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Dec. 11, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State senior forward Jason Yeisley (Allentown, Pa.) has been selected as the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award honoree in men's soccer for 2009.
The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I men's coaches, national soccer media and fans, is awarded annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA® Division I men's soccer. The announcement and trophy presentation were made tonight by Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, during the 2009 Men's College CupTM in Cary, North Carolina.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in SchoolTM, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The award identifies personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete, with criteria including excellence in the classroom, outstanding character and community service in addition to competition on the field.
"I am extremely honored to receive the Lowe's Senior CLASS award, and I would like to thank Lowe's for its sponsorship," said Yeisley. "I could never have reached this point in my academic and athletic career without the help and support of my family, friends, teammates and coaches, and without the dedication and knowledge of the trainers and doctors, who allowed me to return from injury to play the sport I love. The support that I received over the course of the fan voting has been very humbling considering the accomplishments of the other finalists and I thank the Penn State community and my hometown area of Salisbury for their enthusiasm and encouragement. Most importantly, I would like to dedicate this award to my friend Adam Recke, from whom I have learned the true definition of strength, courage, and the will to overcome adversity. It is my sincere hope that receiving this honor will bring attention to the search for a cure for Niemann-Pick disease and raise awareness of the Race for Adam Foundation."
Yeisley excelled in his senior season, leading Penn State to an undefeated regular season home record, a second place finish in the Big Ten, the Big Ten Tournament title game, and a berth in the NCAA Championship. He was a central figure on the Big Ten's top scoring offense, totaling eight goals and five assists to tie for second on the team with 21 points. During the year, Yeisley was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week (Sept. 7) for the second time in his career and to the Soccer America Team of the Week (Sept. 6), the College Soccer News National Team of the Week (Oct. 4), and to the all-tournament teams for the Wolstein and Penn State Classics. Yeisley's standout season culminated with his selection by the conference coaches as Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Big Ten. He has been nominated for the 2009 Soccer News Net Regional and National Player of the Year Awards and was recognized by Soccer America as a candidate worthy of consideration for national player of the year.
Also an All-Big Ten selection in 2005 and 2007, Yeisley is Penn State's leading active scorer, totaling 24 goals and 16 assists (64 points) in 63 career games. A three-time team captain, including in 2009, he has overcome two knee injuries, including one that cost him the entire 2008 season, over the course of his career. In recognition of the exemplary character he displayed in triumphing over adversity, Yeisley was presented with the True Grit Award at the 2009 Penn State Student-Athlete Advisory Board Academic Achievement Awards Banquet.
"Jason Yeisley is not only a tremendous young man and ambassador for collegiate soccer but also for student-athletes in general," said Penn State head coach Barry Gorman. "I am delighted for him and for his family. Through Jason we can all 'chalk one up for the good guys' who represent their institutions, families and communities with class and distinction."
In the classroom, Yeisley has compiled an impressive 3.61 cumulative grade point average and will graduate with a degree in management from the Smeal College of Business later this month. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten recipient, 2007 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District First Team selection, and 2009 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team honoree, he intends to attend dental school after graduation.
With the same determination he has employed in pursuit of excellence on the soccer field and in the classroom, Yeisley has sought to help and raise awareness for a special friend with a rare disease. He has devoted his time and energy to aid in finding a cure for nine-year old Adam Recke, a boy from his hometown who suffers from Niemann Pick Type C (NP-C), a terminal illness which affects just 500 people worldwide.
"Jason is a deserving winner of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for men's soccer. He has demonstrated excellence in the classroom, a commitment to his community and great character and leadership both on the field and off during his career at Penn State," said Tom Lamb, Lowe's senior vice president of marketing. "We salute Jason and support his success following graduation."
Yeisley joins nine other finalists for the award on the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Senior All-America teams.