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Thompson, Lowenberger named Scholar/Athletes
Chesapeake College pair featured perfect 4.0 GPAs during fall semester

WYE MILLS – Conor Thompson, a freshman center midfielder on Chesapeake College’s 2010 men’s soccer team, graduated from Queen Anne’s County High and transferred to the University of Maryland after completing the Fall 2010 semester.

Janean Lowenberger, a sophomore infielder/outfielder on the Skipjacks’ women’s softball team, hails from Canada and extended her stay so she can earn an associate’s degree this spring.

While their paths to Chesapeake and goals for that experience were very different, Lowenberger and Thompson were virtual twins in the classroom. Both earned perfect 4.0 grade-point averages in Fall 2010, leading to their selection as the college’s male and female Scholar/Athletes for the fall semester.

"Conor and Janean are great examples of students who have excelled in the classroom as well as on the playing fields," said Frank Szymanski, Chesapeake College’s athletic director. "These are our inaugural Scholar/Athlete of the Semester awards, and these selections set a high bar for the future."

Lowenberger, a first-team all-conference softball selection and second-team all-region pick last spring, came to Chesapeake in August 2009 after missing the deadline for international student applications at North Carolina Central University. What was supposed to be a one-year stay in Wye Mills eventually morphed into a longer commitment.

"I love everything here – the people, the atmosphere, just everything," said Lowenberger, who is on track to receive a degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences in May. "The teachers are very interactive and they really care about how you do."

Durrie Hayes, Chesapeake’s women’s softball head coach, endorsed Lowenberger’s selection.

"Janean does it all," said Hayes. "She plays wherever I put her; she can bunt, hit for power, runs really well and she’s a good kid. She shows strong leadership and she keeps us on an even keel – which is good when you’re a Skipjack. We’re really pleased that Janean came here and decided to stay."

Thompson said he started at Chesapeake for several reasons.

"I’d always heard good things about Chesapeake and it’s a great buy," said Thompson, referring to college costs. "It was convenient and a good way to get classes done that I needed for Maryland – all of my Chesapeake classes transferred to College Park."

Thompson said the opportunity to play intercollegiate soccer was an added bonus.

"Soccer was fun," said Thompson. "We didn’t have the best season, but I got along with everyone on the team and we had a great time." Mark Dennis, Chesapeake College’s head men’s soccer coach, said Thompson’s commitment to academics was evident even before the season began.

"When the players started discussing classes and grades, I heard comments like ’Conor won’t have any trouble’ . . . ’Conor studies all the time’ . . . ’Conor is the smartest guy I know’, etcetera," said Dennis. "The more that I was around Conor, the more I agreed with his high school friends’ assessment."

Like Lowenberger in softball, Thompson was a key player on the men’s soccer team.

"As the season progressed, it became evident that Conor read the game very well and put a lot of thought into things," said Dennis. "He started every game at center midfield for us and rarely came out. His work ethic at practice and in games earned the respect of his teammates and the coaching staff."

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