December Student-Athletes of the Month

by Matt Dunaway
December Student-Athletes of the Month

BATON ROUGE ? The Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes honored six LSU student-athletes for their academic achievements and community service for the month of December.

Each month, five student-athletes are recognized for their academic improvement, dedication and proven ability. In addition, one student-athlete is chosen through the CHAMPS Challenging Athletes Minds for Personal Success program for their volunteerism and commitment to the community.

December’s Student-Athletes of the Month are Josh Dworaczyk [Football], Lyle Hitt [Football], Chris Mericas [Swimming & Diving], Lindsay Price [Softball] and Thomas Reinecke [Track & Field]. Shanna Spears [Swimming & Diving] was chosen as the Shaquille O’Neal CHAMPS/Life Skills Student-Athlete of the Month.

Dworaczyk is a general studies major, but is pursuing a trio of minors in communication studies along with business and sociology. Hitt and Price are majoring in kinesiology, while Mericas is a mechanical engineering major. Chemistry is Reinecke’s major and Spears is majoring in microbiology. 

Spears, a junior swimmer from Marietta, Ga., was a member of the 2009 SEC Academic Honor Roll. She registered a third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle in LSU’s 190-84 victory over New Orleans earlier this season.

A sophomore guard from New Iberia, Dworaczyk made his first career start in the 2009 season opener at Washington and hasn’t looked back en route to starting all 12 games for the Tigers. He has graded out at 80 percent or better six times sparked by a trio of 84 percent efforts against Florida, Tulane and Louisiana Tech. 

Hitt, a senior guard from Baton Rouge, has started in 32 consecutive games for the Tigers dating back to LSU’s 2007 national championship season. He has graded out at 80 percent or better on six occasions this season highlighted by an 84 percent mark where he played all 59 snaps and recorded five knockdowns at Mississippi State. 

A freshman swimmer from Austin, Texas, Mericas qualified for the consolation finals of both the 100-and 200-yard backstroke at Houston’s Cougar Classic Fall Invitational where he placed 13th in both races.

Price, a freshman outfielder from Houston, Texas, saw action as a defensive replacement in right field and a pinch runner during LSU’s fall season. She stole a base and scored a run against LSU-Alexandria.

A freshman jumper from Lake Charles, Reinecke joins the Tigers as a standout pole vaulter. His personal best of 16 feet, 2 inches won the Class 3A outdoor state champion in 2009. He also won the young men’s pole vault title at the 2009 AAU Junior Olympics. 

For putting forth extra effort in the classroom and community in addition to their rigorous academic and competition schedules, these six student-athletes will have their pictures displayed on the wall in the CCACSA.