Ichabod Football Helmet


Balancing Act

Three Ichabods, four sports and six Academic All-America awards

Darian Abram, Alyssa Carney and Brady Skeens pose

From The Ichabod - Fall 2018

The college baseball season goes right up to the final week of classes at Washburn, and it takes dedication and determination for student-athletes to excel in the classroom and on the field all season.

Darian Abram, a senior kinesiology major, had to balance his books and baseball during the final weekend series his junior year with a lab final coming up in human anatomy.

“I didn’t get to study as much as I wanted, but I went over everything a little bit from the hotel,” he said. “I never had a C before, and I thought I was definitely getting a C in that class, but I was able to get a good grade on that last test and pull out a B.”

He kept up his high standards and finished his baseball career by being named Google Cloud Academic All-America – one of three Ichabod student-athletes to earn the award this past year. With a 3.93 cumulative grade-point average, he has one more semester left before graduating.

“It’s nice that my academics are recognized with my athletic abilities,” he said. “It’s something I work hard at. The way I approach baseball was the same way I prepare for the classroom. Study and make sure you know the material so you can do well on the test. In baseball, making sure my swing was good every day before practice. Juggling the two was challenging, but manage your time well, and I think anyone can do it.”

Men’s basketball player Brady Skeens earned Academic All-America for the second straight year, and softball player Alyssa Carney earned it after previously getting it twice as a volleyball player.

“It’s a great accomplishment on their part and a great reflection back on the University and the athletic department,” said Loren Ferré, director, Washburn Athletics. “I couldn’t be more proud of them. It’s what we wish for all our student-athletes – to excel in the classroom and excel in their sports.”

Carney, ba ’18, certificate ’18, considers the academic honor among her highest collegiate accomplishments.

“It shows my personal values, and to be able to achieve the highest standard on an academic and athletic level really meant a lot to me,” said Carney, who was also an All-American on the court as a volleyball senior. “I hold all of my awards very highly, but the academic one is a little closer to my heart.”

Carney graduated this summer with a 4.00 GPA in exercise physiology and a certificate from Washburn Institute of Technology as an emergency medical technician. She plans to work as an EMT then attend school as a physician’s assistant. Abram wants to attend physical therapy school. Skeens, bba ’18, was featured in the spring edition of The Ichabod and has since also won the Ken B. Jones Award, the highest honor in the MIAA. He graduated in the spring and is earning a master of business administration at Washburn.

Washburn has had 32 student-athletes earn Academic All-America as an NCAA school. This past year, more than half of the student-athletes earned MIAA Academic Honor Roll for having at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA.

“Washburn can be challenging academically, and for our student-athletes, it should be,” Ferré said. “It prepares them for their careers. For 60 percent of them to be on the MIAA Academic Honor Roll this spring shows the commitment from the student-athletes and the coaches.”

Most student-athletes are able to overcome the missed class time that comes with playing college athletics. Absences can quickly add up, especially when a team makes the postseason.

“There’s no question one of the challenges we have is missed class time,” Ferré said. “The faculty is very understanding and works with the student-athletes as long as they put forth the effort.”

Administrators and coaches always make sure academics come first.

“The faculty was extremely understanding and helpful,” Carney said. “I’d go in for extra help or to discuss things like due dates. The biggest thing my coaches stressed was while athletics can teach you many lessons in life, you’re not always going to be playing the sport. What really matters – and what you’re here to do at Washburn – is to get your education.”

The band at a football game

Do you want to give back after your experience at Washburn? Do you want to honor a family member, friend, coach or classmate with a scholarship in their name? You can support the Ichabod Athletic Fund with a gift online or contact Bruce Steinbrock by email or at 785.670.1334 to learn about other funding opportunities like an endowed scholarship or estate gift that will change student-athletes' lives for generations to come.

The Ichabod Magazine Winter 2022 cover - Memorial Union with snow, pine needles in the foreground

The Ichabod tells our story with features on alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends, along with the latest campus news. View the current and past editions


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