From parades to street sweep, Hawks give time and effort to address needs of Lower Shore

PRINCESS ANNE — The University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s athletic department encourages its students to “Fly Higher, Prey Harder and Squawk Louder”. This encouragement expresses the desire for UMES athletes to be unparalleled in academic success, steadfast and competitive on the field of play, and active participants in the community as Hawks.

 

While the baseball squad still has to wait a couple of months before they can officially “Prey Harder”, they used the autumn season to make great strides in terms of academic achievement and community service.

 

Consisting of 33 student-athletes, all members of the team have been supportive of these efforts, which start in the classroom. That is evidenced by their grade point averages (GPA), which have been updated to include the 2014 Fall Semester that concluded last week. Of those 33 students, 21 of them received GPAs of 3.0 or higher. Four of them had GPAs between 3.5 and 3.9, while five more received a 4.0; straight A’s for their courses.

 

The good marks should come as no surprise—this past May, UMES honored its baseball team for having the highest collective team GPA for men’s sports at the school.

 

Perhaps even more impressive, however, is the baseball team’s participation in community service, engaging in several different events on the Lower Shore. This goes all the way back to September with a street sweep in the town of Princess Anne. The entire team cleaned up town streets and a city park along with other student-athletes and members of the UMES community. Later in September the team joined many other Hawk athletes in the Relay For Life at Perdue Stadium, honoring those who have been afflicted by cancer.

 

Collectively UMES raised $1,100 for the cause and sophomore catcher Troy Anderson (Bridgeport, W.Va.) came home with a “Miss Congeniality” award, raising the most money while dressed as a woman.

 

Two more community service events by the baseball team involved at the Holly Center, a facility in Salisbury for people with developmental disabilities. On September 27th, the team worked the Auxiliary Fall Festival at the center, assisting young kids and residents in stations such as pumpkin carving, carnival games and face painting. A month later, they went back to assist in running a haunted house and dance for the center’s residents in honor of Halloween.

 

To further assist the needs of the community, members of the team packed over 600 boxes to help combat the struggle with hunger in Wicomico and Somerset County in advance of Thanksgiving. That was followed by two events in December—volunteering at the Berlin Christmas Parade and another visit to the Holly Center.

 

At the Berlin Christmas parade, team members with security and coordinated with parking cars. Even the mayor of the “Coolest Small Town in America”, William “Gee” Williams III recognized the team for their part in making the parade a success. Back at the Holly Center two days later, the baseball team commenced “Operation Teddy Bear” where the whole team loaded and unloaded residents onto Perdue trucks to see the city of Salisbury lit up for the Christmas season.

 

Now that baseball is well on its way to fulfilling the mission of “Flying Higher” and “Squawking Louder”, the Hawks now hope to “Prey Harder” when their season begins this coming February.

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