|The NCAA has named Katie Schneider, a 2008 Knox College graduate, winner of a 2008 NCAA Division III Conference Sportsmanship Award.
Currently working at Knox as co-director of sports information, Schneider participated in both varsity softball and track. "Katie Schneider has been a true leader at Knox College," said Chad Eisele, Knox's director of athletics, who nominated Schneider for the award.
Each conference in the NCAA selected one male and one female nominee for the NCAA. Schneider and Brock Linde, a football player at Carroll College, were the Midwest Conference nominees.
"I always wanted to set an example for any younger kids who might be at the game, because when I was younger, I watched the older kids," Schneider said. "You never know who's going to show up at a game -- it could be another coach or your grandparents. I'd want to represent Knox well."
The NCAA award recognizes "sportsmanship and ethical behavior and the highest ideals of respect, caring, civility, fairness, honesty, integrity and responsibility."
Schneider received her bachelor's degree at Knox in biology with a minor in environmental studies. She came to Knox from Evanston, Illinois, and is a 2004 graduate of Saint Scholastica Academy in Chicago.
"I've played against some of my best friends," Schneider said. "We don't talk during the game, the competitive spirit is too high. But you still respect your opponent, and you want your opponent to respect you. After the game, you can be proud of your friends on the other team when they do well, even if it's against you. Win or lose, we're all in there for the same reason."
"Katie plays hard every inning of every game," Eisele said. "At the same time, she is a supportive teammate, gracious and humble after victory or defeat."
In her senior softball season at Knox, Schneider batted .316 and was chosen for the all-conference second team as an outfielder. Even though she came to Knox as a catcher, "Katie selflessly moved from catcher to outfielder to benefit the team," Eisele said. "It's no surprise that she as elected a co-captain by her teammates prior to her senior season."
Eisele praised Schneider's dedication off the field. "As a student, she came to all home events and it wasn't a surprise to see her in the bleachers at some road contests." In 2007, Schneider won Knox's David Robinson Fan of the Year Award.
Schneider has served as president of Knox's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and as a member of the NCAA Division III SAAC. On the NCAA committee, Schneider represented both the Midwest Conference and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. "Not only did she keep the best interests of Knox students in mind, she had to represent both conferences fairly, and she did so with ease," Eisele said.
Schneider also has helped organize community service events, including participation by varsity athletes in the Reading Buddies program and the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.
(Katie Schneider. Story and photo submitted by Knox College)