Team player, top scholar

October 11, 2011

Bradley senior Bobby Smith has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award® in men’s soccer. The ninth Bradley student-athlete to be considered for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the last five years, Smith becomes the fourth Brave to reach the finalist stage, joining baseball players Eitan Barbalat (2008) and Grant Escue (2009) and men’s basketball player Dodie Dunson (2011).

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for “Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®,” the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. 

Playing primarily as the central defensive midfielder, Smith is the leader of Bradley’s defensive scheme and has helped the Braves to a 7-2-2 record heading into Saturday’s Missouri Valley Conference opener at Drake. He has played in 66 games at Bradley, including 61 as a starter, helping the Braves to the 2010 State Farm MVC Tournament championship.

The winner of the inaugural MVC Elite 18 Award in men’s soccer in 2010, Smith boasts a 3.93 cumulative grade point average and will graduate from Bradley’s five-year, Accounting 3:2 program in just four years with both bachelors and masters degrees. In addition, Smith was the recipient of the Fall 2010 MVC State Farm Good Neighbor Award and he is representing Bradley on The Valley’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council for a second consecutive year. He is a popular volunteer in the MVC State Farm Just Read program at local grade schools, he volunteered for the 2010 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Run/Walk 5K race and for the past two years he has performed volunteer maintenance duties at a local cemetery for the Catholic Cemeteries Association.

The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in August. Nationwide fan voting is underway to determine the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on either the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award website or the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through November 14. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. 

Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award® winner during the 2011 NCAA Men’s College Cup December 9 and 11 in Hoover, Ala.