Pair of captains earn initial scholar-athlete honors of 2011-12 school year
Senior quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and junior outside hitter Cora Kellerman have been tabbed as the October Scholar-Athletes of the Month, announced Thursday (Oct. 6) by the Eastern Washington University Athletic Department. This award recognizes the athletic and academic success of student-athletes, based primarily on performances turned in during the month prior.
Mitchell, an education major, has maintained a 3.27 grade point average in his two years at Eastern. Kellerman, a two-time Big Sky All-Academic honoree, currently owns a 3.82 GPA in electrical engineering. Both student-athletes were selected by their teammates as captains of their respective squads for the 2011 season.
More on Mitchell
A 2008 graduate of Katy (Texas) High School and transfer from Southern Methodist University, Mitchell earned preseason All-America honors entering the 2011 campaign. He was also selected to the “Watch List” for the Walter Payton Award given annually to the top player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, and was chosen as one of five Eastern co-captains for the 2011 season.
Selected as the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Division I Championship game on Jan. 7, 2011, Mitchell picked up where he left off. He passed for 473 yards in EWU’s season-opening 30-27 loss at Washington (Sept. 3), as EWU very nearly recorded a major upset of the Pac-12 Conference member. Eastern out-gained Washington 504-250 in total offense, as Mitchell finished second in school history for completions (39), attempts (69) and yards (473). The Eagles had a chance to win the game, but Washington’s Desmond Trufant – the younger brother of former Eagle Isaiah Trufant – intercepted a pass in the end zone with 29 seconds left to ruin Eastern’s upset bid.
In Eastern’s first five games of the 2011 season, Mitchell has completed 61 percent of his passes (143-of-236) for 1,623 yards and 10 touchdowns. Mitchell ranks sixth in FCS in passing yards (324.6 yards per game) and is seventh in total offense (317.6). Besides his 473-yard effort at Washington, Mitchell passed for 369 yards and two touchdowns at South Dakota.
A 19-game starter in his two years as an Eagle, Mitchell already ranks fifth in school history for career passing yards (5,119), and is also fifth in touchdown passes (47), fourth in completions (443), sixth in attempts (741) and sixth in passing efficiency rating (132.3).
More on Kellerman
After being sidelined in 2010 due to medical complications, Kellerman had an inspiring return to the court in the first month of the 2011 campaign. She was named to the Seattle University Fall Volley All-Tournament team for her dominant performance in Eastern’s season-opening event on the west side.
In the second match of the tourney, Kellerman led the Eagles to an exciting five-set upset of rival Washington State. The junior from La Conner, Wash., had a then-career-high 20 kills on a .283 attack percentage and 17 digs. Six of her team-high 20 kills came in the decisive fifth set, as the Eagles topped WSU 22-25, 25-18, 25-20, 20-25, 15-8.
Three weeks later, Kellerman was named the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week for leading Eastern to back-to-back victories in its Big Sky openers against Weber State and Idaho State. In the two matches at Reese Court, Kellerman averaged 3.75 kills per set on a stellar .310 attack percentage. She also averaged 2.00 digs per set and posted a flawless serve percentage with zero service errors on 32 total attempts.
In Eastern's thrilling five-set victory over Idaho State on Sept. 17, Kellerman registered two aces, nine digs and a game-high 18 kills. But even more impressive than the total number was her offensive efficiency in the marathon match, as she had zero errors on 44 total attack attempts.
Also during the month, Kellerman was featured in a full-page spread in the Spokesman-Review and on KXLY4-TV, discussing the hardships she overcame during the 2010-11 school year. Kellerman has battled with a rare heart condition called atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT) her entire life, but the condition worsened just before the start of the 2010 campaign, and she was forced to utilize her redshirt year. After enduring three heart surgeries, Kellerman returned to the volleyball court as the team captain this season. For the complete story by Jim Meehan of the Spokesman-Review, click here: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/sep/27/ewu-volleyball-player-kellerman-has-been-through-m/ and to watch the story by KXLY4 Sports Director Ben Kaplan, click here: http://www.kxly.com/localvideo/index.html?v=27329.
Kellerman has started every match of the 2011 season and is second on the squad in kills (3.03/set) and fourth in digs (2.57/set). She has registered five double-doubles, which includes a career-high 21 kills and 20 digs against Boise State on Aug. 31. She currently ranks sixth in the Big Sky Conference for kills and ninth in points, contributing 3.36 per set.