Posted: 09/18/2012 | Last updated: September 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh men’s soccer senior captain Cameron Omsberg has been named a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, as announced on Tuesday. He is one of only 30 players in the nation, and only one in the Patriot League, named to the prestigious list. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the 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. The award focuses on four areas: community, classroom, character and competition.
Among the other candidates are nine players from teams currently ranked in the top 10 of this week’s NSCAA/Continental Tire National Rankings, including candidates from top-five teams Maryland, Connecticut, UC Santa Barbara, Notre Dame and New Mexico.
Each of the 30 candidate classes will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one male candidate and one female candidate who best exemplify excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
Omsberg has impressed in the classroom, owning a 3.28 GPA as a Journalism major with a History minor. A member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll each year, he was also part of the NSCAA Academic Honor Roll. He’s helped the Lehigh men’s soccer program garner the Academic Team Award each of his first three years as well. Omsberg has earned the Faculty Athletics Council Academic Award since freshman year and has studied abroad in Costa Rica.
The Belgrade, Maine native has shown extensive leadership experience as a two-time Lehigh captain. Also captain of the Portland Phoenix Under-20 Team in 2010 and ‘11, Omsberg was Assistant Editor of the Brown and White student newspaper. He is part of Lehigh’s “Leadership Legacies” program where he participates in biweekly workshops to become a more effective team leader. Through the program, he studies conflict resolution, communication and group dynamics to help develop leadership qualities. It’s a select program, as Omsberg was chosen by coaches (as both a junior and senior). This came after he took part in “Emerging Leaders” as a sophomore, a voluntary program and prerequisite for selection to “Leadership Legacies.”
Omsberg has taken an active role in the Lehigh community, and beyond. Since freshman year, Omsberg has participated in “Reading Rocks” through C.O.A.C.H. (Community Outreach by Athletes who Care about Helping). Through “Reading Rocks,” Lehigh student-athletes go to nearby Donegan Elementary School to read, play games and forge friendships. The program also helps middle and high school student-athletes and their peers make informed choices regarding their education, drug and alcohol issues, and other factors that may affect reaching their full potential. Lehigh student-athletes act as “coaches” for local school students by making presentations and offering educational-themed group outings to Lehigh athletic events, facilities and other special projects.
A leader on and off the soccer field, Omsberg is a 2012 Lehigh student-athlete mentor, while he represents men’s soccer on Lehigh’s Student-Athlete Council. He participated in Church Mission trips to Honduras in the winter of 2005-06 and 2008-09. They were two-week mission trips: building a school, church and playground, teaching English to local children and giving medical clinics. Omsberg was a youth leader of the 2008-09 trip. He took part in the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter Lunch Program (Waterville, Maine) as well.
On the pitch, Omsberg has enjoyed tremendous success since stepping foot on campus. He was named Second Team All-Patriot League last season while garnering All-Patriot League Tournament honors. He helped lead one of the nation’s strongest defenses; the Mountain Hawks finished third in the nation in team goals against average (0.41) and third in shutout percentage (11 shutouts in 18 games). The team posted five straight shutouts bridging most of September and the beginning of October, a streak which exceeded 500 minutes. Omsberg and the defense shined in a historic trip to California when Lehigh tied #22 California (1-1) before beating Stanford (1-0).
Omsberg also chipped in with a goal and assist in 2012. The goal came at a crucial time, to tie the score in the 80th minute vs. Ivy League power Penn, while he added an assist against Army. He was the 2010 winner of Lehigh Men’s Soccer’s Coaches Award, presented to the student-athlete who made noteworthy contributions to the team in areas of attitude, improvement and leadership, excellent teamwork and commitment. The Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 25, 2010, Omsberg has led Lehigh to second-place finishes in 2009 and ’10 while finishing third in 2011 and advancing to the Patriot League Tournament each of his first three seasons.
Omsberg also played on the Portland Phoenix of the PDL (Premier Development League), leading the squad to the league title in 2011 and semifinals in 2010 and ’12. He played for their Under-20 team as well and was the team captain and leading scorer in 2010 and ’11.
ABOUT THE AWARD
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards a senior season can bring. Premier Sports Management manages the award.
Men's Soccer Candidates
Carlos Alvarez, Connecticut
James Belshaw, Duke
Ashton Bennett, Coastal Carolina
Steven Birnbaum, California
Scott Caldwell, Akron
Machael David, UC Santa Barbara
Johnny Dreshaj, Oakland
Shawn Ferguson, Charleston
Peyton Ford, North Carolina-Greensboro
Scott Goodwin, North Carolina
Anthony Hobbs, Florida International
Ryan Hollingshead, UCLA
Deion Jones, Florida Gulf Coast
Taylor Kemp, Maryland
Ryan McDuff, Brown
Brian McGue, Davidson
Peter McKeown, Loyola (Illinois)
Luis Ocejo, Stetson
Cameron Omsberg, Lehigh
Jannis Opalka, Siena
Liam Paddock, UMBC
Everett Pitts, UC Irvine
Dillon Powers, Notre Dame
Eric Schoenle, West Virginia
Yannick Smith, Old Dominion
Donnie Smith, Charlotte
Blake Smith, New Mexico
Bobby Thalman, Yale
Grant Van De Casteele, Notre Dame
Kyle Zobeck, Valparaiso