KCKCC Athletes Of Year Also Excelled In The Classroom
Volleyball All-American Blair Russell and Mike Haen Hustle recipient Tanner Foerschler
Two athletes who excelled in the field and the classroom – Blair Russell and Tanner Foerschler – have been named the Athletes of the Year at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
A first team volleyball All-American, Russell graduated with honors after the 2014 Fall Semester with a 3.77 grade point average while Foerschler was named the recipient of this year's Mike Haen Baseball Hustle Award while earning President's and Provost Honor Roll recognition with a grade point average of 3.62.
The first Lady Blue Devil to be named to the NJCAA All-America first team, Russell was also named the Most Valuable Player in the Jayhawk Conference. A first team All-Jayhawk and All-District selection, she ranked eighth in the NJCAA in kills per set (3.94) and seventh in the total number of kills (516).
Equally important, Russell led KCKCC to the NJCAA national tournament where the Blue Devils won three of four matches. Unfortunately, the lone loss came in the opening round to Glendale, Ariz., the eventual national champion. Bouncing back with three straight wins, the Blue Devils won the consolation bracket for a ninth place finish and overall record of 32-10.
"A vital and key leader to our success, Blair is the epitome of what you look for in a student athlete," said KCKCC Coach Mary Bruno. "A unanimous choice of her teammates as team captain, she was the hardest working athlete in the gym, a team player and an excellent student." A two-time NJCAA Academic All-American, Russell compiled a 4.0 grade point average her final semester. She has since transferred to Missouri Western State University.
In addition to being named the Mike Haen Hustle Award recipient, Tanner Foerschler is a nominee for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for the Jayhawk East Conference. During this past season, Tanner handled 578 chances at first base without an error which ranked him as a national leader at his position for most putouts compared to the least number of errors.
"Tanner came in to our program a skinny kid who with a lot of hard work and determination made himself into a terrific player," said KCKCC Coach Steve Burleson. A two-year starter from Harrisonville, Mo., Foerschler hit .376 with 53 runs batted in. "A dream to coach, he took everything we gave him and added an incredible amount of work ethic to become the player he is."
Foerschler has signed a letter of intent to attend William Jewell College in Liberty where " He's going to make a fine addition to the Jewell program, " said Burleson. In addition to his academic honors and 3.62 GPA, Foerschler participated in raising more than $100,000 the past two years.