branded padding and a lockeroom with individual lockers. And, a new weight room located adjacent to the wrestling facility, was opened at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year to enhance the team’s strength and conditioning efforts. University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider

Hannah Carter

University of the Ozarks

of the squad made the American Southwest Conference (ASC) All-Academic Team for the 2014 fall semester. Included were Frances Adams, Kristen Callahan, Hannah Carter, Debra Castro, Mary Eoff, Codie Freeman, Haley Gilliam, Maggie Johnson, Liliam Lopez, Morgan Markham and Brooke Tralmer. The program has been among the strongest academic teams on campus the past 20 years. 115 players have been on the ASC Academic Team during the school’s NCAA Division III era. Two players have made NSCAA/adidas Scholar-Athlete All-Region. >>>

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The women’s soccer team was honored with the prestigious Team Academic Award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The NSCAA Team Academic Award is presented to those teams with a 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average for the 2014-2015 academic year. Ozarks posted a 3.22 team gpa to receive the distinction. It marks the seventh time the program has achieved the honor. Institutions from NCAA Division I, II and III, and NAIA are eligible. The award from the NSCAA wasn’t the only academic-oriented honor the program received in 2014. An impressive 11 members

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Women’s Soccer Team Nets NSCAA Academic Award

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EAGLE Insider

Amy Wallace

Women’s Tennis Team Nets ITA Awards

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Four members of the women’s tennis team received academic recognition from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) for the 2014-2015 academic year. The women’s program also earned the ITA Team Academic Award for posting an impressive 3.44 grade point average. It is the third time the women’s program has achieved the team award. Individually, sophomores Andrea Caselles, Josey Love, Andrea Munoz and Amy Wallace earned ITA Scholar-Athlete honors. In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete 6

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status, a player must be a letterwinner, maintain a grade point average of at least 3.50 and have been enrolled at their present school at least two semesters. Ozarks has accumulated 13 ITA Scholar-Athletes over the past four seasons. A total of five women’s players made the American Southwest Conference All-Academic Team following the 2015 spring semester. Included on the team were Andrea Caselles, Josey Love, Andrea Munoz, Amy Wallace and Megan Wallace. 58 players have achieved ASC All-Academic status during the school’s NCAA Division III era. University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider

Stephanie Alderson

University of the Ozarks

since 2007 when it landed six on the team. The women’s program has had a combined 52 runners achieve the honor since 1996. Additionally, the program has had three Capital One Academic AllDistrict runners in its history, with its most recent coming in 2012 (Jordyn Ferrell). And, the 2011 team was awarded the USTFCCCA Team Academic Award, the first of its kind in program history. In 2014, the team competed in the ASC Championships finishing eighth overall. Freshman Stephanie Alderson was named ASC Runner of the Week once in 2014.

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Five members of the women’s cross country team achieved membership on the fall 2014 American Southwest Conference (ASC) All-Academic Team. The members included Jordana Andrews, a senior health science major from Center Ridge, Ark.; Nena Evans, a junior environmental studies major from Bergman, Ark.; Annabel Fidler, a senior strategic communication major from San Antonio, Texas; Amy Wallace, a sophomore English major from Malvern, Ark.; and Megan Wallace, a senior mathematics major from Malvern, Ark. The five members honored were the second-most runners for the program

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Five Women’s Cross Country Runners Achieve Academic Award

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EAGLE Insider

Bryanna Moltz Named School’s Athlete of the Year

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Women’s basketball player Bryanna Moltz was named the school’s 2014-2015 Female Athlete of the Year. The Athlete of the Year award is given to a studentathlete who has outstanding athletic accomplishments, combined with academic excellence and superior career credentials. The award is voted on by the university’s athletic staff. Moltz, a sophomore, ranked among the most productive players in the American Southwest Conference (ASC). The 6-foot-2 forward ranked fourth in the league in 8

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scoring (14.6) and rebounding (8.0). She was second among ASC players in blocks (2.4), seventh in field goal percentage (38%), third in three-point percentage (35.5%) and fourth in three-pointers per game (2.0). Her 60 blocks were the second most in a season at Ozarks. For her success, she was named to the All-ASC Second Team. Moltz started in 25 games and scored in double figures 21 times. She ended the season with six double-doubles. She also helped her team to the ASC playoffs. A native of Sheridan, Ark., she is a Health Science major and was also a member of the ASC All-Academic Team. University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Todd TURNER >>

Todd Turner Named First Team Academic All-America

University of the Ozarks

2015

During the 2015 spring season, Turner played No. 1 singles and posted a 10-4 record. He and doubles partner Bishop Bass went 10-5 in No. 1 doubles. For his efforts, Turner was named to the ASC All-East Division Second Team in singles and doubles. Turner ranks second in program history with 38 career singles wins and second in doubles wins (47). He also led the program to a pair of post-season appearances. A 2015 graduate with a biology degree, Turned posted a 3.9 grade point average and was the only student-athlete from the ASC to earn a spot on the national spring at-large team.

