RICHARDSON, Texas –– Hardin-Simmons University, Howard Payne University, LeTourneau University and the University of Texas at Dallas were named recipients of the American Southwest Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Team Sportsmanship Awards for the 2017-18 winter sports, the conference office announced on Thursday (March 1).
In women’s basketball, Hardin-Simmons was named the West Division award recipient while they selected UT Dallas as the East Division honoree. Men’s basketball award winners were LeTourneau University in the East Division and Howard Payne in the West Division.
The SAAC Team Sportsmanship Award honors the member institution in each ASC championship sport that best displays positive qualities of sportsmanship and fair play from its student-athletes, coaches and fans throughout the season. The 2017-18 year marks the 11th season they presented the award by a vote of the campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committees of the American Southwest Conference.
Hardin-Simmons claimed its first SAAC Team Sportsmanship Award in women’s basketball this season (2018) and UT Dallas received to its second women’s basketball honor (2017, ’18).
Howard Payne has been selected as the men’s basketball SAAC Team Sportsmanship Award recipient (2008, ’10, ’11, ’15, ’18) while LeTourneau has four times been named the men’s basketball honoree (2009, ’15, ’17, ’18).
The next SAAC Team Sportsmanship Awards will be after the 2018 spring seasons.
The 13 ASC Student-Athlete Advisory Committees present the American Southwest Conference Winter 2017-18 SAAC Team Sportsmanship Awards
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE SOFTBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Games: February 20-26, 2018
HITTER OF THE WEEK – Linzie Lewis, 2B, Sr., East Texas Baptist
East Texas Baptist University senior second baseman Linzie Lewis (Maypearl, Texas) was the veteran of the team in the lineup and showed that with seven hits, scoring seven times and recording six RBI with one home run as the Tigers swept Howard Payne. She scored every time she got on base and accounted for seven of ETBU’s 32 runs scored in the series. Lewis had four RBI in the last game of the series with a three-run home run and an RBI single. Her home run gave ETBU a 3-0 lead in the first inning of game three.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK – Rocki Tello, RHP, Sr., East Texas Baptist
East Texas Baptist senior right-handed hurler Rocki Tello (Katy, Texas) won her second Pitcher of the Week award in her career by earning her first win of the year with a 10-0, six-inning win over Howard Payne. She retired the final 14 batters of the game recording eight strikeouts. Tello only gave up three hits which came in the first two innings.
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Competitions: February 23-24, 2018
MEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK – Matthew Cecotti, Fr., UT Tyler
The University of Texas at Tyler freshman Matthew Cecotti (Lindale, Texas) earned his second Track Athlete of the Week award by opening the outdoor season with wins in the 800 and 1,500 meters at the East Texas Time Trial. He posted a time of 2:02.93 in the 800 and 4:12.66 in the 1,500.
MEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK – Thomas Reynolds, Fr., East Texas Baptist
East Texas Baptist University sophomore Thomas Reynolds (Marshall, Texas) won the second Athlete of the Week award in his career by winning the shot put with a throw of 14.14 meters (46 ft.-5 in.) at the East Texas Time Trial in Tyler, Texas. He won the vent by nearly eight feet, then placed second in the discus with a mark of 36.39 meters (119 ft.-5 in.).
WOMEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK – Paulina Rodriguez, Jr., UT Tyler
UT Tyler junior Paulina Rodriguez (Tyler, Texas) won her first two events of the outdoor season at the East Texas Time Trials. She placed first in the 1,500 meters in 5:17.58 and had a time of 2:38.88 in the 800 meters.
WOMEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK – Bayli Luke, Fr., Concordia Texas
Concordia University Texas freshman Bayli Luke (Houston, Texas) broke the Tornado school record in the long jump at the Trinity Open. She recorded a distance of 5.46 meters (17 ft.-11 in.) and placed second.
OTHER TOP MEN’S PERFORMANCES
LeTourneau University junior Keishaun McMillian (Tyler, Texas) was one of the busiest YellowJackets in the outdoor season opener, earning a pair of top-five finishes at the Trinity Open. He finished third with a long jump of 6.04 meters (19 ft.-9.75 in.) and fourth in the triple jump at 12.67 meters (41 ft.-7 in.). McMillian also threw the javelin 30.68 meters (100 ft.-8 in.), placing 12th.
LeTourneau senior Arvin Hrushka (Kaiserlautern, Germany) landed three top-eight finishes at the Trinity Open. He ran the 400-meter hurdles in 1:00.22, finishing fifth and was sixth with a 110-meter hurdle time of 17.43 seconds. Hrushka also cleared 3.70 meters (12 ft.-1.5 in.) in the pole vault to take fourth.
East Texas Baptist junior Beau Billings (Mansfield, Texas) finished second in the 1,500 meters, just three seconds off the lead, with a time of 4:15.99 at the East Texas Time Trial. He also helped the Tigers win the distance medley relay by 19 seconds with a time of 11:12.32.
Concordia Texas junior Raul Villalpando (San Antonio, Texas) finished second in the 110-meter hurdles for the Tornados at the Trinity Open. He finished .02 out of first with a time of 15.41 seconds.
