The University of the Cumberlands (UC) just wrapped up the academic year on Saturday as a multitude of students completed their college careers with a degree. A plethora of those graduates were well deserving student-athletes whose time in the classroom and on the playing surfaces did not go unnoticed by many. One particular Patriot who played in every match in his career also earned an honor that is awarded to only one male and one female throughout the entire Mid-South Conference (MSC).
Patriot tennis standout Jerrid Neeley (Manchester, KY) was awarded the honor of Mid-South Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year on Saturday May 5thduring the commencement ceremony in Williamsburg.
Neeley, a four year member of the tennis team, has done a lot throughout the campus over his career and can add this great accomplishment to his repertoire.
On the courts, Neeley has played in every singles match at UC dating back all the way to the 2008-2009 season. He also played in every doubles match from his sophomore season (09-10) to the end of his collegiate career and played in many of the doubles matches as a freshman.
He earned the distinction of being named Team Captain in this 2011-2012 season as he led the Patriots to a 3-3 record in MSC matches. He was also named MSC Academic All-Conference in 2010 and 2011 as well as NAIA Academic All-American in 2010 and 2011. He was also named a Daktronics-NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete in 2011. Jerrid also earned the MSC Champion of Character Award in 2009.
Jerrid did a lot for his team on the court, but his leadership off the court also set a standard for Patriots of the present and future. Neeley was named to the Dean's List for six semesters, the President's List for two semesters, earned High Honors from 2009-2012, a member of the J.T. Vallandingham Scholastic Honor Society (the highest academic honor a student can receive at UC), and a Presidential Scholar for Honor's Research in the field of chemistry. During his time at UC, Neeley was also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta (Freshman Honor Society) in 2009, Gamma Sigma Epsilon (Chemistry Honor Society) in 2010, and Kappa Mu Epsilon (Mathematics Honor Society) in 2010.
On campus, Jerrid was recognized by many of his fellow student's everyday as he also participated in numerous activities and organizations throughout the campus. Neeley was a S.T.A.R. (Students Trained and Ready) for the freshman Insights program from 2009-2011, a member of the Campus Activities Board (CAB), a member of Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges in 2011, and a Hutton Leadership Scholar, which shows his outstanding commitment to community service as he logged 204 certified volunteer hours in his collegiate career. He also was a Teaching Assistant (TA) in the chemistry department on campus from 2010-2012 and a Life Group Leader for UC's Baptist Campus Ministries from 2010-2011.
Throughout all of this, Jerrid graduated on Saturday from the University of the Cumberlands with a double major in chemistry and biology and ended his college career with a 3.95 grade point average. He plans to first work on obtaining a Masters' Degree and then look into becoming a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
Neeley said, "My deepest desire is to become a doctor and return to the Appalachian area to practice. Because of this deep desire, I will persevere and get through medical school. Tennis has taught me that if you want something bad enough, you will persevere through any trials and tribulations that you encounter between you and your goal. I can honestly say that these last four years have been some of the happiest of my life, and I will forever treasure them and the lessons learned within them. Thank you to Coach Tan, the University of the Cumberlands, and the Mid-South Conference for the wonderful life changing experiences that you have allowed me to be a part of."
UC's Athletic Director Randy Vernon commented, "Congratulations to Jerrid Neely for being named Mid-South Conference Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. The Scholar Athlete of the Year is a highly prestigious award and Jerrid is very deserving of the honor. He has worked many hours in the classroom and on the tennis courts and the final results of that hard work has paid off by being recognized by the Mid-South Conference. University of the Cumberlands is very proud of Jerrid's accomplishments and the way he has represented our University during his time here."
For more information on the Patriot tennis program along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.