June 10, 2011

W&L's Kurkis and Mathews Named ODAC's Top Scholar-Athletes

FOREST, Va. – The Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) announced the 2011 winners of the conference’s top scholar-athlete awards, the Harry G. "Doc" Jopson Award (Male) and Majorie Berkley Award (Female). 

Recent Washington and Lee graduate Greg Kurkis (Roswell, Ga./Westminster) was tabbed as the Jopson Award recipient, while classmate Emmy Mathews (Baltimore, Md./Bryn Mawr) was the co-recipient of the Berkley Award, along with Christina Rhodes of Bridgewater.

Kurkis garnered the honor after earning four letters with the football team and graduating this spring with a degree in biochemistry.  He started all 40 games of his career on the Generals’ offensive line and, last fall he helped pave the way for one of the greatest offensive seasons in school history as the Generals averaged 438.8 yards and 35.3 points per game en route to claiming the ODAC title and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history.  The 2007 ODAC Rookie of the Year, he received Second Team All-ODAC honors following each of his first three seasons.  This fall, he was named First Team All-ODAC, First Team All-State and Third Team All-South Region.

Kurkis was named a Second Team Academic All-American as a junior and he followed that up with First Team Academic All-America laurels as a senior when he served as a team captain and received a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.  A two-time ODAC Football Scholar-Athlete Award winner, Kurkis received the Pres Brown Most Valuable Senior Male Athlete Award and the Bill McHenry Scholar-Athlete Award at the Washington and Lee Athletic Awards Ceremony in May.

Mathews was a four-year letterwinner for both the field hockey and lacrosse teams, serving as a team captain for both squads during her final two years.  This spring, she graduated with degrees in philosophy and business administration.

In field hockey, Mathews was a four-year starter in the midfield, totaling six goals and 18 assists for 30 career points.  She also notched four defensive saves and helped the Generals post a 1.90 goals-against average over her four seasons.  She earned All-ODAC honors three times, including first team accolades as a sophomore and again as a senior.  She earned the ODAC Rookie of the Year Award in 2007 and was the 2010 ODAC Field Hockey Scholar-Athlete of the Year.  A two-time all-region honoree, Mathews also received National Academic Honor Roll honors all four years from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. 

In lacrosse, Mathews also started all four seasons in the midfield, finishing with 199 points on 161 goals and 38 assists.  She finished third all-time in goals and fifth all-time in points. A three-time First Team All-ODAC honoree, she has twice been named the league’s top scholar-athlete for lacrosse and this spring, she was named the ODAC Player of the Year.  Furthermore, she has been named to the IWLCA all-region team three times and this spring, she was named to the IWLCA All-America team as a second team selection.

Mathews was named Washington and Lee’s Outstanding First-Year Athlete in 2008 and she received the Pres Brown Most Valuable Senior Female Athlete Award at the Washington and Lee Athletic Awards Ceremony in May.

Kurkis is W&L's 11th all-time winner of the Jopson Award, while Mathews is the Generals' seventh all-time recipient of the Berkley Award.  This is just the fourth time that one school has claimed both of the awards in the same year.  W&L had previously accomplished the feat in 1994 (John Surface & Angie Carrington), 2005 (Paul McClure & Lindsay Hagerman) and 2009 (Harry St. John & Anne Van Devender).

Inaugurated in 1981 and 1984, respectively, the Harry G. "Doc" Jopson and Marjorie Berkley Scholar‑Athlete Awards are given each June to member college seniors and conference sport participants who exhibit the highest athletic, academic, and extracurricular achievements.

-- GENERALS --