Growing up, the championship bragging rights in Brian Cornish’s household belonged to his father, a Wildcat football team member who won three championships with his teammates. Today, Cornish, Class of 2017, has his own story to tell after helping to lead the Wildcats to the 2016 SIAC championship as co-captain. Cornish and other team members received their championship rings at an athletics banquet this spring, thanks to the generous support of FVSU football boosters. Cornish was one of dozens of athletes recognized at the banquet for both scholarship and sportsmanship. President Paul Jones, Ph.D., Provost T. Ramon Stuart, Ph.D., Athletics Director Daryl Pope, Ph.D., and a host of Wildcat supporters recognized individual athletes along with the sports teams that represented FVSU well on the national stage:
Wildcats Football Team: SIAC Champions and Fountain City Classic Winners
Wildcats Men’s Basketball Team: SIAC Tournament 2nd Place
Lady Wildcats Women’s Basketball Team: SIAC Regular Season 3rd Place
Cornish is an example of the scholar-athlete Pope has made a priority of celebrating. He is the male athlete with the highest grade point average and has made the Dean’s List each of his four years at the university while also playing in the starting lineup. He grew up watching his grandparents grow fruits and vegetables in their large garden and became interested in agriculture. He chose agricultural economics as a major to explore how the world gets fed and offer solutions to challenges associated with limited resources and growing populations. He’s already conducted and presented research on the financial impact of removing antibiotic food additives from conventional swine production. As team captain, he’s tried to lead by quiet example, showing how a positive attitude can motivate teams to accomplish their goals.
Cornish has already been accepted to graduate school at Auburn University and has some frank advice for younger students who want to succeed both on the field and in the classroom. “Being as student athlete is just that,” he said. “The student part comes before the athlete part for a reason. Without the grades, you’re never going to play on the team. Being disciplined in the classroom is just as important as being disciplined on the field.”