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Senior tennis player Todd Turner capped a spectacular four-year career by earning Capital One Academic All-America® Men’s At-Large First Team honors. Turner, a native of Pearcy, Ark., has been among the most decorated NCAA Division III student-athletes in school history. He is a three-time Capital One Academic All-District honoree, two-time Capital One Academic All-American®, three-time American Southwest Conference (ASC) Distinguished Scholar-Athlete, four-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar Athlete, three-time ASC All-Academic Team member and four-time All-Conference player.

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EAGLE Insider Kelby ROBINSON

Kelby Robinson

Three Men’s Basketball Players Honored

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Men’s basketball players Jace Richardson, Kelby Robinson and Dylan Gray received recognition from the American Southwest Conference following the 2014-2015 season. Richardson, a 6-foot point guard from Fort Smith, Ark., was named the ASC Freshman of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team. Robinson, a 6-foot-6 junior forward from Little Rock, Ark., was named to the All-Conference Third Team. Gray, a 6-foot-5 freshman from Siloam Springs, Ark., earned a spot alongside Richardson on the All-Freshman Team. 10 > > >

Richardson was the top scoring freshman in the league with a 13.3 points per game average. He also led all conference freshmen in assists (4.2) and steals (1.3). Robinson had a breakout season in his junior campaign, ranking tenth in the ASC in scoring (15.5), fifth in rebounding (7.8), ninth in field goal percentage (42%), thirteenth in free throw percentage (72%) and eighth in steals (1.3). Gray produced a promising rookie campaign averaging 8.3 points and grabbing 4.8 rebounds per game. The trio helped Ozarks qualify for the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-06 season. University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Jordana ANDREWS >>

Jordana Andrews Wins ASC Scholar-Athlete Award

University of the Ozarks

2015

The ASC Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor is presented to one male and one female member of the graduating class who has compiled the most outstanding record in academics, athletics and leadership. A guard from Center Ridge, Ark., Andrews averaged 10.3 points per game and shot 84 percent from the free throw line in 26 starts. “Jordana epitomizes the ideal NCAA Division III student-athlete,” said Head Coach Carl Ramsey. “In my 37 years of coaching, I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor.”

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Women’s basketball player Jordana Andrews was one of twenty-four graduating student-athletes from the 12 American Southwest Conference (ASC) member institutions honored by the conference and their institutions as 2014-15 ASC Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor recipients. Andrews posted a 3.94 grade point average as a health science major and has been accepted into the University of Central Arkansas Physical Therapy Doctoral Program. Her conference awards include ASC Player of the Week, ASC All-Academic Team, ASC Distinguished Scholar Athlete and ASC Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year.

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EAGLE Insider

Cheer Dominance Cheerleading Team Vaulted To Unexpected Heights

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nder Coach Tori Cox, the competitive cheerleading team began its inaugural season in February by winning first-place honors at the America’s Best Texas Cheerleading Championships on the campus of UT-Arlington in Arlington, Texas. That was the start of a spectacular first year for the new program. The team also took home first-place honors at competitions in Kansas City and Branson, Mo., before capping the season with a national championship in its division at the Hot Springs (Ark.) JamFest Nationals in late March. 12 > > >

“The first year was very successful and I am proud of the growth I have seen from the team and all that they accomplished,” Cox said. “But my expectations are higher still and we will continue to work hard to reach those this coming year. I have a very talented team coming back this upcoming year, many with tumbling and elite stunting experience.” Cox said this past year was a learning experience for her as well as her team. “I learned so much about coaching this past year,” she said. “I learned what is effective and what isn’t. The University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider The first year was very successful and I am proud of the growth I have seen from the team. Tori Cox, Head Coach

