BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 17, 2017)—–The Southeastern Conference on Wednesday announced the Community Service Team for the sport of baseball. The conference names a Community Service Team for each of its 21 league-sponsored sports, looking to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to his community through superior service efforts. The 2017 SEC Baseball Community Service Team is as follows:
Alabama – Mike Oczypok, Sr., RP, Royersford, Pa
Led the Crimson Tide in hours worked during the 2016-17 school year … Volunteer for the ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’ 5K on campus to help raise money for Cystic Fibrosis … Visited the Miracle League of Tuscaloosa with the Alabama baseball team to meet with the League’s players, sign autographs, snap pictures and take part in a pick-up game … Participated in the Athletics Department’s annual “Halloween Extravaganza” which allows Tuscaloosa youth to visit with the University’s student-athletes and take part in sport-specific mini-games while also trick-or-treating in a safe environment inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility … Took part in the Tide Moves Fall project … Visited Sprayberry Elementary for the school’s annual Christmas party with the Crimson Tide baseball team … Recorded double-digit volunteer hours in each of his five seasons with the Crimson Tide baseball program, often times taking it upon himself to volunteer outside of required team activities … Completed graduate school this season with his Masters of Business Administration, becoming the first active athlete in Alabama Athletics history to graduate with his MBA … Graduated undergrad cum laude with a double-major in management and marketing … Member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) … Member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Arkansas – Alex Gosser, Sr., C, North Little Rock, Ark.
Miracle League of Arkansas – Helped play baseball and be a buddy with kids that have mental and physical disabilities … Dream Center of Arkansas (New Life Church) – Helped cook and prepare a Thanksgiving meal for hundreds of underprivileged families … Angel Tree of Arkansas (New Life Church) – Helped organize an event where families picked random names off of a Christmas tree to see which kid they were responsible for getting a gift for … Salvation Army – Rang bells every Christmas Eve in front of local businesses for the last 12 years … Annual nursing home Christmas party and performance – Each year, his family goes around to nursing homes during Christmas to sing Christmas carols to the residents and spend the day with them … Volunteer at baseball camps through the Northwoods Baseball League – While playing summer baseball in Michigan for the Kalamazoo Growlers, he helped run baseball camps for underprivileged kids twice a month … Arkansas Baseball Toy Drive – Helps the baseball team raise money for local kids to help buy Christmas toys each year … Make a Wish (Chi-Omega) – Helped grant kids wishes of meeting a Razorback baseball player for their birthday … 1and1 Ministries – Helped organize a collection of old baseball equipment to be sent to Nicaragua for an underprivileged team.
Auburn – JJ Shaffer, Sr., OF, Auburn, Ala.
Worked on the Jason Dufner Foundation backpack stuffing … Participated in the Lee-Scott Academy Skills Camp … Participated in the Auburn Downtown Trick or Treat … Opened car doors for students in the morning at multiple elementary schools in the community … Visited with patients at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham … Spoke to a group of students visiting Auburn’s campus from Los Angeles … Read to students at local elementary schools.
Florida – Alex Faedo, Jr., P, Tampa, Fla.
Faedo has compiled over 40 hours of community service in the 2016-17 academic year participating in the Goodwill Gators outreach program. He regularly volunteers his time at Williams Elementary School mentoring children and he spent time at J.J. Finley Elementary School as well. In addition, Alex has volunteered with the Gator Move initiative to help promote wellness and an active lifestyle for local school-age children. Alex also committed to helping with the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive as UF student-athletes gathered food and distributed to local area families in need … A member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll…A 2016 All-American…Played with the 2016 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.
Georgia – Keegan McGovern, Jr., OF, Willacoochee, Ga.
Home Runs For Hometown Rivals Special Olympics Baseball Game, Operation Christmas Child/Shoeboxes of Supplies for Children Overseas, Elementary School Visits/Reading, Salvation Army Christmas Angel Program/Holiday Presents … Member of UGA Student-Athlete Leadership Academy for academic & athletic success, leadership, campus & community service involvement, SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Kentucky – Storm Wilson, Sr., OF, Science Hill, Ky.
Mission Trip to Bahamas in Dec. 2016 … Walk-a-Child to School Day … Goodwill volunteer … Backpack Program volunteer … Miracle League worker … Wounded Warrior Project volunteer … Louisiana Flood Relief drive … Breakfast with Santa volunteer at UK Children’s Hospital … UK Blanket Project … Team Impact volunteer at UK Children’s Hospital … Community Restoration Project … 2017 inductee to UK’s Frank G. Ham Society of Character (student-athletes who have shown extraordinary commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model) … Three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member.
LSU – Jared Poche’, Sr., LHP, Lutcher, La.
Jared Poche worked extensively in August 2016 to help residents who were tragically affected by the flooding that struck south Louisiana last summer … Poche’ worked tirelessly in three different Louisiana parishes to help clear debris and assist homeowners in the rebuilding process … among his other community service projects, Poche’ worked as an instructor at youth baseball clinics, and he participated in LSU’s annual Halloween Boo-zar, where student-athletes distribute candy to children in the Baton Rouge community … Poche’ also participated in children’s hospital visits to lift the spirits of patients, including a visit to the Shriners’ Hospital for Children in Houston … Graduated from LSU in May 2017 with a degree in kinesiology … 2016 SEC Academic Honor Roll … 2016 Wally Pontiff Jr. Scholar Athlete Award for LSU Baseball.
