Eastern students honored with 52nd annual Larry Stone Awards
For the past 52 years, Eastern Oklahoma State College has honored the legacy of a former two-sport athlete and Marine lieutenant who died in combat while on patrol in Vietnam. Although this year’s annual athletics award banquet had to be canceled due to the COVDI-19 pandemic, three Eastern student athletes still received awards named after the late Larry Stone of Jay.
Stone played football and baseball at Eastern in the early 1960s and was known for his unselfish attitude and commitment to his team. It is this lasting impression that prompted a group of his former college teammates and classmates to honor his legacy by presenting the annual Larry Stone Award to a male and female student athlete who exemplifies the same characteristics. A memorial scholarship is also awarded to a student-athlete who will return to Eastern for his or her sophomore year.
Eastern sophomores Kendrie Escoe and Christian McGowan were selected for the 2020 Larry Stone Award on the basis of their overall contributions to the spirit of athletics and their demonstration of teamwork, determination, unselfishness and citizenship. Deja Williams received the Larry Stone Memorial Scholarship.
Escoe is a women's soccer player from Bethany, Okla. She graduated in the top 10 percent of her class with a degree in psychology and carried a 3.88 GPA during her time at Eastern. Escoe has committed to continue her academic and athletic career at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
"Kendrie is known as grandma Ken,” said Head Women’s Soccer Coach Justin McCain. “She's always taking care of everyone. She's just an exemplary student athlete. When someone needs something, they go to Kendrie. I couldn't ask for a better leader on the team.”
McGowan is a baseball player from Bokchito, Okla. He graduated with a degree in general studies and earned a 3.6 GPA. While at Eastern, McGowan earned NJCAA National Pitcher of the Week honors, NJCAA Region 2 Pitcher of the Week honors and turned himself into a professional baseball prospect. McGowan has committed to continue his academic and athletic career at Kansas State University.
“Christian is a great personality that never changed as he had success on the field,” said Head Baseball Coach Matt Parker. “Yes, he was a very good player, but he was an even better teammate.”
Williams is a women's basketball player from Manvel, Texas. She maintained a 3.7 GPA for her freshman year while receiving multiple honors. Williams was twice named the NJCAA Region 2 Player of the Week, First Team All-Region, as well as being named an NJCAA All-American Honorable Mention. She will be receiving the Larry Stone Scholarship as she returns to Eastern next fall.