(Story courtesy of Colorado College)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - During his academic and athletic careers at Colorado College, Keenan Amer earned a reputation for doing whatever it takes to be successful.
As a key member of the men's soccer team, he would play anywhere on the pitch in an effort to make the team successful. When the Tigers traveled, he often was the first person up in the morning in an effort to make the most of his opportunity to study. He even made the most of his summers by participating in internships and research as way to augment what he learned in the classroom.
The end result was Amer became a key contributor to the team's success on the pitch as well as program's legacy of academic excellence.
In recognition of his extraordinary achievements, Amer was named a recipient of the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which is awarded to a select group of student-athletes who excel both academically and athletically. Nationwide across all NCAA divisions, only 29 scholarships are awarded for both men and women from each sports season (fall, winter and spring).
"I am extremely humbled to have received the scholarship and I think it is really important to emphasize that this wouldn't have been possible if I didn't have such a great support system of teammates, academic advisors, and coaches who have been there for me throughout my four years here at CC," Amer said. "During my time as an underclassman, I had great role models like Max (Grossenbacher) and Soren (Frykholm), and they really inspired me to work hard both on and off the field and so it's awesome to be able to follow in their footsteps."
To qualify for the $10,000 scholarship, a student-athlete must have an overall grade-point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) and have been a member of a varsity team. Recipients also must intend to continue academic work beyond the bachelor's degree as a full-time or part-time graduate student.
"Keenan has always applied his strong work ethic to all of his academic pursuits, and he is most deserving of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship," head coach Scott Palguta said. "I'm so grateful that he chose Colorado College and allowed me to coach him these past four years."
An organismal biology and ecology major with a 3.84 grade-point average, Amer easily surpassed the minimum requirements to qualify for the scholarship.
Amer plans to follow in the footsteps of his late grandfather and father, both of whom are doctors.
He also took advantage of opportunities to gain first-hand experience in the medical field, working as a research assistant with Dr. Eric McCarty, Chief of Sports Medicine Shoulder Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Orthopedics, as well as volunteering in the emergency unit at Penrose Hospital.
In addition to his normal class load, Amer conducted independent research with Professor Emilie Gray, studying the Aedes aegypti mosquito and its reproduction in response to pesticides.
During his CC soccer career, the native of Santa Fe, N.M., started all 80 games and was the recipient of several Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and United Soccer Coaches awards.
At the conclusion of his first two seasons, Amer was a second-team all-SCAC selection after helping Colorado College rank among the national leaders in both team goals-against average and shutouts.
As a junior, Amer scored all-West Region honors by the United Soccer Coaches and was an honorable-mention all-conference selection. At the conclusion of the 2017 season, he earned third-team Scholar All-America honors.
Most recently, Amer earned a spot on Scholar all-West Region Team in recognition of his academic and athletic excellence during the 2018 season. He also was named to CoSIDA's Google Cloud Academic All-District Team for the second time and earned a fourth appearance on the SCAC Academic Honor Roll.
Amer helped anchor CC's defensive effort that ranked first in the conference with 11 shutouts. The Tigers also ranked second in the league with a 0.90 goals-against average and only 18 goals allowed.
In the offensive third, Amer posted personal single-season highs of two goals, five assists and 21 points.
"He has been our "ironman" the past four years and the reason why is quite simple: Keenan does the work," Palguta said. "Keenan's commitment to his fitness level, preparation, nutrition, and recovery is second-to-none. Our staff could always count on Keenan to be ready to play and to give his best in tough moments."
The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship was created in 1964 to promote and encourage postgraduate education by rewarding the association's most accomplished student-athletes through their participation in NCAA championship and/or emerging sports.
Candidates for the scholarship are nominated by the school's faculty athletics representative and screened by a regional selection committees. Recipients then are selected by the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee.
"I need to thank my coach, Scott Palguta, who has showed unwavering support for me during my time at CC," Amer said. "I also want to thank my academic advisor, Emile Gray, as well as Pedro de Araujo, the faculty representative, for nominating and helping me throughout the application process. Finally, like I said earlier, I want to thank the teammates who I had as an underclassmen--they really inspired me and showed me what could be achieved through hard work, and I am humbled to be able to achieve what they did."
June 13, 2019 SCAC Announces 2019 Man of the Year Finalists
March 22, 2019 Colorado College's Amer Wins NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship
February 27, 2019 Trinity's Johnston Named D3Soccer.com All-American
February 5, 2019 SCAC Has 378 Student-Athletes Earn Academic Honor Roll Honors
December 20, 2018 Trinity Leads SCAC Schools In Learfield Standings
December 11, 2018 Five SCAC Men's Soccer Student Athletes Earn Scholar All-Region Honors
December 5, 2018 Trinity Men’s Soccer Coaches Named Regional Staff of the Year
December 3, 2018 SCAC Announces 2018 Fall All-Sportsmanship Teams
November 27, 2018 Ten SCAC Student-Athletes Named to All-West Region Men's Soccer Team
November 17, 2018 No. 5 Trinity Eliminated From NCAA Playoffs by No. 3 Chicago
November 11, 2018 Trinity Tigers Advance to NCAA Round of 16 With Shutout Victory
November 10, 2018 Southwestern Falls Short In First NCAA Tournament Appearance
November 10, 2018 Trinity Defeats Chapman in NCAA First Round Playoff Game
November 9, 2018 Colorado College's Amer Named CoSIDA Academic All-District
November 7, 2018 Johnston and Carr Headline Men's Soccer All-Tournament Selections
November 5, 2018 Trinity and Southwestern Punch NCAA Tournament Tickets
November 5, 2018 Purchase Trinity University Men's Soccer Winners Gear
November 4, 2018 Trinity Claims Seventh Straight SCAC Men's Soccer Tourney Title
November 3, 2018 Austin College's Khalaf Earns SCAC Men's Soccer Elite 19 Award
November 2, 2018 Texas Lutheran Storms to SCAC Semifinals with 5-1 Victory
November 2, 2018 Southwestern Marches into SCAC Semifinal with Shutout Victory
October 30, 2018 2018 SCAC Fall Championship Merchandise Available
October 29, 2018 SCAC Men's Soccer Recap - Week Nine
October 28, 2018 SCAC Men's Soccer Championship Website Released
October 22, 2018 SCAC Men's Soccer Recap - Week Eight
October 15, 2018 SCAC Men's Soccer Recap - Week Seven
October 8, 2018 SCAC Men's Soccer Recap - Week Six
October 5, 2018 Eleven SCAC Soccer Programs Earn USC All-Academic Honors
October 1, 2018 SCAC Men's Soccer Recap - Week Five
September 26, 2018 Codispoti earns USC National Player of the Week
September 24, 2018 SCAC Men's Soccer Recap - Week Four
September 17, 2018 SCAC Men's Soccer Recap - Week Three
September 10, 2018 SCAC Men's Soccer Recap - Week Two
September 4, 2018 SCAC Men's Soccer Recap - Week One
August 30, 2018 SCAC Fall Media Days
August 28, 2018 Trinity Selected As Favorites In SCAC Men's Soccer