The Northwest Athletic Conference announced its annual Sportsmanship Team Awards for the Southern Region on Tuesday.
Representing Umpqua Community College were sophomores Grace Campbell and Derek O’Connor.
Both athletes were standouts in two sports at UCC (Campbell in basketball and track and field and O’Connor in cross country and track), but also excelled in the classroom and in the Riverhawks’ community outreach program.
“Anyone who knows Grace knows she’s outgoing and willing to help anyone in need,” said UCC Athletic Director Craig Jackson, who added that O’Connor is “a humble, nice kid.”
Jackson says the Sportsmanship Award is the ultimate culmination of what it means to be a student-athlete at Umpqua.
“It takes more than being good at sports,” Jackson said.
The Sportsmanship Award recognizes student-athletes who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior. Those traits make it easy for Jackson to recommend both Campbell and O’Connor for the programs they’ll be attending next school year.
Campbell, a Gladstone native, will graduate from UCC and continue her education and basketball career at NCAA Division II Cal State East Bay in Hayward, California.
O’Connor, a Camas Valley High School graduate, is continuing his education and running at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana.
There was also a pair of Douglas County natives who earned Sportsmanship Awards at their respective schools. Roseburg High graduate Taylor Russell was selected as a representative from Lane Community College and former Sutherlin standout Caity Carrillo was named as an award winner from Linn-Benton Community College.
This is the third year that Sportsmanship Team Awards have been given out to a male and female athlete on each of the 10 NWAC Southern Region schools.