ROCK HILL, S.C. (TheSAC.com) – Tusculum's Keegan Bell was voted the South Atlantic Conference Men's Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while Allison Conn from Queens earned the women's honor, the Conference office announced today.
The South Atlantic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is presented annually to one student-athlete in each of the Conference's championship sports, and is voted on by the SAC's Faculty Athletic Representatives Committee. The winners are selected based on their achievements in academics, athletics, service, and leadership.
Bell, a senior from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, holds a 3.696 GPA as an athletic training major. The midfielder has been named to the South Atlantic Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll, Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll, Dean's List, and the Charles Oliver Gray Honors List all four years. Bell is all the Iota Tau Alpha Vice President and a member of the National Honors Society for Athletic Training.
"Keegan is a shining example of what it means to be a student-athlete," said Tusculum head men's lacrosse coach Richard Carrington. "Tusculum University provides an environment of opportunity, civic engagement, and personal development. Keegan would be the first to tell you that he did not put his best foot forward in high school, but we are extremely proud of the way he corrected his focus and effort during his time at Tusculum."
The two-time Pioneer team captain had an exceptional senior season. Bell was named a SAC AstroTurf Offensive Player of the Week on March 11 and a member of the all-conference first team. He was also the conference statistical champion for goals per game (3.31) and points per game (4.46). Tusculum led the SAC in two offensive categories: man-up offense (0.389) and shot percentage (0.357).
Bell was active in the community for his entire career. He was on the Pioneer Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, completed athletic training clinical hours, a Nettie Day of Service volunteer, a lacrosse camp instructor in Johnson City, Tenn., a men's lacrosse prospect day volunteer, a box lacrosse coach in Canada, and a member of the Student Athletic Training Society, where he served as the treasurer for the past two years. Bell has also volunteer with the Tusculum Theatre Department as part of service learning and has been a lacrosse camp instructor in the local Greeneville, Tenn. Area. Additionally, he and the Tusculum men's lacrosse team volunteered with the Help the Community Day, in which they assisted in the clean-up of the Nolichucky River, participated in the Adopt-A-Highway program, and was a rural resources volunteer.
Conn, a junior from Moriches, N.Y., holds a perfect 4.00 GPA as a finance major. The midfielder has been a member of the Queens University of Charlotte Royal Athletic Society, honoring student-athletes with a spotless grade-point average throughout the entire academic year. Conn has also been on the Dean's List every year and on the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, while also being a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society. She was the recipient of the 2019 SAC Elite 20 Award, and was also awarded the 2019 NCAA Division II Women's Lacrosse Elite 90 Award.
"Ally works hard on and off the lacrosse field," said Queens head women's lacrosse coach Clare Short. "She embodies the meaning of student-athlete and encourages her teammates to do the same. I am so happy for Ally on this great achievement. She continues to strive for new heights even with setbacks. Ally is an inspiration to all of our athletes and so many look up to her."
The team captain was a SAC first-team all-conference selection and has helped lead her team to the NCAA Division II Women's Lacrosse Semifinals, winning 16 straight games. She scored 35 goals with two assists for 37 points this season. Conn also posted a 54.7 shooting percentage, scooped up 23 ground balls, won 53 draw controls and caused eight turnovers.
Off the field, Conn has volunteered as a coach at William Floyd summer lacrosse camps for two years, and she has volunteered at Charlotte Hornets games working the concessions stand as a fundraiser for the Queens women's lacrosse program. She helped set up at the Light the Night event and participated in the St. Jude Up Till Dawn event, raising money on campus and hosted a bake sale to fundraiser additional monies. She is also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.
SAC Men's Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete Finalists
Quinn Kuhn, Lenoir-Rhyne
Alex Llerandi, Wingate
Griffin Stechmiller, Queens
Robert Tucker, Lincoln Memorial
SAC Women's Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete Finalists
Jasmin Click, Lincoln Memorial
Michelle Doby, Newberry
Cathleen Gaffney, Lenoir-Rhyne
Kendall Wells, Wingate
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