Shorter softball wins NAIA National Champions of Character Award

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Shorter softball wins NAIA National Champions of Character Award

Shorter softball wins NAIA National Champions of Character Award

May 16, 2008

Decatur, Ala. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced on Thursday that the Shorter College softball Lady Hawks team was selected as the National Winner of the Buffalo Funds Five Star NAIA Champions of Character Award winner. This is one of the NAIA's most prestigious awards and the first time that any Shorter team has won.

"There is no doubt that these girls deserve it," said head coach Melanie Carter. "The recognition from the NAIA shows what kind of character is behind this team. It's more than just being good on the field; they have realized that they have the capability to make a real difference in the community and in individual lives."

The Champions of Character program is designed to instill an understanding of character values in sport and provide practical tools for student-athletes, coaches and parents to use in modeling exemplary character traits.

Launched by the NAIA in 2000, the program addresses character issues more comprehensively than any other national program for youth. The program currently reaches thousands of students on nearly 300 college and university campuses in North America and extends into their surrounding communities. It is an educational outreach initiative which emphasizes the tenets of character and integrity, not only for NAIA college students, but for younger students, coaches and parents in our communities.

The Lady Hawks were presented the award as the team that best represented the NAIA's Champions of Character Initiative which focuses on its five main values of responsibility, respect, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.

"We are very excited that six of our eight spring sports have qualified for the national playoffs, but at the same time, nothing is more special than to receive this award," said Shorter College athletic director Bill Peterson. "It speaks directly to Shorter's commitment to our community and to its Christian heart. We are really proud of Coach Carter, Coach Thomas and these very talented young women."

Since coming to Shorter for the 2005-06 season, Carter has produced an impressive 99-23 record going into her second straight National Championship appearance. Her teams have captured the Southern States Athletic Conference regular season title both years, been the Region XIII runner-ups both years, and added a SSAC tournament title last month.

Off the field, the Lady Hawks are involved in all aspects of the Rome and Floyd County community. Last fall, they hosted a "Border Battle for Breast Cancer" helping to raise over $5000 for a local cancer awareness group, they actively hold events for the Boys and Girls Club, and help out as mentors and tutors at local elementary schools.

"Several members of the team are education majors, so not only are we working with children, but they are gaining invaluable life experience," added Carter. "This award represents what we are all about: making a difference around us, and being a positive light for Shorter softball and Shorter athletics."

Shorter College Softball
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