Cheek Award winner Mike Radon among 57 Missouri State graduating athletes
Graduating senior football standout Mike Radon has been voted the winner of the 52nd Annual Virgil Cheek Athletic Achievement Award and headlines a list of 57 Missouri State University student-athletes slated to receive their degrees at Missouri State Spring Commencement exercises Friday (May 18) in Hammons Student Center.
It's the fourth biggest total of Missouri State student-athlete degrees on record at one commencement, surpassed only by 59 graduates from May of 2005, 61 in May of 2004 and 64 in May of 2006. This spring's list includes 14 student-athletes graduating with academic honors while six former Bears will receive their master's degrees.
In addition to the selection of Radon for the Cheek Award, Diane Luttrell and Ryan Waters have been named the female and male recipients of the Andrew J. McDonald Achievment Awards for 2007.
The 64 degree recipients includes student-athletes from 17 MSU squads in 11 different sports. Football with nine graduates, women's swimming with seven and women's soccer with six have the most graduates at this commencement. The list includes graduate degrees to basketball player Billy Coby, golfers Nick Pyatt and Erin McLaughlin, field hockey player Sarah Guffey, soccer player Jon Watson and swimmer Lesley Weaverling.
Of the graduates, field hockey player Melissa Behr, swimmer Jill Eveker and volleyballer Katie Werges will graduate Summa Cum Laude. Swimmer Heather Moriarty and soccer player Angela Parsons are graduating Magna Cum Laude and nine others are graduating Cum Laude.
Along with the Cheek and McDonald Awards, the two remaining awards to be selected for the 2006-07 athletics and academic year, the Missouri State Outstanding Female Athlete Award and the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Senior Female Scholar Athlete Award, will be named at the conclusion of all MSU athletics competition for the year.
The Virgil Cheek Award is in its 52nd anniversary year and has been given annually since 1955 at Missouri State to the graduating senior male athlete best demonstrating high qualities in scholarship, character, attendance and leadership in addition to athletic performance. It is given in recognition of Virgil Cheek, a long-time MSU business faculty member and faculty athletics representative. The selection is made by the MSU men’s sports head coaches.
Radon, who will graduate Friday, is three-year football letterman. A two-year MSU starter at free safety, Radon was a second team all-conference selection as a senior and a two-time academic all-Gateway pick. The Bears' Defensive Most Valuable Player and a co-winner of the 2006 Coors Player of the Year Award. Radon, from Hamburg, N.Y., has a 2.98 grade point average with a major in administrative management. He was one of 300 athletes selected nationally for an NCAA Leadership Conference in 2005.
The McDonald Award has been given annually since 1969 to the top graduating senior athletics participants majoring in health and physical education, and award criteria can also include individuals whose accomplishments have been in areas related to athletics service in addition to varsity participation. The award is named for long-time MSU basketball-golf coach and physical education department head A. J. McDonald and is selected by the physical education department faculty.
Diane Luttrell of Billings, Mo., graduated from Missouri State in December, 2006, with a BSE in physical education. She has been a member of the MSU handball team and is currently pursuing her MSU at physical education at MSU. Ryan Waters of Eldridge, Mo., graduates with his BSE in physical education Friday. He has been active in coaching as an undergraduate and begins teaching and coaching in the Knox County school system in Edina, Mo., this August.
Spring 2007 Student-Athlete Undergraduate Degrees (51):
Baseball (2): Adam Murray, Adam Pummill
Men’s Basketball (2): Blake Ahearn, Sky Frazier
Women’s Basketball (2): Brandi Johnson, Hannah Kirk*
Field Hockey (4): Melissa Behr***, Yolanda Caputa, Sarah Petty, Stephani Wehrman*
Football (9): Tim Boyce, Bryan Byrd, Michael Cooper, Josh Fieleke, Malcolm Green, RaMel McIntosh, Mike Radon, Franz von Haas, Justin Williamson
Men’s Golf (2): Damaso Carrera, Matt Sullivan
Women’s Golf (1): Sally Hinton*
Men’s Soccer (2): Jacob Harris, Addison Pope
Women’s Soccer (6): Chelsea Anderson*, Amy Barth, Dorothy Brown, Kate Hercules*, Tara Miley*, Angela Parsons**
Softball (1): Shannon Buslepp
Men’s Swimming/Diving (5): Matt Beasley, Riley Bowlin, Seth Johnson, Ryan Maeker*, Mitch Richards
Women’s Swimming/Diving (6): Elizabeth D’Agostino, Jill Eveker***, Heather Moriarty**, Deb O’Neal, Courtney Phillips, Lindsey Tuttle*
Men’s Tennis (2): John Kellert, Jiri Spousta
Women’s Tennis (1): Biljana Gakovic
Women’s Track/Cross Country (3): Jayne Kristmann, Lauren Nystrom, Keely Porter*
Volleyball (3): Sarah Lansing*, Adeana McAfee, Katie Werges***
Master’s Degrees (6):
Men's Basketball: William Coby
Field Hockey: Sarah Guffey
Men's Golf: Nick Pyatt
Women's Golf: Erin McLaughlin
Men's Soccer: Jon Watson
Women's Swimming: Lesley Weaverling
* Cum Laude
** Magna Cum Laude
*** Summa Cum Laude