Maryland’s Joe Cummings & Virginia Tech’s Ryan Rotanz Honored With 2012 Yeardley Love Unsung Hero AwardLacrosse Playground /
Baltimore, Md. – The One Love Foundation, the nonprofit organization created in 2010 to honor the memory of Yeardley Reynolds Love (YRL), today announced University of Maryland lacrosse player, Joe Cummings and Virginia Tech University lacrosse player Ryan Rotanz have been selected as the 2012 “YRL Unsung Hero Award” recipients. The award is given annually to one male and one female lacrosse player within the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for their dedication to leadership, community service, and being a positive role model on and off the field.
Cummings and Rotanz were selected for the award by the One Love Foundation from a pool of applicants in the ACC who were nominated by their coaches and teammates. Both student-athletes posses the qualities that Yeardley so humbly displayed and will each receive an engraved silver bowl recognizing their achievement. In addition, the One Love Foundation will make a $250 donation in their name to the charity of their choice.
Sharon Robinson, chairperson of the award committee and Yeardley’s cousin said, “Not only are Joe and Ryan exceptional lacrosse players, they have utilized their platforms as student-athletes to become leaders in the community by donating their time to a lot of wonderful causes. They have both helped their teams achieve success in ways that aren’t measured in goals, saves or ground balls. We commend their efforts and are thrilled to announce they are this year’s honorees.”
A Towson, Md. native, Cummings is a senior captain for the Terps lacrosse team that will face Duke in Saturday’s NCAA Division I semifinals at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. He was an All-American selection in 2011 and currently leads the team in points with 45 (30 goals, 15 assists). Earlier this month Cummings was selected as the 2012 Maryland Athlete of the Year.
Off the field, Cummings has been active in the community throughout his college career. He had a hand in coordinating the Big Brothers Program for the Maryland lacrosse team with Hyattsville Elementary School and is an active mentor and coach at the Baltimore Christian School. A 2011 recipient of the Maryland President’s Award for Community Service, Cummings helped organize the inaugural Forever Young Pancreatic Cancer Memorial Walk/Run in memory of former teammate Ryan Young’s mother, Maria, who passed away in April 2011. He is a finalist for this year’s Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
Ryan Rotanz grew up in Salem, Va., 30-miles from Virginia Tech. This season, she started on attack for the Hokies in all 17 of their games finishing fourth on the team in scoring with 32 points (22 goals, 10 assists).
During her four years on the Virginia Tech lacrosse team, Rotanz has become an uplifting and inspiring personality for her teammates and the community. She traveled to Vietnam in the summer of 2011 to teach young children through the Coach for College program, a global initiative to promote higher education through sports. Rotanz also frequently participates with her team to visit the Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital in Roanoke, Va., in the effort to boost the spirits of critically-ill children.
Both Cummings and Rotanz have held positions as their team’s representative for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) which provides insight on the student athlete experience and gives student athletes the opportunity to provide their input on legislative decisions that will affect their academic and athletic endeavors.
The One Love Foundation was created by the Love family to encourage and develop in children, and young adults four qualities that Yeardley exemplified; service, kindness, humility and sportsmanship. The Foundation would like to “bring out the Yeardley” in everyone by igniting the spirit of One Love in students and young adults, encouraging them to choose a path of goodness. Its mission is to keep Yeardley’s spirit alive in others by promoting strength of character, service and education.