2015

athletes who are returning learned a lot as well and are ready to be leaders for next year’s team. With the combination of that leadership and experience, I believe this program is headed in a very successful direction. I think the potential of the incoming squads will be unexpected by the school, the community, and other college cheerleading programs, and yet this is only the beginning.” Cox said she expects to have a full roster of 20 athletes on the cheer team and approximately 30 on the STUNT team for the 2015-2016 season. “My expectations are the same this year as they’ve always been,” Cox said. “I expect each individual to come in and work as hard as they ever have before, accepting and utilizing the skills developed within them. If they do that they will be prepared to compete at the highest level, regardless of who we may compete against.” This upcoming season will be the first year for Ozarks to compete in STUNT. Cox said the STUNT team will compete at several tournaments during the 2015-16 season, including two events at Ozarks in the spring. “These will be the first STUNT games in the history of the state of Arkansas,” Cox said. The cheer team will compete at a National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) camp this summer in an attempt to qualify for the NCA Nationals April 6-10, 2016 in Daytona Beach.

University of the Ozarks

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By Larry Isch, Director of University and Public Relations

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EAGLE Insider

Grace Brown Wins State Title

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Freshman clay target shooter Grace Brown finished first in the Women’s J1 Division at the Arkansas Junior Olympic Qualifier match in March. Also at the event held in Tillar, Ark., she finished fifth overall. Later in the season, she helped Ozarks take third place in international trap at the Arkansas State Collegiate Shotgun Championship. An early childhood education major from Booneville, Ark., Brown was Ozarks’ top female finisher in each of its events during the 2014-2015 season, helping the program become one of the state’s best. 14 > > >

Brown and her teammates also participated in the ACUI National Tournament in San Antonio in March, where over 600 athletes from 76 universities competed. Brown’s ultimate goal is to make the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team and compete in the Olympics. She is a three-time medalist at the state Junior Olympic Qualifier and just missed out on an automatic qualifying spot in international bunker in this summer’s Junior Olympics in Colorado Springs. She has been selected for the third time to take part in a training program with U.S. Olympic coaches this summer in Colorado. University of the Ozarks


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University of the Ozarks

are second most in a season at Ozarks. He posted 17 multiple-hit games and six multiple-RBI games. He had three four-hit games, two of which came against Hendrix College. Against Howard Payne, he had four RBI, three hits and two runs, thus producing all six runs in a 6-1 win. In his first 17 games, Beck was 17-for-37 (.459) at the plate with six RBI and six runs. At the conclusion of the 2015 season, he was named to the All-Conference First Team. He completed his sophomore season ranking fourth at Ozarks in most career triples with four. >>>

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Sophomore shortstop Andrew Beck was named to the 2015 D3baseball.com All-Region Third Team. Beck, a 6-foot, 195-pound native of Conway, Ark., was among the most productive players in the American Southwest Conference during the year. At the end of the regular season, he was in the top-10 in batting (.385), hits (57), triples (2), doubles (18), total bases (82), on-base percentage (.424) and slugging percentage (.554). He led the team in those seven offensive categories as well as RBI (21). He owned a 17-game hit streak during the season, in which he accumulated a combined 30 hits. His 18 doubles

2015

Andrew Beck Named To D3Baseball.com All-Region Team

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EAGLE Insider

Austin BENNER Austin Benner Named To Capital One Academic All-District Team

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Junior goalkeeper Austin Benner was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Men’s Soccer Team by the College of Sports Information Directors of America in 2014. Benner, a native of Allen, Texas, was additionally named to the All-Conference Second Team. The 6-foot-4, 170-pound Benner led the American Southwest Conference (ASC) in saves (120) for the second consecutive season. He also led the league with seven shutouts and ranked fourth in goals against average (1.13). He was third in saves per game (6.67). 16 > > >

Benner started in 18 matches and owned a 8-8-2 record. He recorded a season-high 11 saves against Williams Baptist College. Benner posted a perfect 1.000 saves percentage in seven matches. A management/administration major, he is a two-time member of the ASC All-Academic Team. The Capital One Academic All-District Team recognizes outstanding NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III studentathletes. To be eligible, student-athletes must maintain at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average for their career. University of the Ozarks


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Krysten Shavers

Seven Softball Players Earn All-Conference

University of the Ozarks

2015

Oler finished second on the team in innings pitched (80.2), strikeouts (28), games started (9) and complete games (7). Gilbert led the ASC in complete games with 15, while finishing third in innings pitched (131.0), and seventh in strikeouts (53). Sorensen scored a teamhigh 17 runs. Massey hit .250 with four doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI. Shavers posted a team-best 21 RBI, 10 doubles, 35 hits and 51 total bases. Cluck hit .267, scored eight runs and stole four bases. Hoffsommer led the team in batting (.354), while finishing second in runs (16). She had five doubles to go along with 10 RBI.

