Shew, who continued his football career at Lenoir-Rhyne has recently graduated this past spring, played four years of football for the Bears. Shew competed for the Bears for all four years of college, earning a spot in the starting line-up for three of those years. Shew graduated with a double major in Business Marketing and Business Management this past spring.
Competing the closest to home was Richardson, who served four years as a clutch player for the Mountaineers. Richardson served as a vital component for the Appalachian State University Softball team and graduated as one of the most decorated softball players in the school’s history.
Richardson, who closed our her senior year as the only Mountaineers to earn a spot on the SoCon All-Tournament team set Appalachian single-season records for wins, 14, strikeouts, 155, complete games, 23, and innings pitched with 204.1 while setting career marks in wins with 34 and strikeouts with 349.
Richardson, along with the other three athletes excelled in the classroom, as all four students maintained Grade Point Averages of 3.0 or higher.
Following up Richardson with awards is Gift who earned both SoCon accolades and national recognition as a member of the WCU Catamount Indoor and Outdoor Track Teams. Gift was redshirted by the NCAA his freshman year at WCU, but still exercised and worked out with the team, preparing for his sophomore, junior, and senior years as a Catamount. Gift won the SoCon Championship, awarded the Jack and Sue Wakely Scholar Athlete Award. He has also been named to the Winter All-Academic Team, the Spring All-Academic Team, and was the winner of the Coleman Lew Leadership Award. He was also named the team’s recipient for the Purple Heart Award for outstanding hustle and heart during the season.
Gift competes for the Catamounts in the Heptathlon during the Indoor Track season, and then in outdoor competes in the Decathlon, runs hurdles, and also participates in the high jump.
Last but not least of the athletes from the Class of 2005 is Kilby. Kilby made a name for her self at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as a solid runner for both the Cross Country team and the Track and Field team. In her senior season as a cross country runner, Kilby posted a team best time of 23:15 at the Southeast Regionals. As a note of Kilby’s determination as an athlete, Kilby completed the final three miles of the races with only one shoe as she lost her other shoe only 400 meters into the race. Kilby then paced on to finish with the Seahawks best time of the race. Kilby finished her career as a Seahawks runner with numerous honors to her title.
All four of these athletes exemplify the meaning of the student-athlete as they all have excelled in both academics and on the field or track. Congratulations to David Shew, Kayla Richardson, David Gift, and Natalie Kilby on great careers!