BIG 12 CHAMPIONS FOR LIFE
The Big 12 Conference Champions for Life campaign highlights the benefits of participating in intercollegiate athletics including the life-changing value of athletic scholarships. The young men and women given the opportunity to compete in their chosen sport become champions for life through the lessons of teamwork, leadership, time management, discipline, perseverance, and giving back to others through community service. The financial aid and student support services received with an athletic scholarship allows student-athletes, many of whom are first generation scholars, to attain higher education that makes a difference in their live, and for their families, by graduating with little or no debt.
Austin Stone, Sr., RHP
Austin Stone is a fifth-year senior business major who is a Baylor Dean’s List and Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll member that has had a very positive impact on and off the field. He’s a team leader that has helped Baylor’s first-year coaching staff’s transition in all aspects while compiling a 4.10 ERA with 104 strikeouts in 156 career innings pitched in 46 career games. Off the field Stone has had a great impact in the community, participating in the team’s two shave-your-head-for-cancer events with Vs. Cancer to raise money and awareness for cancer research and working with Shriners Hospitals for Children. Each year in Stone’s career the Bears have visited Houston’s Shriners Hospital for Children and hosted an event for the kids at Baylor Ballpark. Stone has consistently gone beyond the call of duty to make sure the kids enjoy their experiences with the Bears and has made many lasting memories. This year, the Port Neches, Texas, native earned the 2016 Shriners Hospitals for Children Student-Athlete Honor for his dedication and service to the organization.
Joe Moroney, Sr., OF
Outfielder Joe Moroney earned recognition from the league in 2015 as a member of the Academic All-Big 12 Second Team. A double major in finance and business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship, Moroney demonstrates strong character in whatever situation he finds himself in. On the field, Moroney exemplifies what it means to be a great teammate and a team leader. Off the field, he embodies those same characteristics whether its volunteering for the United Way in Lawrence or teaching local youths about the game of baseball. Those qualities propelled the fifth-year senior to a starting role in his final season with the Jayhawks after serving as dynamic role player for head coach Ritch Price off the bench. During his tenure, Moroney was named to the Athletic Director’s and Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll eight times each and earned the KU Hustle Award three out of his four years. After graduation, Moroney plans to pursue a career in finance or on the business side of baseball.
Levi MaVorhis, Sr., RHP
Levi MaVorhis, a secondary education major, will graduate this May after lettering in four seasons with K-State. The right-handed pitcher helped lead the Wildcats to their first conference title in 80 years as a freshman, but off the field, he has been named an Academic All-Big 12 First Team member twice and Big 12 Academic All-Rookie in 2012-13. He has also volunteered with Cats in the Classroom, a program that allows him to interact with youth around the Manhattan area. In addition to the Big 12 title and All-Big 12 Freshman Team selection in 2013, the Freeland, Washington native has etched his name in the K-State record books in career wins, shutouts and innings pitched.
Keaton Hernandez, Sr., RHP
In two years at Oklahoma, senior pitcher Keaton Hernandez has taken advantage of every opportunity to contribute to the team and the community. As often as he is called on out of the Sooner bullpen, Hernandez can be found taking part in community service projects in Norman and Oklahoma City. In the community, he participates in various activities through OU’s 19 Ways program. Hernandez has been a major key to the team’s Shave for the Brave fundraising effort as well as a constant presence on visits to the OU Children’s Hospital and the JC McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities. An administrative leadership major from Palm Springs, Calif., he has proven to be one of the team’s most vocal leaders this season.
Conor Costello, Sr., RHP/OF
A native of Edmond, Okla., Conor Costello has been a successful performer on and off the field during his time at Oklahoma State and is a three-year starter for the Cowboys as an outfielder, DH and pitcher. A management major, Costello maintains a 3.2 grade point average and is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection while having been named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll six times. A candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, Costello is active in the Stillwater community as well as in his hometown, serving as a volunteer with The Salvation Army and programs such as Coaches vs. Cancer while also spending time helping underprivileged children in the communities.
Evan Skoug, So., C
Evan Skoug is a sophomore catcher from Libertyville, Ill. He has played in every game since stepping on campus, starting all but one of those contests. As a freshman, Skoug led the team in home runs and was one of three Horned Frogs to start all 66 games in 2015 en route to earning Freshman All-American honors. Off the field, he is one of TCU’s ring leaders in community service. He has developed a strong bond with TCU’s youngest signee, Micah Ahern, a young man who is battling cancer. He is an active leader in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, even going so far as to getting baptized this past October. In the classroom, Skoug is a member of the team’s 3.0 club.
Jake McKenzie, So., RHP/INF
A petroleum engineering major, Jake McKenzie was recently named an Engineering Scholar by the dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. The honor recognizes his outstanding academic achievements and his leadership qualities. He has twice been named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and earned Provost Awards (All A’s) in each of his first two years at Texas. McKenzie has volunteered with Marathon Kids and at local elementary schools, food banks, homeless shelters and Ronald McDonald House. On the field, McKenzie is a key utility player for the Longhorns, filling in at whatever position necessary.
Tyler Floyd, Sr., C
Tyler Floyd is one of the few baseball student-athletes in the country to already have his degree in hand entering his senior season on the diamond. Floyd, an Academic All-Big 12 first team honoree in 2015, was recognized this past December as the highest-ranking graduate in the exercise sports science program as part of commencement ceremonies. One of the top leaders on the Red Raider roster, Floyd was the only baseball student-athlete on the 2015 Academic All-Big 12 teams to be nominated with a perfect 4.0 GPA. He is currently working on his master’s degree at Texas Tech.
Ray Guerrini, Jr., C
A valuable team leader on and off the field, junior Ray Guerrini is an athletic coaching education major from Highland Heights, Ohio. He was named to the Academic All-Big 12 Second Team in 2015 and is on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll in addition to the Dean’s List. While leading the Mountaineers on the field, he has been named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List this season. Off the field, he has served on the SAAC Committee for four years and has volunteered with various youth baseball organizations throughout the Morgantown area in addition to reading to local elementary school students.