(Release is from the Tennessee Tech Athletics website www.ttusports.com)
Senior outfielder Chad Oberacker was selected as one of 30 baseball student-athletes selected as candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for excellence on and off the field. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
Oberacker, who maintains a 3.3 GPA in physical therapy, is on pace to graduate this spring. After graduation he would like to attend physical therapy school and earn his doctorate before opening an outpatient physical therapy clinic with his cousin, who specializes in personal fitness. Last year he was named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District team.
“I believe that teamwork is first and foremost the no. 1 goal,” Oberacker said. “Having a successful team makes every individual successful in itself. I give 110% in everything I do, whether it is school work, baseball, lifting or playing Monopoly with my sister when I was a kid. I fight through adversity throughout my life, particularly 2 years ago. In May 2009 I had to have an emergency appendectomy with two weeks left in the season and our team battling for a spot in the OVC tournament. I only missed eight days and returned to help us sweep Jacksonville State and clinch a spot in the playoffs. I believe that putting others first is a great character in a person and I hate feeling like I let others down, so I don’t let it happen.”
Oberacker has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and helped out teaching students about the game at a local high school. He’s also an active member of the All-Saints Parish chorus and sometimes plays the violin as part of the mass with the choir.
As a junior, Oberacker led the Ohio Valley Conference with a .452 batting average and 108 total hits, which ranked third and fourth in the nation, respectively. He also led the team and conference in doubles on his way to first-team all-conference honors. He also drove in 70 runs and was named the school’s co-Male Athlete of the Year. Despite being drafted in the 19th round of the MLB draft, Oberacker opted to return for his senior season. His career batting average of .395 takes top honors in Tech history.
During the 2010 summer, Oberacker started 37 games for the Morehead City Marlins. In that time, he batted .258 with 13 runs and 24 RBIs. Furthermore, he had three doubles and a pair of triples to go with eight stolen bases.
The 2011 candidate class includes 15 student-athletes with cumulative grade point averages of better than a 3.5, including three with perfect 4.0 GPAs. Seven are from teams ranked in the Collegiate Baseball preseason top 35 poll.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the winner June 24 at the NCAA College World Series® in Omaha.
For more information on all the candidates, visit http://www.seniorCLASSaward.com