Sparacino adds another ‘student-athlete’ award

Four-year soccer letterman Frank Sparacino has been selected as NIU’s recipient of the Mid-Continent Conference’s “True Value of Being a Student-Athlete Award,” sponsored by True Value Hardware, Inc.

Mid-Continent Conference Commissioner Jerry Ippoliti formally honored Sparacino at half time of last night’s Mid-Con TV Game of the Week between the Huskies and Wright State. Part of the True Value Hardware/Mid-Con Academic Recognition Program, the True-Value of Being a Student-Athlete is presented to individuals who exemplify the term student-athlete.

Sparacino (Elk Grove Village/Elk Grove), who has compiled a 3.55 grade point average as an accountancy major in NIU’s highly regarded College of Business, earned First-Team All-Mid-Con honors this autumn and is a nominee for the Addidas Academic All-America team by virtue of having earned Addidas All-Midwest Scholar-Athlete honors. The 5-10, 153-pound soccer player has primarily been a defender through his career, but spent a portion of the past season playing in both the midfield and forward lines.

“Frank’s all-around ability is obvious on the field or in the classroom and that makes him a perfect selection for this award. He will be impossible to replace in terms of heart and leadership, but we’re proud to have had him in our program and thrilled to see him receive such a deserving award,” NIU soccer coach Willy Roy said.

This past season, Sparacino was No. 4 in point production with 11 off five goals and one assist. For his career, he has compiled 36 points from 13 goals and 10 assists.

As a junior, Sparacino was a recipient of the NIU Soccer Academic Excellence Award and was also an Addidas Second-Team All-Midwest Scholar-Athlete pick.

As a sophomore, he was third in scoring. A Second-Team All-BCSC selection, Sparacino was tabbed as the team’s Most Improved Player and John Lewang Memorial Award (for inspirational play) winner. His top individual scoring performance was a six-point showing in a 9-0 shutout of UIC (10-24-89).