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DENVER – California Baptist swimmer Jerome Heidrich and Kansas City women's soccer player Lexie Howard have been named the 2018-19 Western Athletic Conference Stan Bates Award winners. Named in honor of former WAC Commissioner Stan Bates, the annual award is given to the WAC's top male and female scholar-athletes and recognizes athletic, academic and community accomplishments. The award includes a $3,000 postgraduate scholarship.
Heidrich, from Waldniel, Germany, is a graduate student in sports performance psychology and holds a 4.00 cumulate grade-point average. He was named the CBU Senior Male Academic Athlete of the Year, is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, an international sociology honor society, and was named to the President's List three times. He was twice named academic all-conference and was named to the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) All-Academic Team.
Heidrich has been a teaching assistant in the CBU behavioral sciences program and an academic tutor for psychology, behavioral sciences, statistics and Christian studies. He volunteered with the Riverside Aquatics Association, working with athletes on sports performance visualization, relaxation skills and goal setting. Heidrich has also volunteered with a homeless shelter in Union City and has been a guest lecturer for multiple CBU undergrad classes, including organizational psychology, statistics and physiological psychology. He also helped with the annual athletic department canned food drive and with Operation Christmas Child.
A two-time team captain, Heidrich won four events and had three other All-WAC finishes at the 2019 WAC Championships. He holds CBU records in the 50 free, 100 free and 200 free along with the 200, 400 and 800-free relays and the 400-medley relay. He won four events and set two meet records at the 2019 CSCAA National Invitational Championship en route to earning Swimmer of the Meet honors. Heidrich was also a seven-time NCAA Division II All-American and a three-time RMAC champion.
"During his time at CBU, Jerome has shown his dedication and leadership in and out of the classroom and in the community," CBU Head Coach Rick Rowland said. "He is well disciplined, as demonstrated by his academic and athletic achievement, and follows through on commitments. He has strong time management skills and is able to focus on the goal, and work undeterred until it is accomplished. He leads his team by example as a committed student-athlete. Jerome's resume of accomplishments and his experience as a student-athlete puts him in the top two percent of student-athletes I have coached for the past 20 years at California Baptist University."
Howard, from Kearney, Mo., graduated summa cum laude in May with a bachelor's degree in middle school education with a 4.00 GPA. A four-time Academic All-WAC honoree, she earned United Soccer Coaches first team Scholar All-Region honors.
A three-time team captain, Howard ended her career as the program leader in career points (96) and goals (38). In 71 career games, she also had 20 assists and 15 game-winning goals. As a senior, Howard ranked tied for 13th nationally in assists (10), 14th in shots on goal (2.33) and tied for 33rd in points (30). She is a three-time All-WAC honoree, was named WAC Offensive Player of Year as a sophomore and was named to the WAC All-Tournament Team three times. As a senior, she earned USC Pacific Region second team honors.
In the community, Howard coached eighth grade soccer, participated in Uplift, delivering food to the homeless, and served as a math tutor. She also collected toys for Boys & Girls Club and read to children. The secretary of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as a senior, she was involved in the search committee for the new Director of Athletics. She twice earned the Circle of Champions Award and received the Stan Durwood Award.
"Lexie Howard is the most talented soccer student-athlete that I have ever had the pleasure of working with," Head Coach Chris Cissell said. "She shattered all expectations in her illustrious four-year career on the field, in the classroom, on campus and in the greater Kansas City community. As an athlete, she was our overall best player leading us to back-to-back WAC regular season championships. She is a great student-athlete who is an even better person with tremendous character and integrity. She is a perfect example of overall comprehensive excellence."