By Brooke Moore
Georgia College senior and soccer superstar Ally Barys has been named a semi-finalist for the prestigious Wooden Citizen Cup Award. Presented each year, the award recognizes student-athletes who exhibit good character, citizenship and teamwork on and off the playing field.
Named after coach John Wooden, arguably one of the greatest coaches and role models in the history of the NCAA, this award is considered one of the most important and distinctive honors an athlete can receive because it honors them for their excellence as role models in all aspects of their lives.
Barys was one of 22 semi-finalists chosen across all three levels of the NCAA, with only three being chosen from the Division II ranks. “It’s pretty cool to have been nominated especially knowing that other athletes who are so well-known and admired have also been nominated for this award,” Barys said.
Other players honored with a nomination include Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Mia Hamm, whom Barys greatly admires.
When asked about Barys’ accomplishment, GC Director of Athletics, Wendell Staton, said, “She is very deserving of this award. I knew from the moment she got here that we needed someone of that caliber in our program. John Wooden was a great leader so to have Ally’s name associated with his as well Georgia College is a huge honor and makes us very proud.”
Maintaining a 4.0 GPA since her freshman year as well as helping with numerous volunteer organizations, Barys achieves excellence in all aspects of her life at GC.
Barys volunteers with the Make-A-Wish foundation, works with shelter animals through the Animal Rescue Foundation and volunteers to teach soccer to kids in the community.
Women’s soccer head coach Hope Clarke, said, “Ally is very deserving of this award because she has always put in the time and the work to be the very best that she can possibly be and I hope that others will see that and be inspired by what Ally has been able to accomplish.”