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Three Skipjacks honored for academic achievements
Cannon, Tobin and Morris win Spring Scholar Athlete awards

WYE MILLS – Baseball players David Cannon and Tucker Tobin and softball player Anna Morris have been recognized as Chesapeake College’s Spring Semester Scholar Athletes.

Cannon (Cambridge-South Dorchester High) and Tobin (West Springfield/VA High) share the Spring Semester Male Scholar Athlete Award after finishing their academic programs with identical 3.03 grade-point averages on the college’s 4.0 grading scale. They also both finished with a flourish, posting respective 3.75 and 3.27 GPAs for the Spring 2011 semester while playing a 48-game baseball schedule.

"They’re both hard-working kids, on and off the field," Chesapeake athletics director/head baseball coach Frank Szymanski said of Cannon and Tobin, who will both graduate on Wednesday.

All told, five of the 10 sophomores who played on Chesapeake’s baseball team this spring will graduate in the minimum two years, which Szymanski said is particularly impressive given the time commitment they must also make to baseball.

"It’s about desire and hard work and the ability to make sacrifices," said Szymanski. "They wanted to graduate in two years. They planned that out. They set goals and they accomplished them. I’d say they spend 20-25 hours a week on baseball – and that’s not including games; that’s just practice."

"You just have to try to manage your time the best you can," said Tobin, who is transferring to the University of Maryland Baltimore County. "I definitely wanted to get it (the degree) done. It’s always easier to transfer to a four-year university with your associate’s degree."

Cannon agreed.

"I had to make sure I set my priorities straight," said Cannon. "It was tough at first, but once I got the hang of it, I got used to it."

Both are pleased with their 2009 decision to start at Chesapeake.

"I did everything I wanted to do and more," said Tobin of his time at Chesapeake. "I met a lot of different people and got to play for Coach Szymanski. It was a good experience."

"Everything has been great," said Cannon, who plans to transfer to either Salisbury University or Towson University. "Coach Szymanski has been 100 percent amazing. The baseball team really is like a family. If I had gone to a four-year institution right off the bat, I wouldn’t have had the kind of experience I had here."

Morris (Easton High) earned a 3.42 GPA this spring as a student in the college’s highly competitive pre-nursing program.

"It’s very impressive," head softball coach Durrie Hayes said of Morris’ academic accomplishments. "In that nursing program, she’s taking some heavy courses. She excelled in her academics, didn’t miss any practices or games – and she was also working."

Hayes said Morris was very pro-active in keeping her instructors updated about any class time she needed to miss in order to participate in the softball program.

"She got her ducks in a row," remarked Hayes. "As important as softball is to her, it was secondary. She has a career in mind and that’s her No. 1 priority, as it should be."

Szymanski noted that both baseball and softball are virtually year-round programs.

"Both have fall programs, practice in the winter, and have their seasons run through May," said Szymanski. "It’s a nine- or ten-month commitment that also includes conditioning and weight training outside of their work on the fields. What these three accomplished is certainly worthy of recognition."

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