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Whitewater’s Stang, Rusch net honors

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Gazette Staff
May 4, 2011
— Jessica Stang and Aaron Rusch have earned the 2011 Warhawk Student-Athlete of the Year awards.

Stang is a senior pitcher on the Warhawk softball squad.


Rusch was a standout wide receiver on the NCAA Division III two-time defending champion football team.


The award recognizes the top senior male and female athletes, who also showed outstanding character, community involvement, classroom achievement and competitive success.


“Aaron and Jessica have been remarkable leaders in our athletic department for four years and it’s an honor for us to recognize them for their accomplishments,” Paul Plinske, UW-Whitewater athletic director said. “They have set the bar high and left their mark on this outstanding program.”


Stang owns the top four single-season strikeout totals in school history. She is No. 1 in career strikeouts (690), innings pitched (619), complete games (77), wins (72, 72-20 record), and saves (10). Stang also owns the school record for strikeouts in a game (15 vs. Ripon in 2010), season wins (21, 21-3 in 2009), shutouts in a season (8 in 2010) and saves (5 in 2009).


“Jess is the true definition of a student-athlete,” UW-W softball coach Brenda Volk said. “She works extremely hard at everything she does and is very deserving of this honor.”


This season, Stang is 18-3 with a 1.45 earned run average.


Stang is an accounting major with a Spanish minor. She has a 3.7 cumulative grade point average. She has been on the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll all three years and was a NFCA Scholar Athlete in 2010. She has received the UW-W Academic Achievement Award and the Chancellor’s Scholar Athlete Award, and has been on the Dean’s List every semester. Stang is a member of Phi Eta Sigma, Golden Key and Sigma Alpha Lambda.


Rusch made a major contribution to the most successful team in UW-Whitewater athletic history.


He lettered four times, and played in four NCAA Division III title games, with three national championships.


“His accomplishments in the classroom and on the field are evident by looking at his grades and record-setting career as a player,” said UW-Whitewater football coach Lance Leipold. “However, I believe it is Aaron’s discipline, practice habits and competitive nature that our program will remember most.”


Last season, Rusch caught a school-record 88 passes for 1,052 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also holds school career records for receptions (286), yards (3,746) and touchdowns (33). The numbers for receptions and yards are also WIAC career records.


Rusch also is second all-time in the UW-W record book for both punt returns (82) and return yards (634).


Rusch has compiled a 3.8 GPA with a physical education major. He has been on the Dean’s List every semester, and has been on the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll and the UW-W Academic Achievement Award list every year.


He earned the Chancellor’s Scholar Athlete Award in 2011. He is a member of Golden Key and Sigma Alpha Lambda.


Rusch also volunteered as a “lunch buddy” at a local elementary school, has participated in Reading with the Warhawks and Make a Difference Day, and gives time to an elementary school in Franklin.



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