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Foss, Fragodt named UMAC Scholar Athletes of the Year

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UMM Sports Information

The Upper Midwest Athletic Conference announced its 2014 Scholar Athletes of the Year last Friday, and the Minnesota Morris Cougars had a pair of student-athletes honored. Brendon Foss (Hancock, Minn.) was the male award winner and Abby Fragodt (Benson, Minn.) was the co-female winner.

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Foss is the first male winner for the Cougars and Fragodt is the third female winner from Minnesota Morris.

BRENDON FOSS INTERVIEW

ABBY FRAGODT INTERVIEW

FROM THE UMAC:

The honor, which is awarded annually to one male and one female student-athlete from UMAC member-institutions, recognizes graduating seniors who demonstrate a healthy balance by achieving excellence in academics, leadership, and service, while participating in intercollegiate athletics.

The NCAA Division III athlete is unique among intercollegiate athletes because, at Division III institutions, student-athletes receive no financial aid for athletic participation. Such institutions emphasize the overall quality of the educational experience and the successful completion of the student's academic program; athletic participation is an important part of that educational experience. Division III provides opportunities for student-athletes to be a part of numerous campus activities in addition to athletics, and these award recipients have maximized those opportunities. The UMAC Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award is presented to students who embody what it means to be an NCAA Division III athlete. Through this award, the UMAC recognizes the role athletics plays in developing leaders by rewarding athletes' excellence in the classroom as well as service to the community. The league's faculty athletic representatives nominate and vote on this honor.

Brendan Foss, a business management major at the Minnesota Morris, has been a standout student-athlete in both football and basketball for the Cougars the last four years. A captain of both teams, Foss collected numerous all-conference honors throughout his collegiate athletic career. In football, Foss earned second team all-conference honors in 2011 and 2012 and was named to the first team in 2013. He was named to the UMAC men's basketball all-defensive team in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons and was an honorable mention all-conference selection in 2012, a second team performer in 2013 and named to the UMAC first team in 2014. Maintaining an impressive 3.84 grade point average throughout his college career, Foss has earned UMAC Academic All-Conference honors four times in football and three times in basketball. In addition, he was named First Team Academic All-District and to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) First Team Academic All-American list in football following the 2012 season for his performance both on and off the field while being named to the dean's list in each of his semesters of attendance. Foss has also dedicated time volunteering with local and national organizations and has spent time on missions trips fixing homes for underprivileged individuals, filling food bags for Feed My Starving Children, filling sandboxes in communities lacking play space for children with Sand for Toddlers and has donated his time serving as a youth sports coach and referee.

Abby Fragodt, a three-sport athlete and economics and management double major at Minnesota Morris, was a two year captain in women's golf, basketball and tennis. A four year member of the women's basketball team, Fragodt and the Cougars claimed at least a share of the UMAC regular season women's basketball title in each of her four seasons. She collected several individual honors as well, being a UMAC all-defensive team selection in the 2013 and 2014 seasons and was named honorable mention all-conference in 2013 and second team All-UMAC in 2014. Fragodt was also a two-time women's golf all-conference selection and has earned All-UMAC honors in tennis in each of the past three seasons. In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Fragodt has maintained a 3.86 grade point average and has been named to the dean's list every semester of her collegiate career. She was also a three-time UMAC Academic-All Conference award recipient. Fragodt is involved in the Morris campus community serving as a member of the Minnesota Morris Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) where she led the Cougars Polar Plunge for Special Olympics efforts. She also serves as a member of the campus Regional Fitness Center Board and as a coordinator for the University's triathlon. Her involvement extends beyond campus as she was part of the Cougar Connection, reading to first grade students two times a week, organized a caroling event that visited local nursing homes and was a member of the Morris Healthy Eating Project.

Krista Stoltz (NORTHWESTERN), who will graduate with an elementary education degree from Northwestern, was a four year member and two year captain of the Eagles volleyball team and will graduate as one of the most decorated volleyball student-athletes in program history. Under her leadership the Eagles claimed three UMAC regular season titles and three UMAC postseason trophies, earning an NCAA Tournament berth in each of her four years with the program. In addition to the team success, Stoltz garnered numerous individual honors during her time as a student-athlete. She was named UMAC First-Team All-Conference in 2011, 2012 and 2013 while be selected as UMAC Tournament MVP in both 2012 and 2013 and was named 2013 UMAC Player of the Year. Stoltz was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Central Region First Team in 2012 and was an Honorable Mention selection in 2013. Following the 2012 season Stoltz received AVCA Second Team All-American honors and is currently ranked second in the NCAA Division III record books for assists per set from that season. She also holds the fifth spot for assists per set in NCAA Division from the 2013 season and holds the NCAA Division III record for assists per career among active setters. Stoltz has been a member of the dean's list every semester of her college career and is a four-time UMAC Academic All-Conference selection while also being named CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District in her junior and senior seasons. Throughout her career she has maintained a 3.961 grade point average and has been the recipient of several academic scholarship awards. In addition to her academic and athletic achievements, Stoltz has spent a considerable amount of time volunteering both on campus and within the community. She has dedicated time to several local elementary schools and preschools serving as mentor and assisting students with reading skills and has also been involved with organizations like Feed My Starving Children, Good in the Hood and Christmas with Dignity.

"Once again I am impressed with the outstanding accomplishments of our UMAC Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award recipients," UMAC Commissioner Corey Borchardt said. "Brendan, Krista and Abby have numerous athletic, academic, leadership and service achievements and embody the NCAA Division III philosophy. The UMAC is extremely proud to highlight their successes as each of these honorees serves as a great representative of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, exemplifying the core values of our league."

Foss, Fragodt and Stoltz will receive a commemorative plaque with their name engraved on it. Together, they become the seventh group to win the UMAC Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award since its inception in 2008.

Past UMAC Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award winners:

2013 – Brett Tester (College of St. Scholastica), Kali Cordes (University of Minnesota Morris)

2012 - Brady Giffith (Crown College), Joelle Pipal (Bethany Lutheran College)

2011 – Toby Peter (College of St. Scholastica), April Cook (Martin Luther College)

2010 – Nick Olson (Northwestern College), Maddy Gerber (University of Minnesota Morris)

2009 – Zach Marshall (Northwestern College), Eva Voss (Bethany Lutheran College)

2008 - Nathan Nass (Martin Luther College), Christopher Rubesch (College of St. Scholastica), Kristin Scislow (Bethany Lutheran College)

The Upper Midwest Athletic Conference is comprised of eight full and six associate members located throughout the Midwest. Originally formed in 1972 as the Twin Rivers Conference, the league was renamed in 1983. The UMAC is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III. The conference provides its member institutions the opportunity to be recognized in the areas of academic excellence and athletic competitiveness. The UMAC awards conference championships in 17 sports.

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