Wave’s Gelhardt named to ‘good works’ team

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 8, 2008

NEW ORLEANS, La.–While members of the 2008 Tulane University football team were merely arriving on campus in preparation for preseason camp on Thursday, senior deep snapper Craig Gelhardt became the Green Wave student-athlete to receive individual honors this year as the Tallahassee, Fla., native was named to the 17th Annual Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

A three-year letterman on the gridiron, where he has handled snapping duties on nearly every punt, field goal and point-after-touchdown play, Gelhardt earned the honor after serving as an active member of SAFER (Student Advocacy For Equitable Recovery), Habitat For Humaties and Tulane’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

“It’s always good to be involved in the community you’re in,” Gelhardt said. “People have got to be involved. If they’re not, what kind of community is it? This is a tremendous honor but certainly not something I expected. I didn’t even know I was nominated until today.”

As a member of SAFER, Gelhardt has assisted in the continued recovery effort in the New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Among the activities carried out by SAFER, Gelhardt has helped gut houses, hang drywall and other maintenance to help bring families back to the city and help them return to the life they knew before the storm.

 Gelhardt served as the community service representative on Tulane’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council during the 2007-08 academic year. In that position, he helped coordinated Tulane’s annual Shadow A Student-Athlete Day, where middle school students from area schools come to campus and live a day in the life of a Tulane student-athlete, as well as a mentoring and tutoring program with nearby high schools where the focus was on nutrition.

On the field, Gelhardt has played in 35 games for the Green Wave and is a two-time honorable-mention All-Conference USA selection. As a junior in 2007, he played in all 12 games and was named the team’s Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 1 after serving as the deep snapper, posting a tackle on special teams and downing a punt inside the five yard line.

Gelhardt is one of 71 student-athletes named to the Allstate AFCA Good Hands Team selected out of the more than 50,000 student-athletes participating in football at all four-year collegiate institutions. He is the only player from a Louisiana institution to claim a spot on the Football Bowl Subdivision Team and is one of two C-USA student-athletes on the squad, joined by Memphis’ Dominik Riley. Kenneth Lundy of McNeese State is the only other state player to earn Good Works Team honors, and is a member of the Combined Divisions, which includes teams from the Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II and III and NAIA.

The Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams were established in 1992 by the College Football Association, recognizing the extra efforts made by college football players and student support staff off the field. AFCA became the governing body of the award in 1997 and continues to honor college football players who go the extra mile for those in need.

Gelhardt and the Green Wave officially open preseason practice on Friday, Aug. 8, when they take the field for the first time as a team at 3:20 p.m. at the Westfeldt Practice Facility. Season tickets for the 2008 Tulane football season are now on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. For more information on 2008 Tulane football tickets or tickets to any future Green Wave home athletic event, contact the Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.