Football defensive end Wade Williams, who is pursuing a master's degree in clinical psychology, and standout softball pitcher Kelee Grimes, who recently graduated magna cum laude, have been named Northwestern State's 2011-12 Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
The announcement came in conjunction with the Southland Conference unveiling the two competitors at each of its 12 member institutions spotlighted by those schools as the top scholar-athletes for 2011-12.
Williams, a native of Groveton, Texas, enters his senior season this fall on the field after winning honorable mention All-Southland Conference honors as a sophomore in 2010. A two-year selection on the Academic All-Southland Conference Football Team, Williams graduated with honors last year in psychology.
He has 79 tackles in his two seasons as a starter. As a sophomore, he had a dynamic performance in a double overtime homecoming win over Sam Houston State, making 10 tackles including 1.5 sacks. As a redshirt freshman in 2009, he started at tight end in the season-opener against Houston and played that position until spring practice of his sophomore year.
Williams has earned a Leadership Link award in 2010 and 2011 and has been on the NSU Athletic Honor Roll for holding at least a 3.0 grade point average throughout his undergraduate and graduate studies.
Grimes, a right-hander from Pineville (Pineville HS), became a three-time SLC All-Academic selection last week after graduating with magna cum laude honors and on the President's list with a 3.82 GPA. She graduated in May with a degree in business administration and is pursuing a master's degree at NSU in sports administration, and has been added to the academic support staff for NSU Athletics.
As an undergrad, Grimes served as President of the Blue Key Honor Society, Vice President Student Athlete Advisory Committee, a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society and Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society.
On the field this spring, Grimes pitched a no-hitter against Tennessee State in an 8-0, six inning victory on Feb. 26. She struck out nine batters to complete her second career solo no-no, and also combined for one during her sophomore season.
The right-hander won LSWA Pitcher of the Week accolades on March 8 after picking up a pair of wins, a save and a 1.62 ERA. She led the NSU staff with 107 strikeouts this season, and ranks third in Lady Demon history in career K's with 471. Grimes started 18 games this season and recorded six wins and a 3.93 ERA.
She was Capital One Academic All-District VI in 2010 and 2011, and a 2011 All-Louisiana selection when she ranked 18th nationally with her 1.40 season's ERA.