July 18, 2013

Northwest alum honored as outstanding student-athlete

Dalton’s Casey Truelove has excelled with the University of North Georgia’s women’s golf team, and her work in the classroom shows she believes the student aspect of her role is as important as the time on the golf course.

Others have recognized that as well.

Truelove — a 2010 graduate of Northwest Whitfield High School who claimed medalist honors as the Lady Bruins won the Region 7-4A title her senior season — was recently honored by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) as an All-American Scholar, along with North Georgia teammate LeeAnn Noble of Gainesville.

Maintaining a high grade point average (GPA) during any college career is challenging, but for student-athletes who spend much of their free time representing their school in athletics the challenge is magnified. North Georgia is an NCAA Division II program that competes in the Peach Belt Conference.

“I am so proud of these two young ladies. Casey and LeeAnn are both very deserving of this recognition,” Saints coach Leigh Ann Hunter said. “They are hard workers both in the classroom and on the golf course, not to mention great people. They are leaders on our team and a shining example of Division II’s philosophy of ‘Life in the Balance.’”

The WGCA recognized 644 female golfers in the NCAA’s three divisions with this honor. The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA required is 3.5.

“I constantly remind our student-athletes that ‘student’ comes first for a reason. Our athletics administration and coaches emphasize this as well,” said Margaret Poitevint, North Georgia’s faculty athletics representative. “LeeAnn and Casey are outstanding young ladies who exemplify the true meaning of student-athlete. They do excellent work in the classroom while putting in hours of practice and time away from school for competitions. I am thankful for all the professors who work so closely with our student-athletes when they have to be away from class.”

Truelove participated in 21 rounds of golf with an 84.2 scoring average this season, with her low score of 78 coming at the Lander University Lady Bearcat Invitational. She has a 3.62 GPA as an accounting and finance major.

“I like to set academic goals at the beginning of each season so that I can have something to work towards,” Truelove said. “I decided I wanted to achieve a 4.0 for last semester and it was very rewarding to turn that goal into reality.”

Truelove plans to graduate next spring with a bachelor’s in accounting and finance. She is currently weighing her post-graduate options, such as becoming a CPA or applying for graduate schools.

“(North Georgia) and especially the Mike Cottrell College of Business have given me a great experience so far,” Truelove said. “The accounting department has worked very hard over the past few years in order to get a Beta Alpha Psi program started, which was officially recognized last spring. As a member of Beta Alpha Psi I have been able to attend multiple seminars to help me understand the field of accounting. I have been very fortunate to work with such great people.”

n DSC ADDITIONS: Dalton State College’s women’s golf program, which begins competition this school year, added two names to its roster this week.

Signal Mountain (Tenn.) High School graduate Jenny Adkins and Walton High School alum Lisa van der Ross will help the Roadrunners get started.

Adkins will bring the experience of success to the new team after Signal Mountain’s Lady Eagles won the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s Class A/2A state title the past three seasons.

“I’m extremely excited to have Jenny join the program,” Dalton State women’s golf coach Jim McGrew said. “I believe she will fit in well with what we are trying to do. We’ve really been impressed with her character and her golf potential.”

Jenny is the daughter of Ty and Beth Adkins of Signal Mountain. She is the youngest of three siblings. Her sister, Lauren Smith, is 34, and her brother, Austin Adkins, is 21.

Van der Ross played in region and state tournaments the two years she was a member of Walton’s Lady Raiders golf program. She was an honor graduate at Walton, finishing with a 3.6 grade point average, and she plans to major in business and finance.

“I love the homely feel that Dalton State had the moment I walked on campus,” said van der Ross. “The people are so friendly and I get to continue playing a sport that I love.”

McGrew sees a winner in the Johannesburg, South Africa, native.

“She is an outstanding student with the potential on the golf course to help us become a championship program,” McGrew said.

She is the daughter of Rene and Colin van der Ross of Marietta. She has one brother, Darryn van der Ross, 23.

Dalton State’s golf teams will play their home matches and tournaments at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, but Roadrunners coaches say the team also has excellent relationships with Dalton Golf & Country Club and Nob North, a city of Dalton-owned public course in Varnell.

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