GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Cornerstone senior Isaac Grotenhuis has been named the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) 2012-13 Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award recipient. The NAIA named the award after United States Olympic Committee President Emeritus Dr. Walker, who served as president through the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games. Dr. Walker also was a former president of the NAIA. It recognizes a student-athlete such as Isaac who excels in athletics and academics, and is committed to the Champions of Character program's five core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.
Grotenhuis has been the definition of servant leadership on Cornerstone's campus, the community of West Michigan, and outside the United States. He led two mission trips the Dominican Republic where he and the team helped build homes and lay concrete blocks for a school kitchen and participated in a mission trip to Mexico. This year, he organized a trip to Zambia where he conducted clinics for area youth. He also spearheaded the team's Night of Nets fundraiser that raised $35,000 so far for communities in Sub Saharan, Africa affected by malaria.
"Isaac's passion and servant leadership have changed the culture of the men's soccer program at Cornerstone," said head coach Mark Bell.
The senior is known for his respect and servant leadership on the field as well. Although he has earned various athletic honors, he strives every day to make his teammates better through hard work, determination, and dedication to the team's vision. He has always valued being part of something bigger than himself.
"There is an order in collegiate athletics that freshman to get water, carry the cones, and haul other equipment," said teammate Richard Moylan. "It is rare to see Isaac walking to practice without carrying something and he stays after practice to make sure it is all put away."
The award, considered one of the most prestigious honors in the NAIA, embodies the principle that character is a choice, and that being a champion is about reaching potential and making good decisions consistently in daily life. The NAIA selects a national winner from a pool of conference winners.
In order to be eligible for the Dr. Leroy Walker Award, nominees must be junior or above in academic standing, outstanding in academic achievement (3.0 or higher), outstanding in campus and community leadership, outstanding in embracing the five core character values of the NAIA's Champions of Character initiative, outstanding in athletic achievement, and outstanding sense of future ambition. All conference winners advance for national consideration.