Lea Plarski Award
2007-2008 Lea Plarski Award Presented to Chirstopher Glaze
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) is proud to announce Christopher Glaze of Jones County Junior College (Miss.) as the winner of the 2007-08 NJCAA Lea Plarski Award, which is handed out annually by the NJCAA to the student-athlete who exemplifies sportsmanship, leadership, community service and academic excellence, coupled with athletic ability and achievement.
Glaze, an Ellisville, Miss. native, was the starting shortstop on the Jones County baseball team the past two seasons while also serving as a vital member of the community.
Glaze was the Vice-President of JCJC's Rho Sigma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa - The International Honor Society of Two-Year Colleges. As VP, he was instrumental in scheduling many campus events, including the school's 2007 Honor Study Lecture Series, which was open to all in the community to attend. Speakers that Glaze was able to secure for the series included former Mississippi Governor, the Honorable William Winter; University of Mississippi professor, Dr. Andrew P. Mullins, Jr.; Stanford University professor and Department Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, Dr. Robert C. Robbins and many others. Glaze helped publicize each speaker's visit with mass mailings within the community, region and state. He also organized a luncheon to go with each of the speaking events and served as the host of the series.
"PTK has given me a ton of opportunities, but I've also had plenty of opportunities through baseball," said Glaze. "I've set up a radar gun for some kids at festivals and that's fun. I've also spoken to local Bible Clubs and I've given talks about saying 'no' to drugs and alcohol to kids."
"With PTK, I've been involved with helping pick up trash at our new walking track on campus. We have also worked with the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life through PTK. PTK has also brought several top speakers to our campus, including Dr. Robbins from Stanford. I had the opportunity to introduce him and that was quite an experience."
Glaze's work with the Phi Theta Kappa also included collaboration with many Jones County academic departments, including administration, athletics, forestry and horticulture, for the completion of a half-mile recreation trail on the campus.
His other community service activities included being a mentor at local elementary schools where he spoke in numerous classrooms about the importance of remaining drug, alcohol and tobacco free, gathering canned food for a local soup kitchen and serving as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.
On the baseball diamond, Glaze batted .299 for the Bobcats and drove in 14 runs. As a freshman in 2007 he started 43 of 45 games at shortstop for the Bobcats and posted a .895 fielding percentage with 99 assists and 59 putouts.
Glaze has also had the unique experience of playing at JCJC for his father, head coach Bobby Glaze.
"The opportunity to play for my dad is something I have looked forward to for a long time," said Chris. "I was hopeful of getting the chance after high school to play at Jones. I did not know what to expect. It's a unique experience, but I would not have passed it up for anything."
"Anybody who has that opportunity I would encourage them to play for their dad because it's something that can never be taken away from you."
To no surprise, Glaze's academic achievements are also impressive. While majoring in Exercise Physiology, he maintained a 4.0 grade point average at Jones County. He was selected to this year's Who's Who Among America's Community Colleges and nominated for the 2008 USA Today All-USA Academic Team.
Glaze plans to continue his education and baseball career in the fall of 2008 at Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss.
Glaze received the 2008 NJCAA Lea Plarski Award at the Citizenship Through Sports Alliance (CTSA) 10th Annual AT&T National Sportsmanship Awards banquet, which was held June 5th in St. Louis, Mo.
Tabbed the 'Most Inspiring Night in Sports', The National Sportsmanship Awards banquet honors the nation's top athletes and administrators who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship, citizenship, ethical conduct and community service. Award recipients represent the CTSA's member organizations, including the NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, National Federation of State High School Associations, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League.
Other athletes recognized at the banquet included St. Louis Rams' linebacker Chris Draft, St. Louis Blues' goalie Manny Legace, former St. Louis Cardinals' pitcher Rick Horton and former Houston Astros' standout Craig Biggio.
"It's funny how things you do take you to so many places," said Glaze at the event. "Coming from a small town like Ellisville, you never dream of things like this, but you hope for them. This is something I will never forget."
The CTSA is the largest coalition of professional and amateur athletics organizations in the United Stats focused on character in sports