News from MSU Media Relations--May 17, 2011

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Softball and Track and Field.


Bulldog Softball Earns NCAA Public Recognition Award

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's softball program has received a Public Recognition Award from the NCAA for scoring in the top 10 percent in the sport with its Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the 2009-2010 year.

Head coach Jay Miller's squad received the accolade for the second-straight season, the only team in the Southeastern Conference to claim the honor both years softball has been awarded.

"This award speaks well to the commitment of our players, our program and Mississippi State University," Miller said. "We are very proud to achieve this honor back-to-back years, and we hope to earn it again next year."

The Bulldogs and Ole Miss are the only two softball teams from the league to earn the Public Recognition Award.

Mississippi State was one of 22 SEC programs to earn the honor. The NCAA awarded 909 teams nationwide, including 525 women's squads.

Track and Field

Ed Weslea Named To SEC Community Service Team

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State track and field athlete Ed Wesela has been named to the 2011 Southeastern Conference Community Service Team, announced by the league office Tuesday.

The Slinger, Wis., native was chosen for his focus and work to ensure those in the community have enough to eat. Just this season alone, Wesela has donated his time serving at a local food pantry on several occasions, making sure those less fortunate have food. Also concerned with the children of the community, the junior serves lunch at a local elementary school, knowing that might be the only hot and nutritious meal some of those children get that day. In the community's eyes, Wesela might excel at throwing the shot put and discus, but his biggest throw just might be striving to throw away hunger in his community.

"Involvement in the community is important to me," Wesela said. "It shows that we are not only athletes, but that we care about our community and want to give back to it."

In addition to service at the food pantry and elementary school, Wesela is a member of the student M-Club; a group of student athletes who are committed to community involvement and service.

While serving the community and competing as an All-SEC athlete in the shot put and discus takes up a lot of Wesela's time, the junior still finds time to pursue a degree in kinesiology/fitness management.

The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams for all 20 league sponsored sports. The Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to her community in superior service efforts. The full 2011 Track and Field Community Service Team includes:

  • Nathan Corder, Junior, Alabama, Cross Country
  • Luke Laird, Senior, Arkansas, Javelin
  • Harry Adams, Senior, Auburn, Sprints
  • Eric Foran, Senior, Florida, Pole Vault
  • J.P. Hackney, Junior, Georgia, Distance
  • Josh Nadzam, Senior, Kentucky, Middle Distance
  • Brandon Gordon, Junior, LSU, Jumps
  • Lee Ellis Moore, Senior, Ole Miss, Sprints/Hurdles
  • Ed Wesela, Junior, Mississippi State, Shot Put/Discus
  • Michael Zajac, Senior, South Carolina, Weight Throw
  • Steve Fassino, Junior, Tennessee, Distance

  • Gene's Page Top Stories