PORTSMOUTH – Aaron Suydam has been named the Mid-South Conference Champions of Character recipient for baseball. The award, which is voted on by the conference athletic directors, is given to one student-athlete who displays academic and athletic achievement, campus and community leadership, future ambition and demonstration of the five core character values of the NAIA.
Planning for life after his graduation this spring, Suydam is preparing for a career where he plans to enlist as an officer in the United State Military and eventually work in upper-level law enforcement after his time serving the country. He will graduate this spring with a degree in Sociology.
"It is an enormous honor just to be nominated for the Champions of Character Award," stated Suydam in his written essay. He continued by adding that, "Throughout my time here at Shawnee State, I have worked hard to represent Shawnee State and the Mid-South Conference proudly and exhibit the five core character values. These values are instilled in our daily lives as Mid-South student-athletes and members of the Shawnee State Baseball team and it is truly humbling to be recognized among all the extremely exemplary student-athletes in our conference."
In preparation for his post-graduate dreams, Suydam interned at STAR Community Justice Center. He has worked as a staff caretaker with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities while also giving his time to assist with the Scioto County Special Olympics. Other volunteer activities that Suydam has undertaken include community pick-up days, caring for the homeless, organizing clothing drives and volunteering with the Portsmouth River Days Parade. In the classroom, he was also recognized as a member of the Mid-South Conference All-Academic Team in 2011.
Head Coach Ted Tom, who nominated Suydam for this honor, also holds his senior in very high regard. "As a member of our program, he has shown his commitment to the five core values of the NAIA's Champions of Character initiative. Aaron is one of our hardest workers. He has not only developed his abilities on the field of play but also as a maturing young adult. As a senior with a young team, Aaron has taken responsibility to lead our players on the field and has also worked with them in our study table sessions."
Suydam is the second Shawnee State baseball player to win the award in the Bears' three seasons competing in the Mid-South Conference. Cory Pallutch also won this same award in during the 2011 season. Suydam is also the fourth Shawnee State Student-Athlete to win the award during this academic year.