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Barnes Named One of 10 Finalists For Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

Oct. 17, 2007

  • VOTE HERE ONCE A DAY! | Official Release

  • KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Navy men's soccer goalkeeper Evan Barnes has been named one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award announced today. Barnes, a senior from Dublin, Ohio, who was named one of 20 semifinalists on Sept. 25, is the lone Patriot League representative and lone goalkeeper on the list. A nationwide voting process to determine the winner for one of the nation's premier tributes to college seniors will begin immediately online here. Voting may be done once every day.

    On the field, Barnes has appeared in seven games in goal for the Mids, posting a 1.22 GAA and a .700 save percentage while making 21 saves with three shutouts. He was named Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week on Sept. 4, after leading Navy to a pair of season-opening shutouts, including a blanking of rival Air Force on Sept. 2.

    However, Barnes' biggest contributions have come off the field. He owns a 3.88 GPA in honors systems engineering and ranks 57th (out of 1,085 students) on the academic order of merit. He has posted a 4.0 GPA during every semester he has been on the men's soccer team. Barnes led the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll for Men's Varsity Soccer with a 4.0 GPA, and was one of two players in the Patriot League to have a 4.0 GPA throughout the championship season. Barnes was also selected to the ESPN Academic All-District II Team for Men's Soccer.

    Perhaps the most significant obstacle he has had to overcome was a serious car accident on June 14, 2003, that left him disqualified from the Academy for a year. It was serious enough he had to be cut out of the car and life-flighted to Ohio State Medical Center, where he underwent six months of physical therapy to prove he was physically qualified. He attended Ohio State University for a year while recovering from his injuries, before being readmitted into the Academy in 2004. Barnes is chairman of the USNA Leadership Conference where he is responsible for the planning and execution of the nation's premier undergraduate leadership conference, a four-day event involving over 250 participants from more than 26 colleges and universities.



    In the community, Barnes has participated in a project called Blood: Water Mission, an effort to provide clean water for people in Africa, to promote healthier communities, and protect individuals infected with AIDS from deadly water parasites and bacteria. Barnes volunteered extensively at The Center of Ohio Science and Industry (COSI). Here he taught basic scientific principles to elementary and middle school students and performed over fifty large scale demonstrations.

    "It's a tremendous honor to be considered for such an award. This award is both humbling and flattering at the same time," said Barnes. "However, I think most of the credit goes to my family, teammates and coaches. Without their support on and off the field I wouldn't have the personal and professional foundation needed for individual success."

    This marks the first year for the soccer divisions of the award, which is presented annually in eight NCAA Division I sports to a senior student-athlete who has outstanding attributes in four areas: the classroom, community, character and competition.

    The men's finalists are: Evan Barnes (U.S. Naval Academy), Kevin Forrest (University of Washington), Trini Gomez (Loyola Marymount University), Julius James (University of Connecticut), Tim Jepson (Duke University), Stephen King (University of Maryland), Peter Lowry (Santa Clara University), Brad Peetoom (Syracuse University), Julian Valentine (Wake Forest University) and Mike Zaher (UCLA). These finalists will be placed on the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award ballot for a nationwide vote beginning October 17 and concluding November 21. Fan balloting, available on the award's official website, will be combined with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award.

    Winners will be announced during the NCAA Soccer Championships, scheduled on December 7-9 in College Station, Texas, for women and December 14-16 in Cary, N.C. for men. The Lowe's All-Senior All- America Team will also be recognized.

    "These young men and women are great representatives of the sport of soccer, their respective institutions and themselves personally," said Bob Gfeller, Lowe's Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising. "Lowe's is pleased to salute these student-athletes for their on-field and off-field commitment to excellence and look forward to making the presentation to thousands of soccer fans during the NCAA Championships."

    Finalists were selected from a list of 20 candidates in each division, based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete. While the on-field performance thus far during the college soccer season was a factor in determining the finalists, the criteria also includes a large emphasis on the classroom, character and community service.

    An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award was launched during the 2001-02 season in response to the trend of college basketball players leaving college early to turn professional. The award was conceived by sportscaster Dick Enberg, who continues to serve as Honorary Chairman. Lowe's extended the award in the spring of 2007 to include four other NCAA sports: baseball, softball, men's hockey and men's lacrosse. With the addition of men's and women's soccer in fall 2007, a total of eight sports are now included in the awards program.

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