Kearson Awarded CAC Medal of Inspiration

Kearson Awarded CAC Medal of Inspiration

For Immediate Release · By Nairem Moran · nmoran@smcm.edu

Fredericksburg, Va. – For the second straight year, a St. Mary's College of Maryland student-athlete has earned the Capital Athletic Conference Medal of Inspiration. Junior captain Juwan Kearson (Baltimore, Md./St. Paul's School), along with Frostburg State University's Matthew Robinson, was named a recipient of the 2017-18 CAC Medal of Inspiration as announced Monday by Assistant Commissioner Tim Mowrer.

Kearson is the sixth St. Mary's student-athlete to win the CAC Medal of Inspiration honor since the award's inception in 1997. However, he is the first-ever male Seahawk athlete to pick up the award.

The CAC Medal of Inspiration, which was originally known as the CAC Unsung Hero, is awarded to person(s) from the conference who have persevered through extraordinary circumstances and whose determination, devotion, and passion are exemplary, revered among their peers, and worthy of special recognition.

View league office release on CAC Medal of Inspiration winners

One of the top men's soccer players in the league this season, Kearson became St. Mary's first-ever All-America men's soccer player. The 5-8 midfielder led the team with seven goals, 18 points, and four game-winning goals (61st in Division III) while dishing out a team second-best four assists. In the CAC, he ranked tied for second in game-winning goals, tied for fifth in goals, tied for seventh in points, and tied for ninth in assists.

In addition to being named an All-American, Kearson was a United Soccer Coaches All-South Atlantic Region First Team selection as well as an All-CAC First Team pick while missing CAC Player of the Year honors by two points.

Kearson accomplished all this despite enduring a gut-wrenching loss last summer. Less than two weeks before the start of preseason, Kearson's father, George, unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack on August 6, 2017, while watching his son play summer league soccer from the stands. Mr. Kearson was Juwan's No. 1 fan and never missed the opportunity to watch his son on the pitch. The death of his father left Juwan orphaned as his mother, Michelle, had died 12 years earlier.

The hashtag #GrindForGeorge became the mantra of the St. Mary's men's soccer team this season as the Seahawks rallied around their teammate and dedicated this year's campaign to Mr. Kearson. Described as a workhorse, a spark plug, an Energizer bunny, Juwan's work ethic never faltered despite his devastating loss being fresh in his mind all season long. Juwan had a strong bond with his father, one which was strengthened and made special by their love of soccer. Mr. Kearson's memory continued to push his son and although his father wasn't here to share in the moment, Juwan made his dad proud when he became the program's first-ever All-American.

CAC Unsung Hero/Medal of Inspiration winners from St. Mary's

  • 2001 – Cara Roviello (field hockey)
  • 2006 – Katie Greenberg (women's soccer/women's basketball)
  • 2012 – Kira Schwartz (women's soccer)
  • 2014 – Kelsey Wirtz (women's soccer)
  • 2017 – Nina Haller (women's basketball)
  • 2018 – Juwan Kearson (men's soccer) 

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