Nine Honored With Nereus C. English Athletic Leadership Award

2016 Nereus C. English Athletic Leadership Award (clockwise from back): Kelsey Ruehling (volleyball), Adam Smith (football), Zachary Houston (basketball), Adam Fiore (lacrosse), Nick Eckstein (soccer), Rebecca Reyna (cross-country/track and field), Amy Steller (basketball, track and field), Laura Hall (softball), Summer Fowler (lacrosse). Photos by Emily Zegel '18.
2016 Nereus C. English Athletic Leadership Award (clockwise from back): Kelsey Ruehling (volleyball), Adam Smith (football), Zachary Houston (basketball), Adam Fiore (lacrosse), Nick Eckstein (soccer), Rebecca Reyna (cross-country/track and field), Amy Steller (basketball, track and field), Laura Hall (softball), Summer Fowler (lacrosse). Photos by Emily Zegel '18.

Photo Gallery

Ceremony Program

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Guilford College recognized its top student-athletes at a year-end ceremony in Dana Auditorium Sunday night. The event included presentation of the first Quakie Awards, a collection of honors presented by the school's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and remarks on sportsmanship by Guilford President Jane Fernandes.

The department's top honor, the Nereus C. English '26 Athletic Leadership Award, was awarded to nine upperclassmen – Nick Eckstein, Adam Fiore, Summer Fowler, Laura Hall, Zachary Houston, Rebecca Reyna, Kelsey Ruehling, Adam Smith and Amy Steller. Named for one of Guilford's most loyal alumni, the annual prize is given to students who display the highest ideals of athletic accomplishment, leadership and academic achievement.

Nick Eckstein completed his third campaign with Guilford's soccer program last fall. The junior has made 21 career appearances, including seven this season, with one start. The midfielder is president of Guilford's SAAC, tasked with representing the interests of Guilford's over 400 student-athletes. Revered as a leader on and off the field, Eckstein is a four-time member of Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll, an Academic All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) selection, and a dean's list student. He has served two years as a Guilford resident advisor and maintains a 3.45 grade point average. Eckstein plans to graduate with a double major in exercise and sport sciences and health sciences.

Adam Fiore is in his fourth and final season with the Quakers' lacrosse program. Entering Tuesday's ODAC Tournament quarterfinal, the senior captain leads Guilford with 55 points, which ranks seventh in the ODAC. He also tops the Quakers with 29 assists, good for a share of first in the league, and stands second on the team with 26 goals. Fiore was honored as the ODAC Men's Lacrosse Player of the Week April 11, the first Quaker so honored since 2012. Guilford's scoring leader in each of his four seasons, he earned Second Team All-ODAC recognition as a sophomore when he notched the fifth-highest point total (75) and second-best assist total (42) in school history. Fiore ranks among Guilford's career leaders in points (212, 4th), assists (114, 2nd) and goals (98, 9th). A two-time Academic All-ODAC selection, dean's list student, and five-time member of Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll, Fiore will graduate with a degree in sport management.

Summer Fowler is in her fourth season with the Quakers' women's lacrosse program. A versatile defender, Fowler leads Guilford with 36 caused turnovers, which leads the ODAC. She also has 29 ground balls, 12 draw controls, and a career-best 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) this year. Fowler earned First Team All-ODAC honors as a freshman and sophomore, two seasons in which she recorded at least 40 ground balls and forced a combined 39 turnovers. Despite missing 2015 due to injury, the senior stands fourth in program history with 74 caused turnovers. She was a Fall 2015 Student-Athlete Honor Roll selection and plans to graduate with a degree in criminal justice.

Laura Hall recently concluded her fourth and final campaign with the Quakers' softball team. The four-year starting outfielder made 38 appearances this season and set career highs in batting average (.365), stolen bases (20), runs batted in (15), hits (38) and runs scored (28). Hall played in 148 games, seventh-most in school history, was a .315 career hitter and ranks third in school history with 101 runs scored. She broke Guilford's career stolen bases standard this spring with 57 thefts in 63 attempts. To compliment her athletic accomplishments, Hall is also a standout performer in the classroom. In 2015 she was named a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American Scholar-Athlete and was one of 12 national recipients of the Haier Achievement Award (honorable mention) for her accomplishments in the classroom and the community. Hall garnered the ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award in 2015 and 2016. A three-time Academic All-ODAC honoree and dean's list selection, she is a member of Guilford's Honors Program, a peer educator and a SAAC representative. She served in a volunteer capacity with AmeriCorps and as a student-teacher at nearby Guilford Elementary School. Hall maintains a 3.9 grade point average and will graduate this spring with a double major in English and elementary education.

