Story by Thomas Corhern
Cookeville Herald-Citizen Sports
COOKEVILLE -- No one ever said being a student-athlete was easy.
From all the long hours of practice and games to working towards a degree, so much time and effort goes into all of it.
In Lindsey Reed's case, she devoted every single moment of her time toward academics, athletics and community service, becoming a well-rounded student-athlete.
And even among a tough field of candidates, Reed's background said it all and made her an ideal choice for the 2012 Tennessee Tech Athletics Woman of the Year.
"Lindsey has been a role model student and a role model athlete during her time at Tennessee Tech," said TTU athletics director Mark Wilson. "I think it's very fitting that she was named the Tech Woman of the Year. She's really done it all. She didn't get a whole lot of recognition from her position on the field, but she has been so consistent in her leadership and as a student, and we're just so proud of her."
Reed beat out Brooke Basten (softball), Leah Bradley (cross-country/track), Rachel Glidden (basketball), Tacarra Hayes (basketball), Traci Jones (cross-country/track), Holly Thomas (softball) and Emily Weinzetl (track) for this year's award and is the second winner in as many years from the women's soccer program, joining last year's winner Brooke Mayo.
"I am honored," Reed said Saturday via e-mail. "There are some amazing athletes at Tech on and off the field and I am blessed to be considered one of them."
Reed admitted that it took a lot of different things to excel as a student-athlete.
"These last four years have taught me dedication," Reed said in a statement to the NCAA as Tech's nominee for the national award. "Being a student-athlete in itself takes a strong will to succeed. In order to be a benefit to the team, I had to find the motivation to improve on my own and find the strength of will to focus at every practice, no matter how little sleep or how many big tests I have to distract me. I could not have been a leader if my teammates were not able to see my loyalty. The same can be said about the rest of my endeavors. I need to be just as dedicated to the community and my education in order for them not to be overshadowed by my devotion to my soccer team. If I set my mind to research, or helping at a school, and don't look back, there will always be time and results. It is easy to be lazy and justify not going to community service one week; what is missing just once? That will turn into two and three and snowball out of control. It is much harder to stick to your commitments, but the smiles on the kids' faces prove to be worthwhile every time."
On the pitch, Reed played a position that didn't get a lot of statistics, but her ability as a defender on the field was incredibly valuable to the Tech women. Reed was one of only five players who started every game in the 2011 campaign and played every minute of every game.
"In the two years I've coached her, I think she played every minute of every match," said Tech coach Daniel Brizard. "As a defender, you're not going to get the flashy statistics, but she helped us greatly with her experience and her calming presence."
Reed was named the Ohio Valley Conference's Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts in the adidas Gamecock Soccer Classic as Tech allowed just one goal against Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State.
"She's really meant a lot to this team," Brizard said. "Being an upperclassman and everything she's been through, she provided some invaluable leadership on and off the field."
Her work in the classroom was even more amazing. Graduating in May with a 3.97 grade point average as a chemical engineering major, Reed was also a nominee for Tennessee Tech's prestigious Derryberry Award.
And her academic ventures aren't finished yet. Currently leading backpacking trips for the Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp, then heading abroad to Honduras, Reed will return to her studies in the fall to attend medical school.
"I tell people all the time that I felt dumber just sitting in the room with her," Brizard joked. "She's definitely the epitome of the student-athlete. She was a great athlete and, in the classroom, she excelled. She had that dedication and she wants to go to medical school. Doing that after completing an engineering degree is just amazing. It just shows you the discipline someone has and can have if they really put their mind to it."