KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams for all 21 league sponsored sports. The Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to their community in superior service efforts.
The 2017 SEC Softball Community Service Team is as follows:
Sydney Littlejohn, Senior, Pitcher, Alabama
Littlejohn served as the volunteer coordinator for the National Pro Fastpitch Championship, which took place at Rhoads Stadium in August of 2016. In addition to managing the various other volunteers at the event, she helped with the event management side of the event, including risk management situations such as rain delays. That same weekend, Littlejohn volunteered at the annual "Yeah Yeah Yeah 5K" in Tuscaloosa, which raises funds to benefit the Thomas Plott Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She participated in Alabama's annual Halloween Extravaganza, which lets student-athletes interact with area youth in fun Halloween-themed games and activities. For National Women's in Sports Day in February, Littlejohn spoke to young school children about the positive experiences of being a student-athlete and earning a college degree while learning life lessons through sports. She also celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday by reading his books with kids at local schools.
Parker Pockington, Senior, Infielder, Arkansas
Pocklington participated in the Feed My Starving Children event in which she and other Razorback student-athletes packed meals for distribution to families in the Northwest Arkansas area. She was also part of Arkansas' Operation Baton Rouge that collected items for the flood victims in Louisiana. Pocklington also maintains a role in the Razorbacks' Sweat Hogs program that takes student-athletes to local elementary schools to promote the importance of exercise and healthy eating habits. Pocklington serves as the Events Chair for Arkansas' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for the 2016-17 academic season. In recognition of her dedication to community service and outreach programs, she was also named an individual finalist for the Lee Spencer Cup honor at the 2017 HOGSPY Awards.
Kasey Cooper, Senior, Infielder, Auburn
Cooper has been involved with more than 15 community service projects since she stepped foot on campus in the fall of 2013. She is personally involved with a non-profit charity that collects and sends service men and women non-perishable hygiene products. Cooper is also involved with sending handwritten cards, toiletries and goodies to the troops overseas. She served a prominent role in the Auburn Leadership Institute/CONNECT program, mentoring and building relationships with the incoming freshmen and transfer students. Cooper has also assisted with moving in new students in multiple facets and served at the local Christian Women's Job Corps in for the last two years. She has played a key role in Auburn's partnership with the East Alabama Food Bank that provides donation bins at every home game during the season at Jane B. Moore Field. Cooper is a standout in the classroom, maintaining a 3.98 GPA as a mechanical engineering major. She is a two-time Academic All-American and is the 2016 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Cooper also has been recognized as the NCAA Elite 90 winner. She has been selected for two research studies involving the "breaking in" of Demarini bats and a value-based study of chemotherapy drugs utilized in the treatment of gynecologic cancers. The three-time All-American is also the first player in Auburn history to selected to be a member of the USA National Team and has competed for her country the past two seasons.
Kayli Kvistad, Junior, First Base, Florida
Kvistad has dedicated 18.5 hours to serving the local Gainesville community over the past year. She has spent time volunteering through a variety of local organizations and programs such as: Brain Breaks, Food 4 Kids Backpack Program, Gator Tracks, Grace Marketplace, Lake Forrest Elementary, the Ronald McDonald House, Trinity United Methodist, Alachua County Special Olympics and Shands Children's Hospital. Brain Breaks is a part of the Gator Move/Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative where student-athletes encourage 2nd grade students at Stephen Foster and Metcalfe Elementary to fuel their brain with healthy food and drinks along with movement during the school day. The Food 4 Kids Backpack program provides meals for students in need of nourishment, and Kvistad helped organize a few hundred pounds of non-perishable food items, pack them onto pallets to send to schools.
Maeve McGuire, Senior, Utility, Georgia
McGuire is actively involved in multiple community service activities on the Georgia campus, in Athens and back in her hometown. She has volunteered for such things as Safe Walks to School with Barrow Elementary to promote healthy living as well as the Special Olympics Baseball Game. A member of SAAC, McGuire has done various activities with the group, including Relay for Life Date Auction. She gives her time at local Athens food banks, helps collect toiletries and donates needed items to shelters. Back home around Chicago, McGuire helped at the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls during the holiday season, making gingerbread houses with the kids. McGuire is just as committed in the classroom, earning a spot on the SEC Honor Roll every year and Athletic Director's Honor Roll each semester. She will be attending grad school next year in pursuit of her graduate degree in social work in the hopes of working for the FBI.
Shannon Smith, Senior, Pitcher, Kentucky
Smith spent a total of 32 total hours in community service with six different organizations in her time at Kentucky. She has volunteered with the Salvation Army, the PTA 5K Education at Keeneland, God's Pantry, Ronald McDonald House, the Louisiana Flood Relief Drive and Special Olympics.
