Add another rookie of the year honor to J.A. Happ's collection.

On Monday, the Peru native and St. Bede Academy graduate earned the Players Choice National League Outstanding Rookie Award from the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Happ was previously named the Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year, which was voted on by major league players.

Happ's latest rookie honor comes with a $20,000 prize that is donated to the charity of the player's choice.

Happ decided to donate his prize to the Diabetes Research Institute, a world leader in cure-focused diabetes research.

"I have a sister who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in her mid-20s," Happ said in a press release from the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. "My family and I are hoping to see a cure in her lifetime, and I know that the Diabetes Research Institute is completely cure-focused."

The Diabetes Research Institute is located at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine.

Since its inception in the early 1970s, the DRI has made significant contributions to the field of diabetes research, pioneering many of the techniques used in islet transplantation.

The DRI is now building upon these achievements by bridging cell-based therapies with emerging technologies to restore insulin production.

According to the press release, Happ plans on visiting the Diabetes Research Institute with his parents and two sisters after the World Series.

Happ finished the regular season with a 12-4 record and a 2.93 ERA. He pitched in 35 games and made 23 starts. Happ struck out 119 batters and walked 56 in 166 innings.

Klein Preseason POY

in Horizon

Hall graduate and Cleveland State senior Kailey Klein has been named 2009-2010 Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year, and she was also named to the five-player Horizon League first team for the third consecutive year.

The vote came from the 10 league coaches, sports information directors and a select group of media members. Klein received 258 points in the voting, including 25 of the 31 Player of the Year votes.

CSU junior guard Shawnita Garland joined Klein on the first team.

"This is a very deserving honor for both Kailey and Shawnita that each have earned through hard work and dedication," CSU head coach Kate Peterson-Abiad said in a release on the Lady Vikings' Web site. "There are not many players who are going to outwork either Kailey or Shawnita and that has allowed them to become two of the top players in the league."

WOMEN'S

VOLLEYBALL

At Oglesby

The Illinois Valley Community College women's volleyball team dropped a five-game match to Black Hawk East on Wednesday night in Oglesby.

Ottawa grad Mandy Towne and Woodland grad Tori Pflibsen each put down 16 kills in the win. Hall grad Meredith Rounds totaled six blocks, and Ottawa grad Randi Toynton set 55 assists.

Fieldcrest grad Kayla Conroy led with 12 points and 33 digs, and L-P grad Riley Gapinski totaled nine points and 12 digs.

L-P All-Academic

La Salle-Peru Township High School released its all-academic team Wednesday afternoon.

In football, earning all-academic honors are Justin Turner, Stephen Lauer, Sam Renk, Michael Bergagna, Brandon Swindler, Tim Wold, Michael Kellett and Connor Ruppert. Honorable mention honors went to Michael Butterfield, Kyle Pisano, Tyler Jackson, Steffen O'Brien, Erik Kaldahl, Eric Schultz, Marty Riva, Dane Kaldahl, Brad Anderson, Cam Robbins, Tyler Hoge, Luke Kowalczyk, Kirby Schiffbauer and Alec McCleary.

In boys golf, all-academic honors went to Connor Breidenbach and John Quick.

In girls tennis, all-academic honors went to Aubry Smigel, Amanda Coutre and Chelsey Strickler, while Christy Savellano, Michele Hines and Kylee Gochanour earned honorable mention.

In volleyball, Alyssa Tomaszewski, Heather Smith and Jessica Strauch each earned all-academic honors, while Brittnee Wojciechowski and Kelsey Turczyn each took home honorable mention honors.

In coed soccer, Ben Hallock, Quevin Aguilera and Sara Moshage earned all-academic honors, while Matt Olivero and Christopher Ketner earned honorable mention honors.

IV Gymnastics Academy

The Illinois Valley Gymnastics Academy levels 7 and 8 participated in the first meet of the season at Judges Cup South in Springfield.

Gabby Shea won an all-around champion in level 7 and Allison Spaulding won all-around in level 8.

The level 7 team had a strong first meet with Molly Brewer and Shea each bringing home first-place honors on floor. Rachael Sirek pulled in a second-place honor on the beam. Shea also placed first on uneven bars.

The level 7 team scored very well on vault. Brewer earned an 8.45 with a new vault this season. Sirek received an 8.75, the highest vault score for the team, and Shea rounded out the team scoring an 8.7 with her new vault this year.

Spaulding, IVGA's first gymnast to reach level 8, had a very impressive day. Spaulding won the all-around traveling trophy her first meet as a level 8. Spaulding took third on vault and first on bars and balance beam. She scored a 33.425 all around.

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