Zach Icenogle of Carthage College, Kenosha, WI, has been named the college NAECAD Player of the Month for January 2022. Xander Stigall of Mariemont High School, Cincinnati, OH, has been named the high school NAECAD Player of the Month for January 2022 the NAECAD national office announced Tuesday.
Zach Icenogle of Carthage College was a freshman Overwatch player and passed away unexpectedly on December 26th in his sleep. Zach was a founding member of the Carthage Esports program. Kevin Palmer, Carthage Esports Director and NAECAD member had this to say about Zach, "In every program, there is always that one student who takes on the responsibility of carrying the energy and attitude for their teammates, and that person for us was Zach "ICE" Icenogle. Every day, he would enter the Esports arena with a positive and uplifting attitude, and go out of his way to make sure he knew how each of his teammates were doing. Good or bad, he listened, and he cared. For Carthage, Zach played and competed in Valorant and Rocket League, and although he wasn't the highest rank in either game, he quickly adapted to play to the level of his peers, and always sought constructive criticism for improvement. Zach was the most genuine, and humble athlete I've ever coached. His impact as a freshman on a campus, after only one semester, was a testament to how great of a person he was. Each day, we wait for him to come down the stairs to the arena, knowing that he won't, but his energy still resonates amongst our walls."
Xander Stigall of Mariemont High School has been the team captain since his sophomore year. Nathan Eten, Mariemont esports coach and NAECAD member had this to say about Xander, “His leadership skills have grown so much over the years and helped position our team to win the Esports Ohio Southwest region last Fall. He has brought his intensity and passion to our practices this Spring as we ramp up for the regular season. He has been a great model for our next team captain and is the competitive force behind our team's quest to reach the state finals this Spring.”
This coveted award recognizes individuals for a balance of athletic achievement, sportsmanship and citizenship. While elite performance in the game is important, this award is aimed at recognizing the overall impact the individual has made. Example characteristics include:
Each month, players are nominated by NAECAD members and selected for the award by NAECAD. One Player of the Month will be recognized each month (September – April) at the college and high school levels.
The Player of the Month recipients are eligible for nomination of the Player of the Year award. The individual receiving the Player of the Year award will be recognized in person at the NAECAD National Convention each year. The individuals receiving the Player of the Month award will be recognized at the NAECAD National Convention each year. Student athletes nominated for the Player of the Month award will be eligible for nomination of All-American status. Student athletes receiving the most votes will be recognized at both the high school and the university levels for All-American status. The individuals receiving All-American status will be recognized each year at the NAECAD National Convention.