Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Megna wins USHL scholar-athlete honor

The Muskegon Lumberjacks will have an outstanding representative at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in Jaycob Megna, and that is exemplified by the award he received Friday.

Megna and Kevin Liss of the Youngstown Phantoms were named the two 2010-11 United States Hockey League Scholar-Athlete Award recipients.

“Any award you win is special,” Megna said. “but this year it’s been tough balancing hockey and school with so many (Advanced Placement) classes. So I’m very honored. School can be a lot like hockey – you keep chugging away, working hard and get the job done.”

Established in 2007, the USHL Scholar-Athlete Award recognizes players for both their success in the classroom and on the ice. Candidates are nominated by their coaches, teachers, and academic counselors based on their grade-point-average, coursework, and overall school participation.

“We are here to help our players reach their fullest human potential, as athletes, and as scholar-citizens,” Lumberjacks owner and CEO Josh Mervis said. “Jaycob represents what we are all about – excellence on and off-ice.”

Megna’s current grade-point average at Mona Shores High School is 4.4, and his cumulative GPA is 4.5. He’s loaded up on AP classes in his senior year to get a head start on his college requirements. He will graduate from Glenbrook North High School this spring. While at Mona Shores, Megna also volunteered as a peer tutor and helped at-risk students improve in math.

He is quick to pay credit to the Jacks’ academic support system – first and foremost is Jacks head coach Kevin Patrick.

“Coach Patrick checks in quite a bit to make sure we’re on top of things,” Megna said. “All of the staff at Mona Shores has been great this year. All my teachers are very supportive and they did everything they could to help us get our work done and alleviate some of the pressure.”

“We’re very fortunate to have a fine institution like Mona Shores,” Patrick said. “Our players know they have two careers with us – one on the ice and the other off-ice in the classroom and in society. They’re chasing a lot of goals, and we are proud that their time in Muskegon will help them get there.”

Megna will be joined by his older brother, Jayson, at the University of Nebraska-Omaha this fall. The brothers squared off eight times this past season – including the Clark Cup Playoffs – and have not played together since a season at Tabor Academy.

Megna, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound defenseman, racked up 18 points on a goal and 17 assists in 55 regular-season games last season, and dealt out three assists over six postseason games. He has been ranked among the top 170 North American skaters by National Hockey League Central Scouting on the big board for the upcoming 2011 NHL Draft.

The USHL has produced more than 150 players currently under NHL contracts.

“Jaycob Megna is pursuing his NHL career, while at the same time setting himself up for a lifetime of success after hockey,” Mervis said. “In the USHL you truly can have it all - the NHL career and the education you need for the rest of your life.”

No comments: