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Baseball: Hicks Named To List of Senior CLASS Award Candidates

LAFAYETTE, La. – Senior Matt Hicks was named one of 30 baseball student-athletes who excel both on and off the diamond as a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, Premier Sports Management announced on Wednesday.
 
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release.
 
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the 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. 
 
“No man was ever honored for something he took, but he was honored for what he gave,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “That’s the good thing about Matt. He is a giver and has been so consistent for us for four years. Most people come in not knowing what to do. Matt came in from day one and did things the right way. He’s never even had a grade check folder late or caused any trouble at all. That speaks to his character and the kind of person that he is.”
 
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 College World Series in June.
 
Hicks is the first Ragin’ Cajuns players to be named a candidate for the award. The following is a listing of Hicks’ accomplishments in each area that the award focuses on:
 
Classroom
Hicks will graduate this spring with a 3.685GPA and a double degree in Biology and Chemistry and a minor in Psychology. He has averaged over 18 hours a semester, taking 20 hours each Spring Semester for the past two years.  Hicks was named to the UL Dean’s List (3.5-3.79GPA) for Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2013 and Fall 2013; UL President’s List (3.8-4.0GPA) for Spring 2011 and Spring 2012; Sun Belt Commissioner’s List (3.5�GPA) for Fall 2010-Spring 2011 & Fall 2011-Spring 2012; as well as Sun Belt Academic Honor Roll (3.0-3.49GPA) for Fall 2012-Spring 2013. Matt has already been accepted to the LSU Dental School and will begin in the Fall 2014. Hicks has already spent 50 hours job shadowing with two local dentists. He has also spent 36 hours doing biochemical research with Dr. Wu Xu in the University of Louisiana College of Science.
 
Character
Hicks is 2012-13 Recipient of the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Award (To recognize one student-athlete that embodies the highest qualities of being an all-around team player and carries on the legacy of women’s volleyball player, Sawyer Camillo). Matt serves his community, university and teammates.  Matt knows the way, is willing to go the way, and ultimately shows his teammates the way.  Matt adds an enormous amount of value to his teammates and locker room.  The greatest gift Matt has is that winning and losing will never change who he is.
 
Hicks had to overcome adversity early in his life as he was born with spondylosis, which is degenerative osteoarthritis of the joints between the center of the spinal vertebrae and/or neural foramina. At the age of 12 he was hit by a car while riding a bicycle. He had to undergo eight surgeries and couldn’t walk for a year. They had to remove a bone from his pelvis and muscles from his stomach to reconstruct his leg. Hicks was able to overcome all of those issues to put together a successful athletic career in baseball and has been a example to others of what hard work and perseverance can achieve.
 
“Everyone hits a tough time in their lives and tough times don’t last, just tough people,” Robichaux added. “Matt took his mess and turned it into a message. That enormous when you can do that. It hasn’t necessarily been a verbal message either because he isn’t much of a talker, but he has provided an example based on the way he has lived.”
 
Community
Hicks is a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Community Service Liaison. He helped to organize the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Big Event Team where over 30 student-athletes committed to a full day of Community Service in the Lafayette Area. He has also participated in Reading in Red the past 4 years. Reading in Red is a community service effort to help stress the importance of reading in local schools. Hicks helped lead the Baseball Team to the 2012-13 Most Involved Team for Community Service. He also spent time at Acadiana Orthopedic Specialist in 2013. Was a booth operator at a local elementary halloween party and spends time as a baseball instructor. Matt also was instrumental in creating a lot of the video board graphics for the teams new HD video board at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
 
Competition
Hicks has been the Ragin’ Cajuns top reliever out of the bullpen for the last three years posting an 11-4 record and 16 saves in 79 appearances. A native of Bridge City, Texas, Hicks has a career 3.54 ERA in 114.1 innings with 74 strikeouts. As a junior, Hicks set the school record with 11 saves on the season. He also hold the school record for saves in a career. As a member of the team he has helped guide the team from a 23-30 season in 2012 to an appearance in the 2013 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional Championship game. This year Hicks and the Cajuns are ranked in top 10 in every poll. Hick’s has been most dominant as a senior giving up only one unearned run in 11.0 innings with a 2-0 record and a 0.00 ERA.
 
For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
 
Baseball Candidates

Cody Apthorpe, Bowling Green State
Joshua McAlister, Arizona State
Garrett Bayliff, Wichita State
Andrew Morales, UC Irvine
Tim Colwell, North Dakota State
Josh Nethaway, Albany
Kevin Courtney, Stony Brook
Steven Patterson, UC Davis
Dustin DeMuth, Indiana
Mark Payton, Texas
Nick Favatella, Rutgers
Jordan Piche’, Kansas
Clinton Freeman, East Tennessee State
Chase Raffield, Georgia State
Jeff Gardner, Louisville
AJ Salcines, Miami (Fla.)
Matt Hicks, Louisiana
Oscar Sanay, Cal State Bakersfield
Jeff Keller, Dartmouth
Aaron Silbar, Columbia
Jesse Kelso, Canisius
Collin Slaybaugh, Washington State
Ross Kivett, Kansas State
Gage Smith, Florida State
Ryan LaGrange, UNC-Wilmington
Kevin Swick, Southern California
T.J. Losby, Bowling Green State
Ryan Thompson, Campbell
Whit Mayberry, Virginia
Derrick Workman, Mercer

 
 
— Ragin’ Cajuns —
 
 
 
 
 

 


Jeff Schneider
Assistant Sports Information Director
University of Louisiana

Cox Communications Athletics Center 
201 Reinhardt Drive 
Lafayette, LA   70506 

Office: (337) 482-6332 
Cell: (225) 241-8430 
E-mail: 
schneider@louisiana.edu 
www.ragincajuns.com