[an error occurred while processing this directive] This article is from the EMU News Archive. The approximate date of publication was in April 2006. Current EMU news is available at www.emu.edu/news

Crossroads:
athletics

Jonalyn Denlinger
Outstanding On and Off the Field

Throughout her career, EMU senior Jonalyn Denlinger has earned almost 20 awards and honors and has made the top ten lists for career scoring, goals and assists, making her one of the most decorated players in EMU field hockey history.

Denlinger has been named to First Team All-Conference four years in a row and to the Virginia Sports Information Directors First Team All-State the past three years. She has received four Old Dominion Athletic Conference Awards over her career, including Rookie of the Year in 2002, Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2004, and Player of the Week twice in 2005. She ended her career ranked 17th nationally in total points (with 160), and had 57 goals and 46 assists over her four years here.

However, one wouldn't know all that from talking to her. Denlinger, a four-year starter for the EMU field hockey team, is down-to-earth, friendly, and doesn't like the spotlight on her. Field hockey is a team sport, Denlinger said, and she feels that any awards she's received should be accepted on behalf of the team because she couldn't have done it without them. "To award one person is not really right," she said.

Denlinger said that field hockey has been one of the most difficult but also one of the most rewarding aspects of her time at EMU. "For everyone, four years is a long time, and you learn a lot about yourself," she said. "I wouldn't change any of it." She feels that field hockey has allowed her to get to know a group of women that she wouldn't have gotten to know otherwise.

Though she has had amazing athletic success, Denlinger has also achieved a lot off the field. She will graduate this spring with a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish and liberal arts with minors in psychology and English. She has worked with the local Alternative Education Program, which helps junior high through high school students who are having trouble succeeding in regular classrooms by bringing them to a different environment and helping them study.

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After graduation, Denlinger is looking into doing voluntary service, working with SALT (Service and Learning Together), or Mennonite Central Committee. She hopes to go to graduate school eventually and wants to use her Spanish in whatever she does. Denlinger has coached summer camps for the past four or five years and "will probably continue to do so."

After that, she said, what she opts to do will depend in part on whether the opportunity arises for her to continue working with field hockey, the sport in which she has excelled at EMU.

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Heather L. Nyce is a junior communications major from Perkasie, Pa.