Elyse Thornhill, Sophomore, Utility, LSU
Thornhill has volunteered her time to numerous projects throughout the Baton Rouge area over the course of the year. After the devastating floods in August, she spent two days helping with the relief and cleanup efforts around the city. In the fall, Thornhill served as a coach and instructor for a girls' fastpitch league for the season. One of the biggest events in the fall that the team participates in is the ARC of Baton Rouge Plane Pull, which raises money to improve the quality of life for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families through advocacy, services and support. In the spring, Thornhill has also been a part of LSU's Strikeout Ovarian Cancer Game and the Geaux Teal efforts, which raises money for women battling Ovarian Cancer in the area. Thornhill was named to the 2016 SEC First-Year Honor Roll and the 2016 SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Miranda Strother, Senior, Outfielder, Ole Miss
Strother has been active in the community ever since her arrival to campus four years ago. As an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), she is one of the top leaders both on and off the field. In 2016 alone, Strother participated in More Than a Meal, helping provide meals to locals in the community, and also helped out at North Mississippi Regional Center. She assisted in tornado relief efforts in 2015 and has been on numerous visits to local hospitals, including St. Jude's in Memphis, and Batson Children's in Jackson. More locally, Strother has actively participated in Trunk or Treat, helped out at the local humane society, and participated in Reading with the Rebels at local schools throughout her time as a Rebel.
Alexis Silkwood, Senior, Pitcher, Mississippi State
Silkwood serves as President of the M-Club, a community service-driven organization on campus composed of MSU student-athletes. She is one of two student-athlete representatives selected to serve on the SEC Community Service Committee. Silkwood took part in numerous activities, such as Reading Railroad, Read Across America, Bully's Book Blitz National Girls and Women In Sports Day. She helped run a bottled water drive for those in need in Flint, Michigan. Silkwood took part in the Cedar Hill Animal Sanctuary helping them rebuild, helping a local animal sanctuary in Mississippi make improvements to their facilities. During the Christmas holiday, she took part in MSU Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign as well as the Sally Kate Winters Christmas Party for Children, which is an event where a Christmas celebration is provided for less fortunate children. Silkwood spent time at a local assisted living facility, Montgomery Gardens, interacting and playing bingo with residents. She participated in #STATEDM17, which is a dance marathon led by STATEDM, a student-led organization focused on having fun while raising money for LeBonheur Children's Hospital through Children's Miracle Network. Silkwood also took part in Pink Dawg Walk, which helps raise awareness and money for the fight against breast cancer. She is a member of the Mississippi State University History Club and MSU Young Life. Silkwood earned Fall 2016 Top Dawgs and President's List academic honors.
Kirsten Mack, Senior, Catcher, Missouri
In her four years at Missouri, Mack has been a familiar face in the Columbia community. She has been a volunteer for Caleb's Pitch, the Mizzou Athletics Rally Club and Special Olympics. Mack has participated in elementary school reading days in Columbia and made visits to the University of Missouri/Columbia, Mo. Hospital. She shadowed/volunteered over 200 hours at the Missouri Orthopedic Institute. Mack is a University of Missouri School of Health Professions Student Ambassador, a member of Mizzou Athletics' Student-Athlete Leadership Team and was recently accepted into Mizzou's Physical Therapy Doctorate Program.
Macey Webb, Senior, First Base, South Carolina
Webb has spoken to youth and FCA groups and taught at vacation Bible school at her church in Columbia. She has visited sick/hurt children in the hospital both in Columbia and the Levine's Children's Hospital in Charlotte. Webb helped with the Tunnels to Towers 5K and the Boo at the Zoo events in Columbia. She spent time as a poll worker in her home area and read to elementary kids and assisted in a special needs class. Webb helped with food drives and delivered meals to families in need in the Columbia area. She worked dinner at the Columbia Ronald McDonald House and brought Christmas gifts to an assisted living home and spent time with the residents. Webb spent a week as a youth group leader at Camp Caswell in North Carolina and took a week-long mission trip to Roatan, Honduras, which she has done the past few years. She is Three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member and a Three-time NFCA Scholar-Athlete. The three-time SEC Softball Community Service Team member has been accepted into law school.
Megan Geer, Senior, Outfielder, Tennessee
Geer has logged the most community service hours of any member of the Tennessee softball team this season with 47 accumulated this academic year. A large portion of her volunteer work is directly associated with her environmental studies major. Geer is extremely passionate about the environment and has logged 18 hours with the Center for Urban Agriculture at the Knoxville Botanical Garden as well as another seven with UT Recycling. She has also spent time volunteering with the Goals for Girls program, which has a mission to educate, guide and empower young women in the Knoxville community through positive and consistent mentoring. Other various events and organizations that Geer has been involved with include: Volunteer Ministries Holiday Meal, VOLoween, the Knoxville Challenger League, Project Elevate Hero Day, Take Back the Night, MLK Walk, Read Across America and various softball clinics.
Celena Massey, Senior, Catcher, Texas A&M
Massey has volunteered at the Bryan, Texas Animal Shelter: walking dogs and cleaning kennels for both dogs and cats; fed dogs and cats; cleaned their water and food bowls; washed towels and blankets for the animals; and donated $115 worth of food. She also participated in Aggies Can, collecting donations and food cans for the Brazos Valley Food Drive.