RICHARDSON, Texas – The American Southwest Conference Directors of Athletics recognized the dedication to service within their campus and local communities. They selected Cory Wilhelm of Ozarks and Shannon Mathis of UT Dallas as the 2018-19 Community Service Athlete of the Year recipients.
The ASC Community Service Award is presented for the 10th time this year and honors a male and female student-athlete who best displays leadership and action in fostering community service on their campus and the local community. Each ASC member institution has the opportunity to nominate student-athletes to the conference-wide ballot.
Wilhelm, a junior men’s basketball player from Ratcliff, Ark., served as Vice-President of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee during the school year and has been elected as the president for the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year. During the 2018-2019 year, he helped with the OZZY athletic awards banquet, a field day for local children and read to children at the Clarksville Elementary School. Additionally, he helped with a campus haunted house and a college Science Day. In addition to SAAC, Wilhelm is a member of the Campus Activities Board, Tri-Beta and Ozarks Biological Society. He volunteers as an assistant coach with two different local AAU basketball teams. In May, Wilhelm won the University’s Physics Student of the Year, and he was selected to attend the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum in April. He has achieved membership on the President’s List and ASC Academic All-Conference Team multiple times.
“Cory has a wonderful attitude when it comes to helping others and serving in the community,” said Ozarks Athletics Director Jimmy Clark. “One of our university’s core values is service, and Cory has been a leader with this on and off campus. His positive attitude with service is a great example to all of us.”
Mathis, a senior from San Marcos, Texas, was crucial to the Comet women’s basketball team amassing over 600 hours of community service during the 2018-19 academic year. Mathis helped coordinate several groups and individual community service opportunities during her final season with the Comets. Alone, Mathis tallied 72 hours of community service during the year, working with Watermark Urgent Cark, Starting Blocks Preschool Ministry, Feeding Children Everywhere, Concert for a Cure, and various on-campus initiatives. Mathis worked the front desk at Watermark Urgent Care in Plano on multiple occasions and would work with the Watermark Community Church in the preschool ministry through the year. Along with her teammates, she assisted in packing over 10,000 meals for Dallas ISD students through the Feeding Children Everywhere program. On campus, Mathis and her team assisted with Trunk or Treat, UTD’s annual community event for Halloween, and helped coordinate the Northside Block Party, a yearly event during UTD’s Weeks of Welcome, welcoming new students onto campus.
“Shannon is well deserved of this award,” said UT Dallas Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Bill Pettit. “She took the lead on several community service projects with the women’s basketball team and accumulated 600 hours of service.”
“The amount of involvement by the award nominees and their fellow student-athletes over the course of the year is remarkable, and our member campuses and communities benefit from the interest the student-athletes have in bettering lives of others,” said Amy Carlton, ASC commissioner.
2018-19 ASC Community Service Award Nominees
Biographical information provided by each student-athletes’ sports information director
FABIAN BAEZA Football Sr. Sul Ross State
Fabian Baeza has been involved in many service projects while at Sul Ross State, including – painting in a daycare, highway cleaning, coaching youth teams, volunteering with Kiwanis and on-campus projects. He was also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, an Academic All-Conference selection, and Distinguished Scholar-Athlete nominee. Baeza has also researched as a McNair Scholar on concussions in football.
THOMAS BINGHAM Basketball Sr. Howard Payne
Thomas Bingham is a youth intern at Coggin Ave. Baptist Church and is heavily involved with campus ministries including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has also been in volunteering with the after-school activity clubs at Woodland Heights Elementary. Bingham ended the season 6th in blocks in the ASC at 0.9 per game and 10th in rebounding at 6.5 per game. He was also among the leaders in field goal percent at 53.6%. Starting in 24 games for the Jackets, he pulled down a season-high 13 rebounds at Belhaven.
LANDIN BROWN Basketball Jr. East Texas Baptist
Landin Brown has been a servant leader in Marshall, Texas, since the day he has arrived at ETBU. This past year, he volunteered for the most work in his time at ETBU in numerous capacities in Marshall. Landin was a soccer referee for the local Boys and Girls Club soccer season, served in an after-school Kids Club ministry at a local apartment complex, and also served at the Davy Crockett Elementary school helping out with reading and other items as asked. For Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Marshall, he spoke to the Marshall Junior High students. Last summer, Landin was a camp counselor from Camp Fuego. Back in his hometown of Houston, he has helped with the Food Bank and was a volunteer coach for the IRise Sports Academy Youth Basketball program. This past season, Landin injured his knee early in the year and didn’t play the rest of the year. He continued to serve as a committed leader to our program running the clock, filmed and kept free throw stats during practice, continued as a team captain and is a leader in the locker room and on the court.
CLAYTON CANIFORD Football So. Hardin-Simmons
Along with being a leader on the football field, Clayton Caniford shows that he is also a leader off the field. Along with being a part of football, he is with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and intramural sports as a referee. He shows his leadership outside of campus as well where he is involved with Young Life, where he spends time with the special needs youth and helps them get to know Christ. Caniford is majoring in Finance and plans to get his Master’s degree in Sports Business in hopes to run football operations at a university.
