April 15, 2009
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech senior catcher Jason Haniger has been named one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for baseball. The award recognizes NCAA Division I senior student-athletes who excel both on and off the diamond and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, character, community and competition.
Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine the third annual winner, who will receive the award from Lowe’s, an Official Corporate Sponsor of the NCAA, during the NCAA Men’s College World Series this June in Omaha, Neb.
The finalists were chosen by a media committee from a list of 30 candidates based on qualities that define a complete student-athlete. The 2009 finalists are Scott Bittle (Mississippi), Brian Cloud (Texas Tech), Grant Escue (Bradley), Nick Faunce (Kansas), Nate Freiman (Duke), Jason Haniger (Georgia Tech), Brandon McArthur (Florida), Matt Nohelty (Minnesota), Ben Orloff (Cal-Irvine) and Adam Warren (North Carolina).
The 10 names will be placed on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award baseball ballot for a nationwide vote beginning today (April 15) and concluding May 31. Fan balloting, available on the award’s official website, www.seniorclassaward.com, will be combined with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award.
Haniger, a member of the 2009 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award Watch List, is currently batting .325 with five home runs and 30 RBI and has helped the Yellow Jackets to a 22-8-1 start this season. The Santa Clara, Calif. native is also one of 42 student-athletes to receive an ACC Postgraduate Scholarship, and the only baseball player to do so this season.
“It is again a pleasure to be mentioned among this great group of baseball players,” Haniger said Wednesday. “And to be named one of the finalists is a big honor.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of my career at Georgia Tech, and I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to take part in so many different things while in school here.”
The announcement came on the heels of Haniger lifting his Yellow Jacket team to an 11-6 win over top-ranked Georgia Tuesday night. The senior catcher went 4-for-5 with a home run and a double against the Bulldogs.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact on their circle of influence.
“Jason has played a vital role in our team’s community service efforts,” Yellow Jacket head coach Danny Hall said. “From organizing events to encouraging attendance, he has shown his leadership skills off the field just as much as on. As a co-captain, our team looks to him for guidance, and I’m pleased to see that he’s been rewarded for his efforts.”
Haniger has served as the baseball liaison on the Georgia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Board the last two years, and has taken an active role in the increased community service efforts of the Yellow Jacket baseball program, which has included volunteering with Toys for Tots and Special Olympics this season.
The original watch list was comprised of five seniors from the Atlantic Coast Conference, including Haniger, Freiman and Warren, all of which are finalists for this year’s award.
Additional information on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is available at www.seniorclassaward.com.
2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Baseball Finalists
Name, Position (School)
Scott Bittle, Pitcher (University of Mississippi)
Brian Cloud, Pitcher (Texas Tech University)
Grant Escue, First Base/Outfield (Bradley University)
Nick Faunce, Outfield (University of Kansas)
Nate Freiman, First Base/Catcher (Duke University)
Jason Haniger, Catcher (Georgia Tech)
Brandon McArthur, Infield (University of Florida)
Matt Nohelty, Outfield (University of Minnesota)
Ben Orloff, Shortstop (University of California, Irvine)
Adam Warren, Pitcher (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)