Central Arkansas Student-Athletes Sweep McCarty Awards Again

first_imgThe UCA student-athletes’ recognition is the second time in as many years that the Bears have claimed both the women’s and men’s awards after tennis player Marli Van Heerden and basketball player Otas Iyekekpolor won in 2018.“Being awarded both McCarty Awards in consecutive years is quite a testament to the type of men and women our coaches bring on campus,” said UCA Athletics Director Dr. Brad Teague. “We are very proud of our students and this recognition for citizenship is one of the highest honors a student can receive.”The award recognizes both male and female student-athletes who exhibit outstanding qualities in citizenship, sportsmanship, leadership and community service. The honor is named for the former Stephen F. Austin athletic director, who served at the school for 21 years, including 15 as athletic director. McCarty was inducted into the Southland Conference Hall of Honor in 2006. FRISCO, Texas –The 2019 Southland Conference Steve McCarty Citizenship Award winners are University of Central Arkansas softball player Oakley Sisemore and football player Breylin Smith. Commissioner Tom Burnett made the announcement Tuesday. The Conway native is the incoming president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and coaches a seventh- and eighth-grade girls AAU basketball team. Sisemore, a fifth-year senior from Farmington, Ark., and Smith, a junior from Conway, Ark., will be honored Tuesday, May 21, at the annual Southland Honors Dinner and Ceremony at the Westin Stonebriar Hotel in Frisco. Locally, she volunteers with Community Connections – a program for special needs children. She has joined with teammates to help raise funds for “Light the Night Walk,” benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A health education major, Smith is involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Read to Succeed, and UCA Student Mobilization. Along with his teammates, he volunteers his time by going to elementary schools and reading with children and is a frequent speaker at meetings for Conway High School’s Fields of Faith program. Sisemore holds a 3.93 grade point average and is expected to graduate summa cum laude in May with a degree in health sciences. Sisemore, a member of the UCA Chapter of Alpha Chi Honor Society, plans to pursue a master’s degree in sustainability and environmental science next fall, and then attend medical school in the fall of 2020. Smith is a champion roper and is involved with the Arkansas Rodeo Association. Oakley Sisemore, Softball, Central ArkansasThe outfielder’s leadership extends far beyond the softball field and across the world. Sisemore has spent three of the past four summers in Uganda serving the impoverished nation as a community volunteer. This past summer, she convinced teammates Cheyenne Kuhn and Rachel Haberman to join her working at an orphanage and assisting with other community endeavors. Sisemore’s efforts include giving her time at clinics and hospitals in the northern part of Uganda and teaching youth to read. Additionally, Sisemore speaks to Special Olympics athletes about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and is one of just five UCA students participating medical internship rotation – a role normally reserved for third-year medical students.Breylin Smith, Football, Central ArkansasSmith, the starting quarterback last fall before suffering a broken ankle in the fourth game of the season, is involved in a myriad of activities beyond the classroom and football field. His mother Dandra Thomas was all-conference in both volleyball and basketball at UCA. She passed away when Smith was a child and he was raised by his grandparents.last_img read more

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Bo Hedges tours local schools

first_img“You can’t describe in words how inspirational it can be for these kids and for them to see that dreams can come true, overcoming obstacles and being able to always stay positive.”Bennett added that showing his students that anything is achievable is something very valuable to learn at a young age.”[Hedges’] inspirational story shows that it doesn’t matter what life throws at you, as long as you have a positive attitude and set your goal, you can achieve them.” Hedges first visited Dr. Kerney Elementary School, and then made his way to Ecole Central, holding an assembly at each school to discuss his life.In a gymnasium packed full of young students, Hedges talked about his childhood growing up in the region, his accident at age 13, his introduction into wheelchair basketball, and his journies through various Paralympic Games, culminating with a gold medal victory in London this summer.Also speaking to the children was Chair of the Mayor’s Disability Advisory Committee Lori Slater, who talked about the importance of following your dreams and staying motivated in life, telling the children to continuously “challenge yourself, your abilities and your boundaries and see where it takes you.”- Advertisement -Following a few more words, and a question and answer period with the children, Hedges strapped himself into his competitive wheelchair basketball chair and put on a little demonstration, complete with shooting, dribbling and manoeuvring in his athletically designed chair.The assembly ended with the kids getting a first hand look at Hedges’ gold medal from the London Games.Broyden Bennett, Vice Principal at Ecole Central said Hedges’ message is a great one for his students.Advertisementlast_img read more

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