Story courtesy of Akron Athletic Communications
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.
- University of Akron midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong, who has led the Zips to the College Cup for the second consecutive year, has been selected as the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner for men's soccer. He is the first player in school history to earn the prestigious award in any sport.
The announcement and trophy presentation were made Friday by Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, during halftime of the first of two national semifinal games between No. 1 Louisville and No. 4 North Carolina at Harder Stadium.
Accepting the award on Ampaipitakwong's behalf were his parents, Pete and Denise, and his brother Adam.
"It is an honor to win the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. This would not be possible without the support from the Akron community and commitment from my teammates, coaches and university administrators," Ampaipitakwong said. "I want to specifically thank all the fans who voted for me and for the continued support from the community that I have called home the last three and a half years."
The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I men's soccer coaches, national soccer media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I men's soccer. 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.
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 students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
"What a tremendous honor for Anthony to receive this award. He is the epitome of what a student-athlete should represent and has proven to be a high achiever on and off the field," UA head coach Caleb Porter said. "He is an outstanding ambassador for The University of Akron and has a bright future ahead of him."
Ampaipitakwong has a 3.4 grade point average in business administration at Akron. He's also a regular in the Akron community, working with Habitat for Humanity, spending days at local elementary schools and volunteering time at a local shelter for homeless women and children. He's also been a volunteer coach for several soccer camps at Akron as well as at his high school in Bradenton, Fla.
Ampaipitakwong is a two-time NSCAA All-American and led the Zips to the NCAA championship game last year and the semifinals this year. He is a four-time all-conference performer and a candidate for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, which recognizes the nation's top player, for the second consecutive year.
"Anthony has been the model of consistency during his career at Akron," said Tom Lamb, Lowe's senior vice president of marketing. "He is a top performer in the classroom, on the field and in the community."