Spencer thriving at Mount Union

Saturday, January 4, 2014

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- North Putnam graduate Hank Spencer has a lot going on. He just finished playing his second college national championship game with Mount Union a few weeks ago.

Although the outcome wasn't what the team wanted, a loss to Wisc.-Whitewater, Spencer said he thinks they have a good chance of going again.

"We make it there a lot, and people think it's easy to go to a championship game, but it's definitely not," Spencer said. "We were a really young team, and we're just going to get stronger and work hard."

This year his role on the football team changed a little. Spencer is still a linebacker, but he had the role of captain placed upon his shoulders.

"When the coaches came and told us, I was pretty honored," he said. "It means a lot that my teammates think that highly of me."

This is a first time a sophomore has gotten picked as captain for the Mount Union football team.

"It's a little extra pressure to help lead the team than just being another player," he said.

Spencer was a two-time captain at North Putnam.

"It's a role that I'm used to a lot," he said.

But there is a difference between college and high school.

"The coaches expect you to police your own team more and handle the smaller problems," he said.

Any problems should stay within the players, and the captain needs to deal with them rather than the coaches, Spencer said.

Spencer worked hard and graduated a semester early from North Putnam to begin his college career and prepare for the football season.

This year, his hard work in school paid off again when he won the NCAA Elite 89 Award.

The Elite 89 is presented to the student athlete with the highest cumulative GPA and is participating at the finals site.

Spencer, who is a computer science major, maintained a 4.0 GPA.

"It's a nice award because you get recognized in the classroom -- a lot of times it's just about the sport awards," he said.

Spencer said he has always been focused on school and sports.

"It's just the way I was raised," he said. "My parents raised me to the best to do my best in everything."

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