May 3, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Bucknell junior J.J. Szmadzinski was selected as the 2012 Patriot League Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earned one of five spots on the sport's Academic All-Patriot League Team, it was announced on Thursday. The awards are voted on by the Patriot League's golf sports information directors, who can not select their own student-athletes.
Five different schools placed a student-athlete on the Academic All-Patriot League Team, as Lehigh sophomore Andrew Arnold, Army junior Matt Philie, Navy senior Peter Reilly and Colgate senior Will Zabel joined Szmadzinski on the squad. Philie and Reilly, who was the 2011 Patriot League Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year, are repeat selections on the Academic All-Patriot League Team. The squad consists of five student-athletes to equal the size of the sport's first-team All-Patriot League list.
Szmadzinski played in six events for the Bison this season, and led the team with a 76.3 stroke average for the year. He tied for 19th place with an 18-over 228 (79-75-74) at last week's Patriot League Championship, helping the Bison to a fourth-place finish. Szmadzinski's best rounds of the year included an even-par 70 at the Bucknell Invitational and an even-par 72 at the William & Mary Invitational in the fall.
The junior from Northville, Mich. has excelled in the classroom, working towards a BSBA in Management and holding a 3.90 cumulative grade point average. Szmadzinski had made the Dean's List every semester at Bucknell and has also appeared on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll in each of his first two seasons. He just accepted an internship in the Private Banking division at J.P. Morgan after working last summer in auditing at Pikstein & Metzger PLLC in Michigan.
Szmadzinski is the treasurer of Bucknell Intrafraternity Council, where he manages an $80,000 budget. In that role he has organized several campus-wide events that raised funds for alcohol awareness programming. He also serves as a teaching assistant in Financial Accounting II, is a member of the Bucknell Business Leaders Club and represents his team in SAAC.
Szmadzinski claims Bucknell's seventh Patriot League Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and first since Josh Hartman took the honor in consecutive seasons in 1996-97. Doug Dollenberg (1992-93) and Jeff Graf (1994-95) also won in back-to-back years as Bucknell's previous six awards came consecutively.
Reilly added to an accomplished career by placing in a tie for sixth at the Patriot League Championship to help lead Navy to the team title for the first time since 2008. In addition to back-to-back spots on the Academic All-Patriot League Team and last year's Scholar-Athlete award, he closes his time at Navy as a three-time All-Patriot League selection and former Patriot League Rookie of the Year (2009). Reilly carries a 3.48 GPA as a History (Honors Program) major at Navy.
Philie also earned a Patriot League Rookie of the Year award in 2010, and maintains a 3.88 GPA as a Systems Engineering major at Army. Arnold has a 3.28 GPA as an Engineering major at Lehigh, while Zabel carries a 3.27 mark while majoring in Economics at Colgate. Both players joined Reilly as second-team All-Patriot League selections by placing in the top 10 at last weekend's Championship.
To be eligible for the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and the Academic All-Patriot League Team, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average and be a starter or key player in his/her sport. Freshmen or students in their first academic year at their school are not eligible for the honor.
The Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for each individual sport comprises the pool of nominees for the Patriot League Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards given out over the summer. One male and one female are selected for this honor.
Patriot League Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year: J.J. Szmadzinski, Bucknell (Jr.)
Golf Academic All-Patriot League
Andrew Arnold, Lehigh (So.)
Matt Philie, Army (Jr.)
Peter Reilly, Navy (Sr.)
J.J. Szmadzinski, Bucknell (Jr.)
Will Zabel, Colgate (Sr.)