Zachary Houston completed his third season as the starting point guard on Guilford's basketball team. A jack of all trades for the Quakers, he ranked among the ODAC leaders in several categories. He finished second in the league in rebounds (7.9 rpg.), tied for first in assists (4.8 apg.) and first in minutes (36.3 mpg.). Houston also stood as the ODAC's most efficient guard with a 3.4 assist-to-turnover ratio that led the conference and placed fifth in NCAA Division III. The Quakers' top defender was fourth in the ODAC with 1.8 steals per game. He ranked among the top-20 nationally in total minutes played and minutes per game. Houston was awarded the ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the Quakers' first ODAC Scholar-Athlete in the award's 12-year history. He owns a 3.77 grade point average as a double major in exercise and sport sciences and health sciences. He earned Academic All-District V honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) earlier this year and is a two-time Academic All-ODAC selection. A certified nursing assistant and member of Guilford's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Houston is a dean's list student and a five-time member of Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll.

Rebecca Reyna recently finished her fourth campaign with Guilford's cross country and track and field programs. The senior concluded her cross country career with multiple listings in the school's record book, including six of the program's 25 fastest five-kilometer times, as well as five of the program's top six-kilometer performances. Reyna was the Quakers' fastest runner in 14 races over her four cross-country seasons. An equally impressive track performer, she is Guilford's women's 800-meter indoor record holder with a time of 2:33.95. She also owns top-10 indoor finishes in the 3000 and the mile. Reyna broke Guilford's outdoor mile record this spring (5:54.24) and set the 2000 and 3000-meter steeplechase marks in 2013. She owns additional top-10 finishes in the 1500, 5000, and as a part of the 4x400 relay. Reyna is an Academic All-ODAC selection, a four-time member of Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll and a dean's list student. She will graduate with a degree in history this month.

Kelsey Ruehling completed a four-year stint with the Quakers' volleyball team last fall and concluded her career ranked sixth among Guilford's all-time leaders with 863 kills and 10th with 2.37 kills per set. She finished third among the Quakers' career best with 147 service aces. As a senior, Ruehling led the ODAC in service aces per set (0.63), stood fourth points per set (4.0) and sixth in kills per set (3.17 kps.). Her 55 aces ranked second in the league and fifth in school history, while her 279 kills stood seventh in the ODAC. Ruehling became the first Quaker named ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Volleyball Scholar-Athlete last fall. A biology and environmental studies major, she owns a 3.82 grade point average and minors in chemistry. Ruehling is a regular on Guilford's dean's list, Student-Athlete Honor Roll and the Academic All-ODAC Team. A member of Guilford's Quaker Leadership Scholars Program, Ruehling is in the school's honors program and has served as a college marshal. She was named to CoSIDA's 2015 NCAA Division III Academic All-District V Team.

Adam Smith completed a historic career for the Quakers' football program by collecting his third straight First Team All-ODAC award. He joined just four other Quakers so honored in school history. The senior receiver set a number of league and school standards in the finest of his four seasons, which ended with Third Team All-America recognition from D3football.com. He ranked second in the league with 89 catches for 1,262 yards and 18 touchdowns, both conference highs. His 18 touchdown receptions set a Guilford record and rank second in ODAC history.  Smith posted the second-highest season receiving yards total in Guilford history with a figure that stood eighth nationally. He ranked sixth in Division III in receiving yards (126.2) and receptions (8.9) per game. Smith will leave with Guilford's career standards for receiving yards (3,988) and touchdowns (46), overall touchdowns (46), games with at least 100 receiving yards (19) and scoring (280). He ranks 14th among NCAA Division III's career leaders in touchdowns and 22nd in receiving yards. Smith is a two-time Academic All-ODAC selection, a dean's list student, and a seven-time member of the Student-Athlete Honor Roll. He was named to CoSIDA's 2015 NCAA Division III Academic All-District V Team and plans to graduate this spring with a degree in sport management.

Amy Steller completed her second women's basketball season at Guilford with career-best marks in nearly every statistical category. The junior started in all 28 contests and averaged 7.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. Her best performance came against NCAA Tournament selection Denison University, when she finished with a career-high 21 points in the Quakers' 69-61 win. Steller helped Guilford reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament. She also completed her first track and field season this spring. Steller set school records in the 400 (1:01.50) and as a member of the 4x100 relay team that ran a 52.48 at the ODAC Championships. Steller serves in several capacities on campus, including duties as a peer mentor and assistant director of intramural sports. A member of the Tri-Beta National Honor Society and an Academic All-ODAC selection, Steller has been regularly featured on Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll and dean's list. She plans to graduate next spring with a double major in exercise and sport sciences and health sciences.

A native of Thomasville, N.C., Nereus C. English graduated from Guilford in 1926, but maintained close contact with the college after graduation. His loyalty and genuine interest in its students led to the creation of the English Endowment Fund and the Nereus C. and Mae Martin English Scholarship Fund in 1965. With his brother, the late T.R. English, he provided funding for Guilford's English Hall dormitory in 1957. In 1962, Nereus English received the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Guilford College Alumni Association. Since Guilford first presented the honor in 1977, 209 students have received the English Award.