CHICKASHA – USAO constantly attracts talented athletes who excel in the classroom as well as athletically. Three such Drovers were named to the CoSIDA ESPN Academic All-District teams.

Nikola Cakarevic, John Gardner and Gabby Martinez were each named District VI Second Team. Nominees had to be starters or important reserves with a 3.3 GPA or better and with at least sophomore status at the university or institution.

Nikola Cakarevic
Cakarevic, a forward from Belgrade, Serbia, leads the men’s team in goals this season with 16. His 16 goals puts him No. 9 in the division in total goals this year. He is also ranked 10th in the division in goals per game (1) and 15th in total points (35).

This season, Cakarevic tied his own school record for most goals in a game with five against Tabor College in September. Cakarevic set the school record in 2008 against Bacone College.

He has 44 goals in his career at the university, which puts him second in school history.

Additionally, he was named Sooner Athletic Conference Player of the Week in September. In 2008, he was named All-Conference Second Team.

Cakarevic is a business senior and currently holds a 3.6 GPA at USAO. He is the son of Srecko and Mila Cakarevic.

John Gardner
Gardner has been a crucial part of the USAO defense in his time at the university. Originally from Liverpool, England, Gardner came to USAO in 2006.

Gardner was an immediate starter his first season and helped the team to the Region VI tournament. In 2008, Gardner played his second season and was named an NAIA All-American and All-Conference First Team.

He sat out in 2009 with an Achilles tendon injury but still earned a Daktronics Scholar-Athlete honor.

This season, he has served as team captain and has helped the team to the conference tournament and a 13-3 season.

As a defender and mid-fielder, Gardner has scored seven goals in his three seasons with the Drovers.

He is a business and physical education senior who has a 3.73 GPA. He is the son of John and Joan Gardner.

Gabby Martinez
Martinez was the only Academic All-District honoree from the Drover women. The junior from Oklahoma City has excelled all three seasons at USAO.

Martinez, an elementary education major, is a mid-fielder for the Drovers. This season, she’s scored five goals, including two in a late October contest against Wayland Baptist. Additionally, she’s had five assists.

For career, she’s scored 16 goals and had 12 assists. In 2009, she was named All-Conference Second Team.

In addition to her soccer responsibilities, Martinez focuses on school and currently has a 4.0 GPA. She is the daughter of Philip and Myra Martinez.

Published: Nov. 3, 2010