3 local alums earn GLVC Council of Presidents' Academic Excellence Award

The Great Lakes Valley Conference identified a league-record 434 student-athletes across 15 member institutions who earned the GLVC Council of Presidents’ Academic Excellence Award.

LIBERTY — The Great Lakes Valley Conference identified a league-record 434 student-athletes across 15 member institutions who earned the GLVC Council of Presidents’ Academic Excellence Award.

Three of the recipients are from Liberty high schools.

Katie Pohl, a 2017 Liberty North graduate, received the award for her academic success while playing for the Cardinals women’s soccer team. Pohl has made the Academic All-GLVC team each of her three seasons at William Jewell after transferring from Southeast Missouri State following her freshman campaign. She also earned the 2020 Co-Women’s Scholar Athlete of the Year award and the 2020 Division II Athletic Director’s Association Academic Achievement Award while being a GLVC Bro. James Gaffney Distinguished Scholar. Pohl is majoring in nursing.

Sydney Offield, a 2016 Liberty graduate, earned the honor as a member of the women’s basketball team. Offield made the Academic All-GLVC team all four seasons at William Jewell after transferring from Missouri Southern following a redshirt season during her freshman year. She also won the Omar William Nadler Award and Division II ADA Academic Achievement Award in 2020.

For her on the court efforts, Offield has won the 2018 Jewell Women’s Newcomer of the Year Award, 2020 Women’s Cardinal Tough Award and 2021 All-GLVC Third Team honors. Offield is studying elementary education.

Kelsi Schmitz, a 2017 Liberty graduate, earned the honor as part of the women’s golf team. Schmitz made the Academic All-GLVC team all four seasons with the Cardinals. Schmitz earned the honor of being named a 2020 Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-America Scholar this year. She also received the GLVC Bro. James Gaffney Distinguished Scholar honors and Division II ADA Academic Achievement Award in 2020. Schmitz is majoring in nursing.

This year’s total marks the second time more than 400 honorees have been recognized since the award was first inaugurated in the spring of 2010 and breaks last year’s record of 420 from 16 schools. The previous sub-400 league record of 355 from 16 schools was set in 2015-16. William Jewell boasts 29 recent graduates who are receiving one of the league’s high honors, second-most for the Cardinals since their initial eligibility for the award began in 2012-2013.

The recipients of the GLVC Council of Presidents’ Academic Excellence Award exemplify the outstanding student-athletes in the GLVC. Each honoree has completed his or her eligibility in the intercollegiate sports in which they participated while maintaining a 3.5 GPA or better throughout their academic career.

In addition, to be eligible for the award, the student-athlete must have competed in the GLVC for a minimum of two years and completed 96 credit hours. A student-athlete can only earn the distinguished honor one time in his or her career.

Women’s basketball set a new program record and topped the department with six honorees while men’s and women’s soccer each had four, also program highs. Volleyball had three selections, with men’s basketball, football and women’s track & field/cross country posting two, while baseball, men’s and women’s golf, softball, women’s swimming and men’s track & field/cross country each had one recipient.

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