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Jacob Hyde one of 23 going into Frank Ham Society of Character

Jacob Hyde talking to UK fans. (Michael Paul Clark Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Being inducted into the Frank G. Ham Society of Character is one of the best honors that a Kentucky student-athlete can receive.

Today 23 UK student-athletes will be inducted at a ceremony to be held at UK’s Center for Academic and Tutorial Service and then introduced at Rupp Arena tonight during the UK-LSU game.

To get into the Society of Character a student-athlete must have shown an extraordinary commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development and career preparation and also serve as a role model. The SOC was founded during the 1998-99 school year and is named for Ham, a longtime UK administrator.

I can still remember how proud former UK basketball player De’Andre LIggins was when he was selected for membership. My hunch is that football player Jacob Hyde of Clay County feels the same way.

He’s played only sparingly, but he’s the only football player on the induction  list. He’s graduating in May with a degree in social work and still has a year of eligibility left. He has worked with ason Cummins on his Impact Leadership Team to serve as one of the team-elected leaders of the 2015 season. He has volunteered with Read Across America, the Special Olympics, Jessamine County Youth Football and the Woodford County Library summer reading program.

No one enjoys being at UK more than Hyde and I could not be prouder of his selection.

Also by chance three softball players — Meagan Prince, Shannon Smith and Breanna Ray — that I have interviewed in the last two weeks are all also being inducted. It’s easy to see why, too.

Meagan Prince (Amber Tyler Photo)

Meagan Prince, Softball

  • Won 21 games in 2016, a new season high, and was named SEC Pitcher of the Week for the first time in her career
  • Threw a no-hitter vs. South Dakota, her first-career no-hitter as a Wildcat
  • Voted team captain for the 2017 season by her teammates, coaches and support staff
  • Studying agricultural and medical biotechnology with plans of attending veterinary school
  • Has volunteered with CSF Meal Packing, UK Hospital’s Blanket Project, the Miracle League and God’s Pantry

 

Breanne Ray, Softball

  • Elected a team captain for the 2017 season by her teammates, coaches and support staff
  • CoSIDA First Team All-Region in 2016 for the second year in a row
  • Has a 3.9 cumulative GPA and is set to graduate with a degree in communication sciences and disorders
  • Has volunteered with Step-by-Step, Bluegrass Miracle League, Oakview Nursing Rehabilitation Center, Classroom AAC Activity, God’s Pantry and the Louisiana flood relief

Shannon Smith at Media Day Monday. (UK Athletics Photo)

Shannon Smith, Softball

  • Elected a team captain for the 2017 season by her teammates, coaches and support staff
  • Carries a 3.63 GPA in the classroom majoring in kinesiology and business management
  • Threw her first-career no-hitter in 2016 at the Chattanooga Frost Classic against Eastern Illinois
  • Has volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House, Miracle League, Salvation Army, United Way and the Special Olympics

Monday I spent time with baseball outfielder Storm Wilson. Guess what? He’s also being inducted and will be honored at Rupp Arena tonight.

Austin “Storm” Wilson, Baseball

  • Has completed his bachelor’s degree in business management and is enrolled in an MBA program
  • Three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member (2014-16)
  • Has a career .393 OPB, as well as ranking among the school’s all-time leaders in HBP.
  • Has volunteered with the Wounded Warriors Project, Miracle League, Breakfast with Santa, God’s Pantry and the UK Blanket Project

To see other inductees go to http://bit.ly/2lhfhLW.

1 comment

  1. Larry Pup

    Very glad to hear of this honor bestowed on Jacob Hyde, it is well deserved. From all accounts, he is a model young man.

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