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Seven softball players were named All-Conference by the American Southwest Conference (ASC) following the season. Freshman pitcher Hannah Oler made the All-ASC Second Team and freshmen pitcher Hailie Gilbert made the At-Large All-ASC Second Team. Senior utility player Shawnee Sorensen was named to the At-Large All-ASC Third Team. Freshman second baseman Beth Massey, sophomore designated player Krysten Shavers, freshman outfielder Madison Cluck and freshman outfielder Brooke Hoffsommer were named to the All-ASC Honorable Mention Team.

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EAGLE Insider

Faith-Promoting Experience Josh Ferrell Grows Faith On Florida Mission Trip

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t wasn’t a typical beach experience for a collegeage kid. While many students flock to beaches in Florida to enjoy the sun and fun, University of the Ozarks student Josh Ferrell spent part of his time sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ on a beach in popular Destin. The junior-to-be shooting guard for the Eagles spent nine weeks with Kaleo, a non-denominational Christian organization that provides college students with faithpromoting experiences and evangelical training in Florida, Texas and Alabama. Ferrell was one of 250 college 18 > > >

students and the only U of O representative at Destin. “It was more than I expected in regards to how much I grew with my faith,” he said. “It was great to meet so many college students who love the Lord and are willing to give up their summer to grow. It made me more confident and more knowledgeable on how to approach people about Christ. And, it made me more outgoing on speaking about my faith.” With a curfew every night and a 40-hour work week at a parasailing business, Ferrell’s time in Florida was far from a vacation. Every night was packed full of activities, ranging University of the Ozarks


University of the Ozarks

Ferrell is a native of West Fork, Ark., majoring in health science. He was named the American Southwest Conference Men’s Basketball Freshman of the Year in 20132014. For his career, he has averaged over eight points per game and has made 67 three-pointers over two seasons.

2015

It was more than I expected in regards to how much I grew with my faith. Josh Ferrell

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from evangelism training to bible study classes. “We would go out on the beach in Destin and share the word of God,” he said. “We gave out cards that included a bible verse to the people. Other nights we had training that helped us study the bible more clearly as well as training on effective ways to share the word. We also heard testimonies from different university speakers.” Ferrell’s favorite activity included Thursday night group functions. “We held a church service and dinner, then worshiped with a band, and finished by hearing a sermon,” he said. “It was great to see 250 college students worshipping God and singing together.” Ferrell and his group were assigned to area churches, and served as ushers at Sunday morning services. But it was at an evening bonfire that Ferrell felt God the most. “One night after worship, we went to the beach and had a bonfire,” he said. “We sang worship songs together. It was a moving experience.” Ferrell joined his sister Jassa, a three-year veteran of Keleo, in Destin. “Jassa has enjoyed all three years she’s attended,” he said. “I enjoyed the experience so much and would go back again if I get the chance.” Ferrell hopes to apply what he learned in Florida on Ozarks’ campus. “I can now share what I learned with others on campus who are curious about God or their faith,” he said. “And I can find other believers who want to grow and we can fellowship together.”

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Andrew CUMMINGS Cummings Named ASC Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year

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Men’s cross country standout Andrew Cummings was named a tri-winner of the 2014-2015 American Southwest Conference Fred Jacoby Sportsmanship Award. Cummings shared the award with fellow campus student-athlete Matt Weaver (soccer) and Isaiah Minick from Hardin-Simmons University. Cummings and Weaver are the first men’s duo from the same school in the history of the Fred Jacoby Sportsmanship Award to receive the honor in the same year. Cummings, from Mansfield, Texas, displayed a strong 20 > > >

work ethic and positive attitude to receive the honor. During his collegiate career, Cummings lettered in basketball, cross country, soccer and track and field, all while representing his campus in a number of leadership positions. He served the student body as the President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Away from athletics, Cummings has rendered service with the Special Olympics, and served a mission trip overseas. He was nominated for the All-State NABC Good Works Team. He graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. University of the Ozarks


2015 Summer Issue

Travis Leach

www.uofoathletics.com

EAGLE Insider

University of the Ozarks Eagle Insider - Summer 2015  
University of the Ozarks Eagle Insider - Summer 2015  

University of the Ozarks Eagle Insider - Summer 2015

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