Chester and Ziegler Win 2010 Scholar Athlete Award at Annual Athletics Banquet
Thursday, April 22, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Baseball’s Josh Chester (Weston, Fla./St. Petersburg College) and softball’s Lauran Ziegler (Palm Bay, Fla./Brevard CC), two of the most accomplished student-athletes in FGCU Athletics history, were presented the Eagle Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award Tuesday night, capping the University’s annual Athletics Awards Ceremony in the Student Union Ballroom.

The Scholar Athlete Award is the highest honor FGCU bestows upon a graduating senior student-athlete and recognizes the ability of the winner to combine athletic and academic success with community service.

A left-handed hitter for the two-time defending A-Sun Regular Season Champion baseball team, Chester has 30-plus multiple hit games as an Eagle and has started in 88 of the 89 games that the team has played since he put on a FGCU uniform. He batted .289 with 63 hits, 15 doubles, one triple, six home runs, and 50 RBI as a junior and is currently hitting .353 with nine doubles, two homers, and 38 RBI. As a junior, Chester, who has led the Blue and Green to a 59-30 record over the last two seasons, set an FGCU record, hitting in 24 straight games (during the streak, he batted .378 with 42 hits, eight doubles, six home runs, and 36 RBI).

Majoring in accounting, Chester carried a 3.4 cumulative grade point average into his final semester at FGCU this spring. He has earned A-Sun All-Academic honors in two consecutive seasons and has had three semesters with a GPA of 3.32 or better. Among his many community service activities, Chester participates in the Pinewoods Elementary School Reading Days and Special Olympic charity whiffle ball games.

A speedy outfielder for the FGCU softball team that was ranked as high as 18th in the nation last season, Ziegler is batting .331, second-highest on the team, with 58 hits, 32 runs scored and 24 stolen bases. Her 58 hits lead the conference and her 24 stolen bases rank her second in the A-Sun. An All-Atlantic Sun First Team in her first season at FGCU (2009), Ziegler finished the 2009 season with a .388 batting average, a .444 on-base percentage, 26 stolen bases, and 62 runs scored. In her two seasons as the left fielder for the Eagles, Ziegler has helped FGCU to a 69-37 record.

A public relations major, Ziegler boasts a 3.69 cumulative GPA. She has earned A-Sun All-Academic honors on two occasions. Ziegler has achieved a 3.5 or better GPA in each of her three terms at FGCU and will graduate Cum Laude in a few weeks. She has served as a camp counselor for numerous softball camps and clinics. Among her additional community service efforts, she has given softball lessons (free of charge) and has made presentations to middle/high school students on the importance of staying in school.

Several other annual awards were presented during Thursday night’s ceremony: women’s basketball senior Adrianne McNally (Howell, Mich./Pinckney HS), men’s basketball senior Derrick O’Neil (Moreno Valley, Calif./Florida CC) and senior cross country runner Hugo Gijon (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee High School) were recipients of the Carl McAloose Spirit Award; women’s soccer player Amber McCall (Fort Myers, Fla./Estero HS) was presented with the Inspirational Award; volleyball player Keishla Negron (Caroline, Puerto Rico/Coral Shores HS) won the Community Service Award; and the Swimming and Diving team was presented the Eagle Team Spirit award for the second consecutive year.



2010 Outstanding Athlete Finalists
In addition to the awards that were presented Thursday, 22 candidates for the annual Outstanding Male and Female Athlete Awards were announced.

BASEBALL: Mikel Alvarez, Richie Erath, Zach Maxfield, Tim Roberson, Chris Sale, Luke Smierciak and Stephen Wickens
MEN’S GOLF: Brandon Pena
WOMEN’S SOCCER: Amber McCall and Katherine Correllus
SOFTBALL: Courtney Platt, Jessica Gary and Lauran Ziegler
SWIMMING & DIVING: Danielle Butler, Vicky Cadge, Leah Daniel, Viktoria Hyddmark, Karmin McNamara, Myriam Plante and Gaby Shaw
VOLLEYBALL: Jelena Simic


Scholar Athlete of the Year Award (Josh Chester and Lauran Ziegler)
The Scholar Athlete Award is the highest honor FGCU bestows upon a graduating senior student-athlete and recognizes the ability of the winner to combine athletic and academic success with community service.

The Finalists for Scholar Athlete of the Year were:
Josh Chester
Amber McCall
Lauran Ziegler

Carl McAloose Spirit Award (Adrianne McNally, Derrick O’Neil, and Hugo Gijon)
The Carl McAloose Spirit Awards are presented annually to recognize the male and female student-athletes who best exemplify Carl McAloose’s spirit and love for FGCU Athletics, as well as dedication to their team and teammates. In essence, the honorees neither ever want to conclude their Eagle careers nor do their coaches, teammates or fans want these spirited competitors and team leaders to conclude their FGCU tenures.

The Finalists for the Carl McAloose Spirit Award were:
Hugo Gijon
Teri Lytle
Adrianne McNally
Derrick O’Neil
Megan Thies

Inspirational Award (Amber McCall)
The Inspirational Award is awarded to individuals associated with FGCU Athletics who display perseverance, dedication, and determination when confronted with a life-altering event, while serving as a role model and inspiration to others. The potential honoree can be a current or former student-athlete, staff member, or someone closely connected to the FGCU Athletic program that personifies what the award should represent.

The Finalists for the Inspirational Award were:
Emily Barrett
Nicole Boswell
Kyle Marks
Amber McCall
Lauran Ziegler

Community Service Award (Keishla Negron)
The Community Service Award is presented to the student-athlete who exemplifies commitment to volunteerism on the FGCU campus and in the local community.

The Finalists for the Community Service Award were:
Kyle Brunette
Anna Jokuty
Farah Leclercq
Keishla Negron
Ed Rolax

Eagle Team Spirit Award (Swimming & Diving)
The Eagle Team Spirit Award is awarded to the team that exemplifies Eagle Spirit and team support.