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Saturday, November 27, 2004

Five athletes earn NAIA All-America Scholar Athlete Awards

Fresno Pacific University student-athletes continue to perform both on and off the field.

The NAIA released All-America Scholar Athlete awards lists this week for cross country and soccer. The Sunbirds wee well represented.

Erin Breen, Elizabeth Burns and Jessica Rumsey earned NAIA All-America Scholar Athlete honors in soccer while Jonathan Perez and Maggie Clayton were named in cross country team.

Breen, a senior international business major from Fresno (Clovis West HS), has been a 4-year defensive starter for Sunbirds head coach Jaime Ramirez.

Burns, a liberal studies major (Clovis West HS), and Rumsey, pre-med major (Clovis HS), are the first FPU women to earn the award in the program's short 4-year history. Burns scored three goals and added three assits this season from her midfield position. Rusmey, a stalwart defender, was named the team's Most Valuable Player in 2003. They helped the 2004 Sunbirds to a program-best 10-7-1 record that included a trip to the NAIA Region 2 playoffs.

Clayton, a junior pre-med major from Bakersfield (East Bakersfield HS), is a first time honoree. Perez, a senior physical therapy major form Sonora (Sonora HS), was honored for the second time.

The NAIA All-America Scholar Athlete award is limited to athletes in their junior or senior season, have made a significant athletic contribution to their team and earn a grade-point average of 3.50 or higher (on a 4.00 scale).

The NAIA will release the 2004 volleyball scholar athletes next week.

Trio named to NAIA All-America soccer squad

The season may have ended prematurely for the Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds men's soccer team, but the postseason awards continue to roll in.

Earlier this week seniors Orlando Ramirez, Fabricio Codeceira and Eddie Gutierrez were named to the NAIA All-America team. Ramirez and Codeceira (first team) and Gutierrez (second team) repeat from last season.

Ramirez, who grew up in Fresno (Roosevelt HS) and is the son of FPU head coach Jaime Ramirez, scored 23 goals this season and ended his 4-year career with 76 goals.

Fabricio Codeceira, a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was the 2003 NAIA National Player of the Year. He missed the first nine matches of the season with an injury sustained in May while playing for the Fresno Fuego of the amateur Premiere Development League. He still managed to contribute five goals and nine assists in the 10 matches he played. He finished his career with 58 assists, an FPU record.

Eddie Gutierrez, (Porterville HS) transferred to FPU after one season at California State University, Fresno. Gutierrez scored seven goals and added eight assists for 22 points this season.

Together this trio led the Sunbirds to a 37-5-1 record over the past two seasons that included a national runner-up finish in 2003.

The NAIA All-America team for women's soccer will be announced next week.