York County athletes earn recognition from York College

  • Susquehannock grad Zach Hanson earned the men's DeMeester Award at York College.
  • Red Lion grad Megan Jones shared the women's DeMeester Award with Megan Strauch.
  • The overall grade-point average for York College athletes was 3.24, the highest in school history.

The York College athletic department released its highest academic awards on Monday, and two York County standouts were among those honored.

The college announced its 2015-2016 William DeMeester Academic Award winners for both individuals and teams.

The DeMeester Awards recognize the male and female four-year senior student-athletes who have the highest cumulative grade-point average. The team awards recognize the teams with the highest GPA for the academic year.

Zach Hanson

This year's men's award winner is tennis player Zach Hanson, who is from New Freedom and is a Susquehannock High School graduate. Hanson graduated with a degree in finance and a minor in economics. He concluded his York College academic career with a 3.95 GPA.

Hanson finished his senior year with a record of 8-5 in singles play while he posted a four wins with partner Rory Handlin in doubles. Hanson earned 21 career singles wins while he had 20 doubles wins during his four-year Spartan career.

The women's DeMeester Award was a two-way tie between women's tennis player Megan Jones and women's lacrosse All-American Megan Strauch,  who each finished with 3.97 GPAs.

Megan Jones

Jones is from Felton and graduated from Red Lion High School. She graduated from York with a degree in supply chain operations management. She was eight-time Dean's List member and notched seven perfect 4.0 semesters. Strauch, from Perry Hall High School in Baltimore, graduated with a degree in secondary education-mathematics and was also an eight-time member of the Dean's List. Strauch had six 4.0 semesters at York College.

Jones finished her career with 10 singles wins. She was limited to doubles play after suffering an injury before her senior year. She completed her career with 14 doubles wins, including five during her senior season.

Strauch leaves York as one of the most decorated women's lacrosse players in York history. Strauch is a two-time Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association All-American, a three-time IWLCA All-Metro Region selection and a three-time All-Capital Athletic Conference pick. She is also a three-time District 4 Academic All-America selection as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

The team winners were the Spartan cross country squads. The women's squad finished the year with a GPA of 3.49 while the men's team concluded the year with a GPA of 3.43.

In addition to the DeMeester Awards, York College assistant dean for athletics and recreation Paul Saikia announced a milestone accomplishment for the Spartan athletic department. For the first time in school history, all 22 varsity teams finished with a team GPA of over a 3.0. Spartan student-athletes combined to post a cumulative GPA of 3.26 for the spring semester. The cumulative Spartan GPA for the 2015-16 was 3.24, the highest in school history.

EDITORIAL: York College student-athletes on a roll

"Perhaps the most important thing we do as athletics coaches and administrators is to guide our student-athletes in appreciating fully their opportunities to excel," Saikia said in a news release. "It's easy to see how hard we are trying when you watch us compete on the field. That matters, we do want to win, and it's rewarding when we get to say we're the best. But we want to know that same commitment and passion are being applied to all parts of our lives. We don't always get to witness that first hand, though we can see the results.

"To have a student-athlete graduate as an All-American with a grade-point average of 3.97, for all 22 of our teams to earn a GPA of over 3.0, and for our student-athletes to combine this year for a cumulative grade-point average of 3.24 says the right message is being delivered and that it is being received, these things don't happen by accident. We are proud of our Spartans and their dedication to excellence at everything."

The Spartan athletic department had 306 of 423 athletes earn Athletic Honor Roll accolades during the fall semester while 290 of 395 athletes earned a spot on the spring Athletic Honor Roll. For the year, 293 student-athletes out of 395 earned a 3.0 or above in 2015-16.