CONWAY, Ark. (UCA) -- The University of Central Arkansas football Bears were recognized for their 2012 successes, on and off the field, by the Arkansas House of Representatives Thursday in Little Rock.
State Representative David Meeks of Conway will run House Resolution 1015 during the Thursday meeting of the Arkansas House of Representatives. Rep. Meeks will introduce the resolution and welcome members of the 2012 Bears football team to the House gallery.
Rep. Meeks also plans to meet with the team before the session and give them a tour of the House side of the Capitol, then have the team seated in the gallery overlooking the chamber.
"We owe a very special thanks to Rep. Meeks for this honor and recognition.' said UCA head coach Clint Conque. "Our university and our players and coaches are honored that the Legislature is highlighting and recognizing the 2012 Southland Conference championship and accomplishments of this group of student-athletes.
"We are very humbled to be in Little Rock representing the University of Central Arkansas.'
Among the accomplishments highlighted in the resolution are the Bears winning their second Southland Conference championship in the past five years, and finishing 9-3 overall. UCA advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division I Playoffs for the second consecutive year and was ranked No.10 in the final national poll.
UCA had 46 student-athletes named to the SLC Academic Honor roll for the fall. The Bears, for the second straight year, had the highest Academic Progress Rate (APR) among the Southland schools, and the highest in the state among Division I football-playing schools.
The resolution will also recognize several individual accomplishments, including: Conque being named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year and a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the top NCAA FCS coach; quarterback Wynrick Smothers finishing eighth in the nation in voting for the Walter Payton Award, given to the outstanding player at the FCS level; Smothers being named the SLC Offensive Player of the Year; offensive lineman Corey Howard being named the SLC Offensive Lineman of the Year and defensive lineman Jonathan Woodard being named the SLC Freshman of the Year.
The final segment of the resolution states:
"WHEREAS, the University of Central Arkansas Bears football team is comprised of a group of talented, hard-working, and high-achieving individuals who proudly represented the university on the field and in the classroom,
"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE EIGHTY-NINTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS:
THAT the House of Representatives congratulates the University of Central Arkansas Bears for an excellent season and for their continued outstanding academic accomplishments.'