NewsMVNU's Balogh to Receive Woody Hayes Scholar-Athlete Award
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - Cheryl Balogh, a member of the Mount Vernon Nazarene University women's soccer team, has been selected as one of six 2004 Woody Hayes National Scholar-Athlete Award recipients nationwide by the University and Northwest Sertoma Club of Columbus.
Balogh, a senior defender from Lima, Ohio, put together an outstanding career for the Lady Cougars over the past four years. She played in 83 matches with 82 starts as MVNU posted a 59-28-2 during her career. The former All-Ohioan at Elida High School anchored the Lady Cougars' defense that posted 37 shutouts during her four years including a school-record 15 shutouts in 24 matches in 2003 as MVNU posted a 20-3-1 overall record and won the American Mideast Conference South Division crown and the NCCAA national title in only the program's fourth season as a varsity sport.
Among Balogh's many honors, she was named to the NCCAA East Region Team all four years, the AMC South Division First Team twice, and the NAIA Region IX First Team twice. She was also an NCCAA All-American First Team pick and an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American as both a junior and a senior, and she was selected as the NCCAA's Michelle Akers Player of the Year Award recipient as a senior in 2003.
In the classroom, Balogh is also a standout as her 3.940 grade point average indicates. The Exercise Studies/Sports Management double major has been named to the MVNU Dean's List all seven semesters and is a two-time NAIA and NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athlete selection. She was also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team and the CoSIDA Academic All-District IV First Team this year in the College Division (NAIA and NCAA Division II and III).
Balogh's leadership abilities are evident as she has served as a captain for the Lady Cougars for three years. She is active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and in her home church, Lima Community Church of the Nazarene, as a Vacation Bible School teacher. She has also worked at a group home for the chronically mentally ill, and she is in her second year as the Physical Education Department student assistant at MVNU.
"The team and I are so proud of Cheryl," said MVNU head coach Jonathan Meade. "She is such a tremendous person and truly reflects all the qualities that warrant such an award. She is one of the toughest defenders I have seen at the women's collegiate level. She takes the same high standard into the classroom and expects nothing less than the best from herself, which is revealed in her grades. And from a spiritual standpoint, Christ is brightly shown in her caring, friendly personality and strong character to do what the Lord would have her do."
"Cheryl is a coach's dream and a great teammate," Meade added. "I have relied heavily on her as a captain, and I know that I can always count on her. She is a quality leader. Her teammates know that they can go to her for help, but they also know that she will keep them accountable for their behavior. She has been a blessing to all of us, and her leadership and friendship will be greatly missed next year."
The Woody Hayes National Scholar-Athlete Awards are presented annually to the outstanding male and female scholar-athlete in each of the three collegiate divisions. The criteria include success in the athlete's sport and in the classroom, and community service work. A panel of eminently qualified judges selects the winners from among all the nominations submitted by sports information directors from each institution. By honoring six scholar-athletes each year, the University and Northwest Sertoma Club seeks to establish a perpetual living memorial to the late Ohio State University football coach Woody Hayes.
In addition to Balogh, the other five honorees for 2004 are: John Standeford, Purdue University, football - Division I male; Kara Lawson, University of Tennessee, basketball - Division I female; Keith Heckendorf, St. Cloud State (Minn.) University, football - Division II/NAIA male; Jesse Harris, Simpson (Iowa) College, basketball - Division III male; and Melissa Roberts, Emory (Ga.) University, softball - Division III female.
Balogh becomes the third MVNU athlete to be honored during the 17 years in which the Woody Hayes National Scholar-Athlete Award has been presented. Former Cougar basketball star Adam Stevens was selected as one of the recipients in 2001, and former MVNU soccer standout Casey Swanson was an honoree in 2003.
The 2004 winners will be honored at an awards banquet at the Villa Milano restaurant in Columbus on Friday evening, February 6. The keynote speaker will be Larry Kehres, the coach of Mount Union College's seven-time NCAA Division III national champion football team. For tickets or more information, please contact Eric Parks at (614) 268-4003.