June 4, 2021
2021 SEC Track and Field Community Service Team Announced
By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (June 4, 2021)—–The Southeastern Conference on Friday announced the Community Service Team for the sports of men’s and women’s track and field and cross country. The conference names a Community Service Team for each of its 21 league-sponsored sports, looking to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to his or her community through superior service efforts.
Gabe Serrano, Alabama
Vice President of Alabama’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, helping direct the Crimson Tide’s community outreach efforts, Gabe Serrano gave his time to the Alberta Head Start Kindness Week, Tide Moves, SAAC Thank You Letters, Habitat for Humanity, SAAC Fundraiser Car Wash, Halloween Extravaganza, Project Angel Tree and Read Across America. Part of the Crimson Tide’s silver medal distance medley relay at the 2021 SEC Indoor Championships, Serrano advanced to the 2021 NCAA East Preliminary competition.
Alexa Cruz, Alabama
Led the Crimson Tide in community service hours as well as serving as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Alexa Cruz took part in the SAAC Thank You Letters, Habitat for Humanity, SAAC Fundraiser Car Wash, Halloween Extravaganza, Project Angel Tree, Night to Shine and Hurricane Harvey Relief. A member of the Crimson Tide’s distance crew, she has been a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll throughout her career.
Matt Young, Arkansas
Community Service Projects include: Read Across America Week, NWA Dreamkeepers, Potter’s House, and Razorback Canned Food Drive
Paris Peoples, Arkansas
Community Service Projects include: Fayetteville Living in Color, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Razorback, MLK Hog Call … Collected/ Donated Items for Women’s Shelter
Jason Reese, Auburn
Participated in the City of Auburn’s Downtown Trick or Treat … Volunteered with Samaritan’s Purse on March 14, 2019 to help with Beauregard tornado relief helping cleaning up debris, chainsaw work and assisting with roof tarping … Also participated in SAAC’s annual Toys for Tots drive Beat Bama can food drive.
Madi Malone, Auburn
Participated twice in the City of Auburn’s Downtown Trick or Treat … Volunteered with Samaritan’s Purse on March 14, 2019 to help with Beauregard tornado relief helping cleaning up debris, chainsaw work and assisting with roof tarping … Volunteered during the summer of 2018 at Alex’s Place at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami, Fla. … Also participated in SAAC’s annual Toys for Tots drive Beat Bama can food drive.
Denzel Villaman, Florida
Has served over 27 hours of community service … Substantially involved with Black Student-Athlete Council, where he has surfaced as a natural leader advocating for his fellow student-athletes.
Sophia Piniella, Florida
Has logged over 90 hours of community service … Her community service involvement includes stints with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Climb for Cancer.
Alejandro Collins, Georgia
Set up an overnight tent for unhoused residents through Mutual Aid Athens to keep them warm on cold nights, also providing food, drinks and warm clothing for the homeless … Volunteered in a variety of roles with the Special Olympics of Northeast Georgia … Donated time at the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia … Created educational material and videos for school groups to learn about indicator species at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia … Assisted the curator in garden maintenance to improve the aesthetics and health of the UGA Latin American Ethnobotanical Garden.
Samantha Drop, Georgia
SOUL (Serving Others with Unconditional Love): As a member, participated a in variety of events serving the homeless community, assisted living facilities, children’s afterschool programs and people with disabilities … Special Olympics: As Social Groups Chair, coordinates monthly events for our older members who have aged out of the school system … Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC): As the community service leader of the group, helped organize community service events for the student athletes and outreach to the community. With her connection with Special Olympics, she specifically helped with organizing events and projects to get the student athletes involved with this organization. She participated in events such as Girl Empowerment Day, Spooky Dawgs and drives to collect items for a local homeless shelter … Volunteer at the Athens-Clarke County Animal Control where she took out the dogs to work on socialization and training and assisted with kennel and animal cleaning … Leadership Education and Development (LEAD): This is a group of student athlete leaders who work with successful individuals teaching what it takes to be a leader and preparing for graduate school and beyond. She was partnered with a younger LEAD member with similar career aspirations to help guide them through preparing for life after sports.
Dylan Allen, Kentucky
Dylan Allen has been involved with several organizations during his time at Kentucky. He has worked as a blood donor screener for the American Red Cross, spent time with patients at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, sorted food and packed boxes at the Dare to Care Food Bank, assisted with food service at the Salvation Army, and has volunteered as a transcriber of old documents for the Smithsonian Institution.
Rachel Boice, Kentucky
During the last year, pre-med student Rachel Boice designed and is leading a biology learning center and laboratory for Haitian students at the St. Francis School of Technology. She creates learning stations and experiments for students from the third through the 13th grades, makes powerpoints and spreadsheets for the students, and leads Zoom meetings to teach and monitor the progress of the labs. She also has done activities with Kentucky Children’s Hospital, Lexington elementary schools, Active Women’s Health Initiative, Best Buddies of Lexington, Adopt-a-Family program and more.
