Soren Frantz / Photo Editor

The Division III National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) now has an Owl as one of its members.

Junior lacrosse player Paxton Blanchard received the news of his selection into the committee on October 23, 2019. Blanchard has been a member of the Keene State SAAC since his first-year year and has been involved in various actions during his time as a member.

To name just a few of Blanchard’s actions during his three years: he is a regular volunteer at the Special Olympics of New Hampshire State Bowling Tournament and aids in the creation of ideas for KSC’s Greeks vs. Athletes Olympics. Blanchard also trades in the lacrosse stick for a basketball every once and a while and becomes a coach, alongside fellow Keene SAAC members, for Keene Parks and Recreation K-1 Youth Basketball Program.

Blanchard is one of the 25 selected members in the entirety of all NCAA Division III colleges and universities.

“I was completely blown away and humbled,” said Blanchard when asked about his reaction to finding out the good news. “[Being selected] is not only a huge accomplishment for myself but also for Keene State College, as it is putting us on the map.”

Keene State College’s Director of Athletics and Recreation Phil Racicot commented on the importance of Blanchard’s selection in an article on keeneowls.com titled “Paxton Blanchard selected for National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.”

“Paxton’s selection to the NCAA’s National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is a prestigious honor for him and for Keene State College,” said Racicot. “He has been an instrumental part of our very active and engaged campus SAAC and we look forward to having him serve KSC, the LEC and our partner conference the MASCAC on the national level.”

The National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee offers all sorts of new opportunities for Blanchard to take part in.

The committee is responsible for representing all NCAA Division III student-athletes and they meet in person four times a year.

The functions of the NSAAC, according to NCAA.org, are to “generate a student-athlete’s voice within the NCAA structure, solicit student-athlete response to proposed NCAA legislation, recommend potential NCAA legislation, review, react and comment to the governance structure on legislation, activities and subjects of interest, actively participate in the administrative process of athletic programs and the NCAA and promote a positive student-athlete image.”

“I’m looking forward to meeting all of the other student-athletes who are on the NSAAC and learning from them as well as sharing my opinions to help make the NCAA even better for student-athletes than it already is,” said Blanchard.

The first in-person committee meeting Blanchard will be attending is this coming January.

Claire Boughton can be contacted

at cboughton@kscequinox.com