High Point, N.C. – Conference Carolinas is proud to announce the Spring Scholar Athletes of the Year, as voted on by the Student-Athlete Affairs Committee. This prestigious award is presented annually to a student-athlete in each sport for recognition of their outstanding performance on the field and in the classroom.
Candidates are submitted by each member institution from each of the conference's twenty sponsored sports. To be considered for the honor, the student-athlete must have attended their member institution for at least one year and have reached junior or senior standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher on the four-point scale. Scholar Athletes of the Year must also be represented on their sport's first, second, or third all-conference team, the rosters of which are chosen by coaches at the end of each playing season.
The eleven student-athletes below have been selected as the Scholar Athletes of the Year in each of the spring sports sponsored by Conference Carolinas. They represent six different institutions, but all demonstrate the conference's principle of "Academics & Athletics Working Together."
Alex Martin, King University
Alex Martin earns Conference Carolinas Scholar Athlete of the Year for the first time in his career. The Knoxville, Tenn., native also earned All-Conference Carolinas honors for the first time during his senior year, and was named to the academic all-conference team. This spring, he graduated from King with his MBA, carrying a 3.94 GPA.
Martin moved into a starting role this season and has tossed a pair of complete games, both coming in Conference Carolinas play. His first complete game came in a 9-1 victory at Limestone College before tossing his second complete game on Senior Day, a 4-1 win over Southern Wesleyan. On the season, he ranked ninth in the league in complete games and has tossed a total of 61 innings. Martin's 3.39 ERA ranked fourth in the conference, and his 2.70 ERA in Conference Carolinas games was tops in the league.
Tucker MacDonald, North Greenville University
Tucker MacDonald was NGU's leader not only on the course, but also in the classroom. The senior helped lead the Crusaders to a top 25 ranking this season, rising as high as 13th in all of NCAA Division II Golf. MacDonald also led his team to the NCAA Regional tournament this season and a third place finish at the Conference Carolinas Tournament.
In his four seasons at NGU MacDonald has amassed more than 20 top 10 finishes including nine top fives and three tournament wins. He is also a 2-time All-Conference Carolinas performer. "Tucker is the perfect example of what a student athlete represents," remarked head coach Brad Caldwell. "He is one of the hardest workers I have ever met, but his character is what makes him standout. He will without a doubt be missed."
Elizabeth Swallow, King University
Elizabeth Swallow had a solid campaign, earning second team All-Conference Carolinas honors, along with earning academic all-conference honors for the first time. The Berkshire, England native was selected Capital One Academic All-District for the second time and following her junior year, she carries a 3.92 GPA while majoring in mathematics and biology.
On the course, she has been atop the King lineup since she stepped on campus, garnering all-conference honors all three seasons. This year she led the Tornado with a stroke average of 77.17 strokes per round while finished in the top 10 six times, including five top five finishes and one victory. She won the Pfeiffer University Invitational with a total score of one-over 145 after carding her low round of the season, even-par 72 in the first round. She earned two runner-up finishes on the year, first at the King University Invitational, and at the Converse Spring Invitational. For the third time in three tries, finished in the top 10 at the Conference Carolinas Championship, taking sixth and helped King to a second place finish.
Reid Reinholdt, Limestone College
After helping lead the Limestone College Men's Lacrosse program to its seventh straight Conference Carolinas Tournament title and second National Title game in a row, junior Reid Reinholdt continues to earn conference recognition by being named the Spring Scholar Athlete of the Year for Men's Lacrosse.
The British Columbia native was named an USILA Scholar All-American, and currently ranks second on the team in assists (35), groundballs (59) and total points (72), having started every game for the Blue and Gold this season. Reinholdt is a key member of a Limestone offense that is currently ranked first in the nation in scoring. Individually, Reid is 17th in the nation in assists per game and 27th in points.
While only a junior on the field, Reinholdt graduated from Limestone in the beginning of May with a Bachelor's of Science degree.
Katy Connery, Belmont Abbey College
Katy Connery is the first player in program history to be acknowledged Scholar Athlete of the Year. Graduating with honors as a psychology major, Connery will travel to Australia in the next two weeks to continue her playing career as well as coach.
Connery finished the 2015 with 54 goals, third in the league with league bests in ground balls (97) and draw controls (93). Her 5.39 ground balls per game average was second in Division II play after earning that statistical championship last year. She scored at least one goal in every game and has handed out four assists.
Beth Overman, University of Mount Olive
|Beth Overman graduated in May with a 3.61 grade point average majoring in recreation and leisure services. Overman is a two-time Conference Carolinas Scholar Athlete and a three-time All-Conference Carolinas selection, earning First Team honors in 2015. Overman helped lead the Trojans to back-to-back conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in her sophomore and junior seasons.|
Edgar Bub, University of Mount Olive
|Edgar Bub wins the Conference Carolinas Men's Tennis Scholar Athlete of the Year award for the second year in a row, becoming the first two-time winner in University of Mount Olive history. Bub graduated with a 3.93 grade point average majoring in business management and human resource management. On the court, Bub was named to the All-Conference Carolinas Men's Tennis First Team for the fourth consecutive year. He was also selected to the 2015 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 Team.|
Francesca Ceppi, University of Mount Olive
|Francesca Ceppi continues to add to her collection of conference awards. She was the recipient of the 2014-15 Conference Carolinas Murphy Osborne, the top individual award in the conference. Ceppi graduated with a 3.84 gpa majoring in psychology. She represents University of Mount Olive and Conference Carolinas on the NCAA National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. On the court, Ceppi became a four-time All-Conference Carolinas selection, earning First Team honors in 2015.|
Men's Outdoor Track & Field
Steven Sanchez, Limestone College
|The gold medal winner in the shot put at the 2015 Conference Carolinas Outdoor Championships, Limestone senior Steven Sanchez has been named the league's 2015 Outdoor Track & Field Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. For his career Sanchez is a three-time All-Conference Carolinas performer and broke through this year with USTFCCCA All-Southeast Region honors. He holds the school record for the Saints in the shot put for both the indoor and outdoor seasons.|
Women's Outdoor Track & Field
Qwaneshia Matthews, Limestone College
|A winner of three gold medals at the 2015 Conference Carolinas Outdoor Championships, senior Qwaneshia Matthews wrapped up her Limestone career as a true dual-threat with a perfect 4.0 grade point average in the classroom. Matthews earned first place finishes in the 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles and as a member of the 4x100m relay team at the league championships, making her a six-time All-Conference Carolinas outdoor track and field performer for her career. Matthews leaves the Saints as the program's record holder in the 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, and as a member of the 4x100m relay team and 4x400m relay team. With four career gold medals and four school records, Matthews is one of the most decorated Saints in Limestone outdoor track and field history.|
David Specian, Pfeiffer University
Aside from his record-breaking performances on the court, senior David Specian excelled outside of the arena as his excellence in the classroom, combined with his athletic achievements, earned him the 2015 Conference Carolinas men's volleyball Scholar Athlete of the Year award.
Specian, a nursing major, excelled despite having a full schedule. He finished his athletic career with a school-record 3,662 assists and topped the 3,000 mark in the eighth game this season. Specian's 70 career aces is also the most in program history and he handed out 69 assists in a match against King, setting a new school mark. This season, Specian was named First Team All-Conference and made the Conference Carolinas All-Tournament team as he led the Falcons to the NCAA Tournament. Specian also helped guide the Falcons to a 21-4 record and the first national ranking in school history.