Ole Miss baseball freshman Thomas Dillard was recognized as a member of the 2017 Southeastern Conference Community Service Team, the league office announced Wednesday morning. Dillard represented the Rebels on the conference list after performing a variety of community service activities throughout his first year on campus.
The SEC names a community service team for each of its 21 league-sponsored sports, looking to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to his community through superior service efforts.
A native of Oxford, Dillard actively assisted his hometown throughout his first year as a Rebel. He was a leader in the Adopt-A-Basket program, working with Interfaith Compassion Ministries to provide a total of 50 Thanksgiving baskets from the Ole Miss Athletics Department to those in the Lafayette and Oxford communities. Working so closely with the cause, Dillard accepted an award on behalf of the athletic department.
He also went to local elementary schools to read books to students as part of the Reading with the Rebels program. Dillard joined in the nationwide Read Across America program, encouraging kids to read on a more consistent basis. Using his talents on the diamond, he volunteered at the Bats and Balls Clinic in coordination with the Junior Auxiliary of Oxford.
On campus, Dillard represents his fellow student-athletes on the Ole Miss Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), meeting throughout the year with athletic department administration. He joined other Ole Miss students to participate in RebelTHON, a fundraising event for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. In the fall, Dillard and the Rebels helped Shriners Hospitals for Children throw a surprise birthday for a young Ole Miss fan at Swayze Field.
Dillard and the Rebels return to the diamond tomorrow, remaining on the road to face No. 23 Auburn in the final series of the regular season. The three-game set begins Thursday night at 6 p.m. on SECN+ and the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.
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2017 SEC Baseball Community Service Team
Alabama – Mike Oczypok, Sr., RP, Royersford, Pa.
Arkansas – Alex Gosser, Sr., C, North Little Rock, Ark.
Auburn – JJ Shaffer, Sr., OF, Auburn, Ala.
Florida – Alex Faedo, Jr., P, Tampa, Fla.
Georgia – Keegan McGovern, Jr., OF, Willacoochee, Ga.
Kentucky – Storm Wilson, Sr., OF, Science Hill, Ky.
LSU – Jared Poche’, Sr., LHP, Lutcher, La.
Ole Miss – Thomas Dillard, Fr., OF/C, Oxford, Miss.
Mississippi State – Andrew Mahoney, Jr., LHP, Daphne, Ala.
Missouri – Nolan Gromacki, Jr., RHP, Smithville, Mo.
South Carolina – Wil Crowe, Jr., RHP, Sevierville, Tenn.
Tennessee – Eric Freeman, RJr., RHP, Knoxville, Tenn.
Texas A&M – Cason Sherrod, Jr., RHP, Dallas, Texas
Vanderbilt – Collin Snider, Jr., RHP, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
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