Chippewas Honored at State Capitol

State Sen. Judy Emmons and coach Keno Davis
April 30, 2015 Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com

LANSING, Mich. -- Three Central Michigan championship athletic teams visited the Michigan State Capitol on Thursday for a Day of Recognition as the guests of State Senator Judy Emmons and Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter.

"Very excited to have three great Chippewa teams here," said Cotter, who organized the day to recognize and congratulate the Chippewa gymnastics, men's basketball and field hockey teams, each of which won Mid-American Conference championships this season.

"We thought it was important to recognize some tremendous achievements not only on the field but off the field," Cotter said. "We're very proud of them and we want to shed some light on these accomplishments."

The CMU traveling party, which numbered about 75 and comprised student-athletes, coaches, university administrators and support personnel, toured the Capitol, were treated to lunch, and each of the three teams received a framed Declaration of Special Tribute.

"I think it was a great experience," said Freese, who made her 28th and final season as CMU's field hockey last fall a memorable one with the team's first regular-season MAC title since 2002. "For our players to go down to the state capitol and meet Senator Emmons and Representative Cotter and just other people who were excited to see CMU and our teams down there."

"The great thing about today was to see the pride in the Chippewas down there that were excited to see Central Michigan."

Freese, who succeeded Marcy Weston as CMU's Senior Associate Athletic Director, and men's basketball coach Keno Davis each received a Special Tribute for being name the MAC Coach of the Year in their respective sports.

"It was quite an honor for our student-athletes to receive that kind of recognition and an experience for our players as well to be able to take in the day," Davis said. "It was nice to be able to get that award, but really that was representative of the entire team, the staff, the administration of CMU.

"When you get an individual award it's not possible without a lot of hard work from a lot of people. It's nice that some of the hard work that's been taking place in Mount Pleasant is paying off."

The CMU teams were introduced on the floor of the Senate then viewed the House of Representatives from the gallery. They were recognized by Cotter from the floor and received an ovation from all in attendance. Each of the student-athletes received a certificate for their accomplishments.

"It's great recognition for the team," said longtime CMU gymnastics coach Jerry Reighard. "It honors their commitment to their team and this university. Their accomplishments have now been recognized statewide and I think that's a really important aspect of what they were able to do this year."
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