WACO, TEXAS (Feb. 13, 2015) – While already making the transition to mentor during her college career, Brittany Stone (SR/Helotes, Texas) of Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) has earned recognition as the RRAC's Character Athlete of the Week for Feb. 2-8. Stone is the fifth honoree in a new weekly series that highlights RRAC student-athletes who exemplify the NAIA Champions of Character program.
Often the phrase "coach on the field" is tossed around in describing some athletes, but it is literally the case with Stone. The senior softball third baseman volunteers as a coach for two under-18 high school teams during the fall, and she tutors O'Connor High School softball players during their season. The only income she makes over the summer has been in her role as an assistant coach for an under-18 gold team that showcases softball players with college ambitions.
It's all part of Stone's mission to become a ninth grade biology teacher after graduation. Her grandmother, Anna Mae "Mas" Nichols, was a lifelong teacher who had an elementary school named after her. Stone, who bears a striking resemblance to her grandmother, wants to follow in those footsteps.
"She loves kids and loves the excitement of seeing them learn," Brittany's mother, Laura Schwarz Stone relates. "She definitely plans to coach. There is no doubt she loves the game. She is so proud to call OLLU her home and, after everything the school has done for her, she wants to be able to help kids achieve the success she has had."
Stone is a key piece of the Saints athletic program that earned the Five-Star Silver Medallion award for character from the NAIA this year. She has maintained a 3.5 GPA, and she has been honored as a three-time RRAC Softball All-Conference Team selection. Last year, Stone helped lead the Saints to their first RRAC championship and a berth in the NAIA Softball National Championship. Her role as a player and leader contributed to the title.
"Brittany is the perfect example of what it means to be a student-athlete at OLLU," Saints softball coach James Kling says. "She does all the work necessary to excel on the field and in the classroom. She will carry the lessons learned from being a student-athlete for her entire life, and it will pay benefits as she gets in her own classroom and instructs students."
Created by the RRAC Champions of Character Committee with representation from each conference member institution, the Character Athlete of the Week award recognizes student-athletes who demonstrate a high level of integrity on the playing field and in the community. Honorees must exhibit the five basic tenets of the NAIA Champions of Character initiative including integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.