Ole Miss – Thomas Dillard, Fr., OF/C, Oxford, Miss.
Adopt-A-Basket … Reading with the Rebels/Read Across America … Helped host a surprise birthday party for a Shriners Hospitals child … Rebelthon … Bats and Ball Baseball Clinic … Represented Ole Miss student-athletes and accepted an award for efforts with Adopt-A-Basket … Member of the Ole Miss Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Mississippi State – Andrew Mahoney, Jr., LHP, Daphne, Ala.
Accumulated 56 hours of service since the start of the fall 2016 semester, highlighted by his role as an ACCESS Program Mentor where he worked with multiple MSU students on a regular basis in academic and social settings … Was awarded a Volunteer Spirit Award earlier this spring by Maroon Volunteer Center for his involvement around campus/community – especially with the ACCESS program– throughout the year … Fall 2016 Dean’s list … Fall 2016 Bulldog Honor Roll.
Missouri – Nolan Gromacki, Jr., RHP, Smithville, Mo.
Heavily involved in the “It’s On Us” Campaign with Mizzou’s student government to help end sexual violence on Mizzou’s campus and college campuses across the nation … Arranged and worked with Mizzou Athletics’ Marketing department for “It’s On Us” Night at Taylor Stadium vs. Kentucky … The team wore teal accessories to raise awareness for sexual assaults on campuses and 1,000 “It’s On Us” shirts were distributed … Dozens of campus student organizations attended the game as the game drew Mizzou’s largest Friday night crowd of the year, with many being student organizations supporting Nolan and the “It’s On Us” initiative … Was tapped into Mizzou’s secret society QEBH, the oldest of the six secret honor societies at the University of Missouri … Members are selected based on selfless dedication to the University, excellence in personal character and leadership achievements in the community … Once again, let Mizzou in community service hours, helping Mizzou claim the school’s Community Service Award, given to the Mizzou program with the most hours dedicated to the community … Hosted Mizzou’s annual ROARS Awards in May … Participated in Mizzou Moves, 100 Man Lunch, hospital visits and reading in local elementary schools.
South Carolina – Wil Crowe, Jr., RHP, Sevierville, Tenn.
Participated in event with Special Olympics at Founders Park that included baserunning, throwing, hitting, autographs and a tour of the facility with the athletes … Visited with kids at Epworth Children’s Home and participated in a baseball game with the City of Columbia Youth Program … Attended Arden Elementary School and participated in “Reading is Fun Day” activities with the students … Assisted coaching a little league team with the Lexington County Youth Baseball League … Has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2015 and 2016 and was also a member of the 2014 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll.
Tennessee – Eric Freeman, RJr., RHP, Knoxville, Tenn.
University of Tennessee Medical Center Simulation Lab — Assisted medical students, residents and attendings in medical courses; participated in medical classes as a subject; volunteered an average of six hours per week throughout the school year … East Knox Free Medical Clinic — Volunteered at clinic for underprivileged residents of inner city Knoxville; aided in scribing patient information, collaborated with local pharmacies for prescriptions, organized patient files and distributed food to patients … New England College Baseball League — Volunteered at local schools to promote health and education during the summers of 2013 and 2014; was active member with Taylor Community in Larconia, N.H., an assisted living community; active in community outreach by participating in baseball camps designed to promote baseball and teach life lessons such as teamwork, sportsmanship and love for the game to children … University of Tennessee Baseball — Participated in team events including volunteering at Knox County Schools … Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16) … Recipient of the 2016-17 Brad Davis SEC Community Service Leader of the Year Award … SEC Community Service Team (2014, 2015, 2016) … Posted a 3.91 cumulative GPA in Kinesiology upon graduating from the University of Tennessee on May 12, 2017, and is pursuing acceptance into medical school … Two-time recipient of the University of Tennessee Athletics Board’s Recognition of Academic Achievement for holding the highest cumulative GPA among all student-athletes in his class (2016-17) … Three-time member of UT’s Thornton Center Academic Honor Roll and SEC Academic Honor Roll … National Society of Collegiate Scholars (2013 – Current).
Texas A&M – Cason Sherrod, Jr., RHP, Dallas, Texas
As a student-athlete who is 53 percent deaf in both ears due to his premature birth of 2.5 months, he has been an inspiration to the children of the Brazos Valley Regional School for the Deaf volunteering at their annual picnic and field day … He is a three-year participant in the Aggies Baseball Paint-A-Thon where the team visits the home of a local resident in need to paint the exterior of the home, perform basic outdoor maintenance and landscaping … He helped the Aggies raise a combined $43,133 the last two years for Vs. Cancer Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation … Has a regular schedule of visits to volunteer at local elementary schools … Finalist for The Texas A&M Athletics Lohman Inspiration Award.
Vanderbilt – Collin Snider, Jr., RHP, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Served at Dream Day on Cape Cod – a camp for seriously ill children and their families – during the summer.