OTHER TOP WOMEN’S PERFORMANCES
UT Tyler freshman Michaela McGeary (Woodsboro, Texas) won the discus and the shot put at the UT Tyler East Texas Time Trial to start the outdoor season. She won the discus with a throw of 39.70 meters (130 ft.-3 in.) and claimed the shot put title at 11.35 meters (37 f.t-3 in.).
LeTourneau freshman Ro Galloway (Texarkana, Texas) earned one of two victories for the YellowJacket women at the Trinity Open in San Antonio, taking first in the 100 meters in 12.86 seconds. She finished second in the 200 meters in 27.30 seconds.
LeTourneau freshman Tori Field (Pleasanton, Calif.) placed sixth in the triple jump at the Trinity Open with a leap of 9.39 meters (30 ft.-9.75 in.) and was seventh with a mark of 4.78 meters (15 ft.-8.25 in.) in the long jump. She also had a time of 18.17 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles.
East Texas Baptist sophomore Brooklen Butler (Chireno, Texas) won the 400-meter dash at the East Texas Time Trial with a mark of 1:03.46. She also helped the Tigers win the 4×400 meter relay in 4:19.59 and placed second in the 4×100 in 54.60 seconds.
Concordia Texas junior Emily Villines (Huntsville, Texas) set a new school record in the 10,000 meters at the Trinity Open, finishing 41:31.90. She placed fourth overall among men’s and women’s competitors and was the top female finisher in the race.
Sul Ross State University sophomore Audrey Lozano (Balmorhea, Texas) finished with a shot put toss of 11.93 meters (39 ft.-1.75 in.) to win the event at the Trinity Open in San Antonio.
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE TENNIS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Matches: February 23-25, 2018
WEST DIVISION WOMEN’S PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Justus Aarhus, So., Concordia Texas
Concordia University Texas sophomore Justus Aarhus (Georgetown, Texas) went 2-0 in matches against Schreiner as the Tornados earned a 7-2 win over the Mountaineers. In first singles, she received a 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 victory, then teamed with Leyla Martinez for a number one doubles win, taking the match 8-3.
EAST DIVISION WOMEN’S PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Alexis Arrieta, Sr., UT Tyler
The University of Texas at Tyler senior Alexis Arrieta (Georgetown, Texas) earned her second career Player of the Week honors by picking up singles and doubles wins against NCAA Division II opponent UT Permian Basin. She started the day by teaming with Alexandra McKissick to win 8-3 at number one doubles. Arrietta then secured a 6-2, 6-4 first singles win.
WEST DIVISION MEN’S PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Clayton Hernandez, So., Concordia Texas
Concordia Texas sophomore Clayton Hernandez (San Antonio, Texas) picked up two key victories in the Tornados’ fourth straight win, defeating Schreiner 5-4. He would win in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 at number four singles. Hernandez teamed with Adam Compton at second doubles to win handily 8-4.
EAST DIVISION MEN’S PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Pablo Gomez, Jr., UT Tyler
UT Tyler junior Pablo Gomez (Cancun, Mexico) helped the No. 23 Tyler Patriots to a 5-4 victory over NCAA Division II foe UT Permian Basin on Sunday with singles and a doubles victory on his home court. He started the day by teaming up with Arthur Fagundes for an 8-3 first doubles win before rolling to a 7-6, 6-0 fifth singles victory.
OTHER MEN’S PERFORMANCES
The University of Texas at Dallas sophomore Ashwin Vaithianathan (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) had the most substantial showing for the Comets in their 6-3 loss to Millsaps. He earned a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 4 singles as one of two singles players to earn a victory in the match.
Hardin-Simmons University junior Alex Hunt (Odessa, Texas) went 1-2 at number one doubles and 2-0 at number one singles in the Cowboys’ trip to Oregon. He defeated Oscar Wight of Pacific 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 and Nathan Saragoza of Linfield 6-4, 7-6.
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE BASEBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Games: February 20-26, 2018
HITTER OF THE WEEK – Ryan Almager, 1B, Sr., Sul Ross State
Sul Ross State University senior first baseman Ryan Almager (Lubbock, Texas) garnered his second career Hitter of the Week by hitting .500 (7-for-14) over a three-game sweep of McMurry. He posted a triple and a home run and tallied 12 bases during the series. He also drove in six and scored five times with a .857 slugging percentage.
CO-PITCHER OF THE WEEK – Hayden Day, RHP, So., Hardin-Simmons
Hardin-Simmons University sophomore Hayden Day (Brownwood, Texas) came in twice and shut the door on Cowboy wins on the road at East Texas Baptist on Monday. He entered the first game with no one out and one on in the sixth inning and recorded six straight outs for the save in a 2-1 win. In game two, Day came on in the seventh with no outs and a runner and got out of the situation without a run crossing the plate. He tallied three total innings with, including a 1-2-3 ninth with a pair of strikeouts to pick up the save in a 1-0 win. Day totaled two saves and four strikeouts in five scoreless innings.