MICHAEL HUNT Golf Jr. McMurry
Michael Hunt served 34 community service hours this season. Those included working several football games during the fall, helping at a Disabled Veterans Golf Tournament and also serving at several other events with his social club.
SETH MATTSON Basketball Sr. LeTourneau
Serving as a team captain for the basketball team and carrying a 4.0 GPA throughout his career while being accepted to Medical School in the fall, Mattson has made sure to give back to the community in numerous ways throughout his time at LeTourneau. After his hometown of Kingwood was affected by Hurricane Harvey, Mattson would help with cleanup from the destruction to give back to his community. In the Longview area, Mattson has worked Miracle League softball games, set up chairs at local churches for Sunday service, and has been an active participant in the semi-annual Longview Green and Clean street cleanup. Mattson has also volunteered at local hospitals in the Longview area and has helped with multiple projects serving overseas in Guatemala in deprived areas.
SIDNEY COX Softball Fr. Hardin-Simmons
Sidney Cox has shown to not only be a leader on the softball field where she received ASC All-Tournament Team and ASC Honorable Mention but off the field as well. She is the President of the Athletic Engagement Committee, Treasurer of the Latin Student Union, and Secretary of Love Your Melon. Sidney is majoring in Business Administration and plans to administer her nonprofit organization after graduation.
BRIDEY DAVIS Cross Country/Track & Field Sr. LeTourneau
Bridey Davis has been an active member of the LeTourneau community throughout her time in Longview, volunteering, and giving back to the community in several different ways. As a freshman, Davis would start the LeTourneau Pro-Life Club and serve as club president for two years as the club currently has over 60 active members. As president, Davis would help set up a partnership with Expectant Heart Pregnancy Resource Center to set up volunteer opportunity and donation drives and would eventually become the volunteer coordinator between the club and the organization. Davis has also served as a peer advisor and student ambassador on campus, providing campus tours to prospective students. In the community, Davis was involved at Kilgore Bible Church by helping in the nursery and setting up a baby bottle drive for a maternity home. On top of all this, Davis has also spent time at LETU working on the “Wheels” project, which includes travel to Kenya to research to help provide wheelchairs to children in need in the country.
KAITLYN HARRISON Soccer Sr. Howard Payne
Kaitlyn Harrison has led the Lady Jacket women’s soccer program both on and off the pitch. A double major and an honor’s program student, she has maintained a 4.00 GPA in the classroom. On the field, she ended her season with 32 shots including 12 on goal. A three-time All-Conference honoree, Harris is also involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Chi Alpha Omega sorority and is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
ASHLEIGH RONDON Soccer Fr. East Texas Baptist
Ashleigh Rondon has been servant leader since her arrival at ETBU as a freshman in 2017. This past year the sophomore helped with Tim Tebow’s “Night to Shine” event in Marshall, Texas, and also helped with the Ford Drive For Your School event. She is a volunteer at the Marshall ISD helping with the high school and youth physical education programs. She has been a VBS volunteer along with being involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a camp counselor at Texas A&M and a weekend counselor for Weekend of Champions. This past spring, she went on a mission’s trip to Costa Rica with the ETBU women’s soccer team and also was a volunteer at the soccer camp. The two-time All-ASC award winner and 2017 ASC Freshman of the Year has a servant leadership heart and wants to help out wherever she can.
KELSEY SCROGGS Basketball So. Louisiana College
Kelsey Scroggs volunteered multiple times throughout the school year with the local food bank in Alexandria, La. In the fall she and some of her teammates helped the bank build a rock sidewalk, then in the spring Scroggs helped with landscaping and gardening. She also volunteered her time and knowledge to help run a free basketball camp at a local church during the fall semester.
CINDY VILLASANA Soccer So. McMurry
Cindy Villasana completed the majority of her hours volunteering at a physical therapy clinic over her Christmas break. She participated in cleaning up the stadium, cleaning up the locker room, volunteered at the Special Olympics, volunteered at the boys and girls club, volunteered in hosting high school soccer games on campus and volunteered at the track meet we hosted. She participated in welcoming elementary kids to school on High Five Friday at Austin Elementary. Villasana accumulated 68 community service hours throughout the year.
MICAELA WINTERS Soccer Sr. Ozarks
Micaela Winters participated in numerous projects during her time as the campus President of FCA this year. Winters spearheaded efforts for the University’s Operation Christmas Child, helping organize the collection of items for impoverished children around the world. Additionally, she assisted with a campus Field Day for local children and Valentine’s Dance at the Forrester-Davis Development Center. Among the volunteer work, Micaela has rendered at East Side Baptist Church includes helping with Elementary School parties, serving as a babysitter for Foster Parents on Valentine’s Day and assisting with youth camps for Vacation Bible School. She also volunteered at a sports ministry camp for kids at a new church plant in Kansas City and the therapeutic riding and hippotherapy Equestrian Zone. She is a member of the ASC Academic All-Conference Team.