AD Bruce Hemphill reflects on a fantastic fall fo rMcNeese Athletics

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It was a great 2017 fall for McNeese athletics with all five sports in season – football, volleyball, soccer, men’s and women’s cross country – to finish in the top five in the Southland Conference standings for its sport, the only school to achieve that mark.

Because of that, McNeese is tied for FIRST in the standings for the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Cup through the fall sports.

The Cowgirls soccer team and Cowboys cross country squad each finished second in the league, the Cowgirls tying for the spot with Stephen F. Austin. McNeese football finished in a tie for third with Nicholls while the Cowgirls cross country unit placed third at the league championship meet. And the Cowgirl volleyball team tied for fifth in the final conference standings.

In addition to the team success, individual accolades followed.

Combined among the five sports, a total of 23 student-athletes earned postseason all-conference honors, six of those garnering top honors by the league including soccer’s Savannah LaRicci who was named the Southland Conference Player and Forward of the Year; Gabi D’Alesandro Defender of the Year; and Emma Roccaforte the Goalkeeper of the Year.

In cross country, Gladys Jerotich was named the women’s XC Newcomer of the Year while Brian Flanagan picked up men’s Freshman of the Year honors.

Seven Cowgirl soccer players were named to the All-Louisiana Soccer Team, led by LaRicci who was named the state’s player of the year and Roccaforte as freshman of the year. In addition, both were named to the All-Louisiana First Team and were joined by D’Alesandro. Havana Johnson and Nikki Schaff picked up honorable mention honors.

Cross country runner Nathan Jones was joined by Enrique Soto and Katja Woelfl in earning NCAA South Central Cross Country All-Region honors. Jones, Soto and Woelfl were also named to the Southland Conference All-Academic team along with Oliver James. Jones was selected as the Southland Men’s Cross Country Student Athlete of the Year.

Academically, Schaff earned SLC All-Academic honors as well as being named to the US Coaches NCAA Division I Scholar All-Region Team. She was the only player from the Southland Conference to garner the all-region scholar honors.

Adison Giambrone picked up all-academic volleyball honors while Jalen Bowers earned SLC All-Academic honors for football.

A total of 81 student-athletes that competed in the fall were named to the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Fall Academic Honor Roll. That list included 17 student-athletes who posted a perfect 4.0 grade point average for the semester.

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It has been a very productive first half of the year (July 1-December 31) with over $2 million funds raised for McNeese Athletics.

One of our goals in athletics is to have by far the finest facilities in the Southland Conference. We are well on our way!

The athletic facility improvements are funded, with the majority of the projects, by private donations.

These projects and our athletic success would not be possible without the generosity of our donors and clubs. It is people like you that makes McNeese great!

Thank you,
Geaux Pokes

Bruce Hemphill
Director of Athletics
McNeese State University

2017-18 MAJOR ATHLETIC PROJECTS (APRIL 1-PRESENT DAY)

• Replace turf at Cowboy Stadium – $650,000
• Replace softball scoreboard, fence and padding – $115,000
• Replace indoor turf at baseball and softball complexes – $23,500
• Full field turf at Cowgirl Diamond – $259,000
• Replace track surface and add public entrance at Lena and Bill Henning Track and Field Complex – $420,000
• Second team 56-passenger charter bus – $285,000 (coming later this spring)

Total funding of projects – $1.75 million

2017-18 McNeese Athletics Championships and Awards

All-Southland Conference (23)
• Football (11): 1st Team – TE Lawayne Ross, RB David Hamm, PK Gunnar Raborn, DB Dominique Hill. 2nd Team – OL Andy Dodd, LB Ashari Goins. Honorable Mention – RB Justin Pratt, WR Kent Shelby, DL Jammerio Gross-Whitaker, LB BJ Blunt, DB Andre Fuller.
• Soccer (6): 1st Team – Savannah LaRicci, Gabi D’Alesandro, Emma Roccaforte. 2nd Team – Nikki Schaaf, Nola Prickett. Honorable Mention – Havana Johnson.
• Men’s Cross Country (3): 1st Team – Nathan Jones, Enqrique Soto. 2nd Team – Oliver James
• Women’s Cross Country (2): 1st Team – Katja Woelfl, Gladys Jerotich
• Volleyball (1): 2nd Team – Shanna Spree

SLC Individual Top Awards (6)
• Savannah LaRicci (Soccer Player of the Year)
• Gabi D’Alesandro (Soccer Defender of the Year)
• Savannah LaRicci (Soccer Forward of the Year)
• Emma Roccaforte (Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year)
• Gladys Jerotich (Women’s XC Newcomer of the Year)
• Brian Flanagan (Men’s XC Freshman of the Year)

SLC Student-Athlete of the Year (1)
• Nathan Jones (Men’s Cross Country)

SLC All-Academic (19)
• Men’s Cross Country (3): 1st Team – Nathan Jones, Enrique Soto, Oliver James
• Women’s Cross Country (1): 1st Team – Katja Woelfl
• Volleyball (1): 2nd Team – Adison Giambrone
• Soccer (1): 2nd Team – Nikki Schaaf
• Football (1): 1st Team – Jalan Bowers

All-Louisiana (5)
• Soccer (5): 1st Team – Savannah LaRicci, Gabi D’Alesandro, Emma Roccaforte. Honorable Mention – Nikki Schaaf, Havana Johnson.
Football: Has Not Been Released as of Feb. 9.
Cross Country: Has Not Been Released as of Feb. 9.

Louisiana Top Awards (2)
• Savannah LaRicci (Soccer Player of the Year)
• Emma Roccaforte (Soccer Freshman of the Year)

All-Region Teams (5)
• Men’s Cross Country (2): NCAA South Central Region – Nathan Jones, Enrique Soto
• Women’s Cross Country (1): NCAA South Central Region – Katja Woelfl

US Soccer Coaches All-Region Scholar
Nikke Schaaf

US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Teams
Cowboys Cross Country
Cowgirls Cross Country

US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Individuals
Nathan Jones
Katja Woelfl

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