Ryan Mattes, a player on the Durham Lords baseball team has been recognized for his academic achievements.
Mattes, who is in his second year in Behavioral Science – Honors Bachelor, was awarded the Bert Dejeet Memorial Award for maintaining the highest GPA among male student-athletes at Durham College. Devyn Fraser also received the same award in the female category.
The awards were presented at the Academic Athletic Awards Luncheon on March 21, hosted by the college to honor academic excellence among its student-athletes.
Mattes said he’s been playing baseball since he was four years old and has been playing on the Durham Lords’ baseball team since 2022 when he first enrolled at the college.
“It’s been around my whole life, so it’s a big deal to me. It’s how I met some of my closest friends through baseball,” said Mattes.
The sport is a source of motivation for Mattes and said it helps his mental health as it gives him something to look forward to almost every day.
He said baseball taught him discipline and time management to succeed, something that carries over in his academic pursuits.
Mattes “feels good” about winning the award because he takes academics seriously and uses schedules and list-making to keep up with sports and education.
He said he can rely on classmates in his program to catch up on notes he misses after a game and that it’s important to use all the resources available to stay ahead.
“There are people there to help you get through it, to help you stay on top of your work and manage things,” he said.
Mattes is happy the college recognizes academic success for student-athletes because not many other schools would do the same.
“I really like that they take time to acknowledge that academics do matter and congratulate us on that.”
Fraser is a student of Advertising – Digital Media Management and has been playing golf and volleyball for her school for six and three years, respectively. She has maintained a 5.0 GPA for three consecutive semesters. This is her second time receiving the award, as she also won it last year.