Cade Bethmann, Ole Miss
Adopt-A-Basket: Helped Ole Miss donate 60 Thanksgiving baskets to community families in need … A Night to Shine: Celebrated 125 guests with special needs during an unforgettable prom night … Reading with the Rebels: Read to elementary classrooms in the LOU area … YMCA Kids Fitness (Great 38 Weekend): Empowered and inspired children through fitness and Track and Field techniques … Feed the Sip: Helped SAAC assemble more than 500 backpacks filled with non-perishable food for children in Tunica County and Quitman County; also helped men’s track program donate 50 bags … NCAA Diversity Week: Participated in Day 2: We Got Your Back Social Media Campaign that showcased the allyship of the diverse student-athletes
Maddie King, Ole Miss
Adopt-A-Basket: Helped Ole Miss donate 60 Thanksgiving baskets to community families in need … Reading with the Rebels: Read to elementary classrooms in the LOU area … Reading Across America: Read to elementary classrooms in the LOU and Tunica areas … Feed the Sip: Helped SAAC assemble more than 500 backpacks filled with non-perishable food for children in Tunica County and Quitman County; also helped men’s track program donate 24 bags … YMCA Kids Fitness (Great 38 Weekend): Empowered and inspired children through fitness and Track and Feild techniques … Pack the Truck
Audrey Honiotes, Mississippi State
Logged 487 hours of community service for the 2020-21 academic year, volunteering with 13 organizations. What she is most proud of is coordinating the first athletics-wide clothing drive in MSU’s history in partnership with Bulldogs CARE, where every sport donated athletics gear to donate to local children. They ended up collecting 20 boxes worth. In her time at Mississippi State, she has volunteered for Bulldogs CARE, First United Methodist Can Food Drive, Habitat for Humanity Restore, TK Martin Center for Learning and Disability, Noxubee Wildlife Refuge, Read Across America, Starkville Library Reading Railroad, Starkville Women’s Shelters, Carrington Nursing Center, St. Jude Dance Marathon, Oktibbeha County Humane Society, Operation Ukraine, Center for Breast Health and Imaging, Children’s of Mississippi Hospital, City of Starkville Voting Registration, National Girls and Women in Sports, Joe Bearden Dairy Research Farm, Be the Match, United Way Can Food Drive, Super Gabe 5k, Starkville Middle School Cross Country Race, Starkville Community Farmers Market, Salvation Army Starkville, TK Martin Fun Run, The Junior Auxiliary Group Toy Drive, Mississippi State Athletics Clanga Christmas, First United Methodist Church Adopt a Child.
David Olds, South Carolina
Olds served as a volunteer during the 2020 Census, assisting in creating and running four separate community/neighborhood events to advertise the census to reach and have conversations with thousands of residents about the census importance in underserved communities. He worked with the Columbia Urban League Young Professionals (CULYP), managing student-athlete volunteers to polling places to pass out water/food. He served with the Out of the Garden Project in Greensboro, North Carolina, volunteering multiple times to pack and distribute food to families, assisting with ‘mobile fresh food markets’ to reach and distribute to families in food deserts with fresh produce and food items.
Kensi Gray, South Carolina
Gray served in three main capacities this year. She volunteered as a medical assistant at the Free Medical Clinic, an organization that provides care for the uninsured. As a member of AED (Alpha Epsilon Delta), a pre-professional health society, she had the opportunity serve food to the homeless, volunteer in the Salvation Army store/warehouse, and help set up for a charity event for Palmetto Place, a shelter for abused/ neglected children and homeless teens. Lastly, she volunteered with FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) helping collect blankets for the local homeless and put together shoe boxes of school supplies for two area schools.
Joseph Maxwell, Tennessee
In his fourth year with the Tennessee track & field program, Joseph Maxwell logged service hours through volunteer opportunities with various organizations, including the Salvation Army and American Cancer Society. He has also completed community service projects through the Tennessee Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, helping the organization host Voloween and a Community Holiday Meal. This past spring, Maxwell served his hometown community’s Cosburn Bowling Club, writing an article for their blog/website and coordinating their social media efforts remotely.
Katie Thronson, Tennessee
In her third year with the Tennessee track & field program, Katie Thronson has completed more than 80 hours of community service during her time on Rocky Top. She has volunteered her time with several organizations, including Cancer Support Community, American Cancer Society and Vitalant. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked with YWCA to sew non-medical face masks for use in the Women and Children’s center. Thronson currently serves as a member of the 2020-21 VOLeaders Academy, an organization developed to cultivate positive student-athlete leaders through sport to create positive change.
Patrick Johnson II, Texas A&M
Johnson recently was named to join the SAAC 2021-22 Executive Team as Vice President of Student-Athlete Development and serving as a part of the Executive team for our black student athlete group B.LU.E.print. Johnson has always been a member of SAAC serving his time by volunteering at AggiesCAN, AggiesMOVE, Volunteer Deputy Registrar, Traditions Night Director and REVved up to Read. Johnson has been a consistent positive male role model in the Bryan/College Station Community.
Megan Hopper, Texas A&M
Hopper is the lead service ambassador with SAAC. She was recently named to SAAC Executive Board as the Vice President of Selfless Service for the 2021-2022 academic school year. She has consistently been a part of REVved up to Read and helped lead the Voting Registration Drive back in September of 2020. Hopper has also been a part of Aggies Move, Volunteer Deputy Registrar Training, Recycling Drive and National Women and Girls in Sports Day. She helped organized SAAC’s Gig ‘Em mail Pen Pal program with the Boys and Girls Club and the Big Event.
Caleb Van Geffen, Vanderbilt
Two-time SEC Fall Honor Roll (2019, 2020) … 2017 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll … Served as 2020-21 Vanderbilt SAAC President … Volunteered at Dancing Dores which raises money for Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt … Helped sponsor a team Miracle Child
Gillian Mortimer, Vanderbilt
2020 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll … 2020 Spring SEC Academic Honor Roll … 2021 Second-Team Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar … 2020 Fourth-Team Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar … Volunteered at Vanderbilt’s Dancing Dores to benefit those at the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, which includes sponsoring a Miracle Child as an honorary member of the women’s cross country and track and field teams