CO-PITCHER OF THE WEEK – Ryan Cheatham, RHP, Sr., UT Tyler
The University of Texas at Tyler senior Ryan Cheatham (Whitehouse, Texas) was dominant in the series opener against Texas Lutheran where he threw seven scoreless innings with four strikeouts and only three hits in an 11-4 win. He limited the Bulldogs to a .130 batting average with just two walks. This the second Pitcher of the Week award in Cheatham’s career.
NOTABLE PERFORMANCES AT THE PLATE
East Texas Baptist University junior third baseman Seth Mikeska (Pearland, Texas) had a home run in the Tigers’ 4-2 win over Hardin-Simmons for two runs-batted-in. He then had an RBI against LeTourneau and Hardin-Simmons for a total of four driven in on the week.
Belhaven University senior infielder Will Costinett (St. Francisville, La.) hit .500 (4-for-8) with a double, a home run and three runs batted in with two runs scored in the Blazers’ series against No. 7 UT Dallas.
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor sophomore outfielder Dakota Best (Giddings, Texas) drove in the game-winning run in the Cru’s 4-3 victory over Howard Payne and added three hits and three RBI in a 6-5 loss to the Yellow Jackets. He slugged 1.000, batted .667 (4-for-6) and a .750 on-base percentage with a pair of doubles and two steals in the doubleheader.
UT Tyler junior outfielder Josh Burns (Center, Texas) hit his second home run of the season and also had a triple while hitting .333 (6-for-18) with a .611 slugging percentage for the Patriots who went 4-0 with a home win over Millsaps and a three-game road sweep of Texas Lutheran. He also tallied two RBI with three runs scored.
Concordia University junior first baseman/outfielder Bret Leiferman (Round Rock, Texas) hit his first home run of the season with a two-run shot in the first inning of the Tornados’ 4-3 win over Webster. He would later single in the game as Concordia held on in the ninth for the victory.
Howard Payne University sophomore first baseman Blake Null (Federal Way, Wash.) recorded six runs batted in during a doubleheader split at Mary Hardin-Baylor. In game one, he was 1-for-1 with three RBI and was 2-for-3 with the RBI and two runs scored in the nightcap.
The University of Texas at Dallas junior second baseman Ryan Burciaga (Katy, Texas) went 6-for-9 from the plate as the No. 7 Comets opened ASC play with a three-game home sweep of Belhaven. He began the series going 2-for-2 with a double and a triple, scoring three runs in Sunday’s 6-2 win. Burciaga followed up with a 2-for-4 performance with his first homer of the year in the nightcap. He closed the series by going 2-for-3 with a double in a 14-0 victory.
NOTABLE PERFORMANCES ON THE MOUND
East Texas Baptist sophomore right-hander Blake Corbin (Katy, Texas) earned the Tigers’ only win of the week in a 4-2 ASC victory against Hardin-Simmons. He went six innings, allowing two runs and four hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
Sul Ross State senior right-handed pitcher Cody Remore (Liberty Hills, Texas) threw a complete game victory in the Lobos’ 11-1 series-opening win at McMurry. He gave up seven hits, but fanned five, allowing a run over seven frames.
Concordia Texas sophomore righty Matthew Williams (Austin, Texas) racked up seven strikeouts over seven innings of work in a 2-0 loss to No. 6 Concordia Chicago. He allowed two unearned runs and gave up just two hits.
UT Dallas senior right-handed starter Jamie Andriot (Plano, Texas) fanned ten while giving up just one walk in Sunday’s 6-2 win over Belhaven. He allowed one earned run on two hits in complete-game performance.
RICHARDSON, Texas – LeTourneau University sophomore guard Nate West and Sul Ross State senior forward Caleb Thomasson were named the East and West Division Players of the Year, respectively. The league office in conjunction with the release of the 2018 American Southwest Conference Men’s Basketball All-Conference teams on Tuesday, following a vote of the league’s head coaches, made the announcement.
West is the second player in a row from LeTourneau to earn East Division Player of the Year. He ranked sixth in the ASC with 18.4 points per game, fourth with 4.6 assists and led the league with an 87.1 free throw percentage. He also averaged 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.
Thomasson, who was also the West Division Defensive Player of the Year and Co-Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year, is the third Lobo to be selected as West Player of the Year. He ranked third in the conference with 19.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while shooting 60.6 percent from the field. Thomasson also dished out 3.1 assists per contest and averaged a blocked shot per game.
West and Thomasson, who were both selected to the prestigious six-player ASC All-Conference Team, are joined by Howard Payne University senior guard Khyce Randall, the University of Texas at Dallas sophomore guard Dimitrius Underwood, LeTourneau senior guard Alec Colhoff and University of Texas at Tyler sophomore forward Emeka Obukwelu.
In the East Division, LeTourneau guard Justin Moore was the Freshman of the Year and Louisiana College sophomore forward Devon Washington was the Newcomer of the Year. They selected as Defensive Player of the Year, Junior, forward Caleb Loggins of LeTourneau and UT Tyler’s Davis Moore earned Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year. They named LeTourneau head coach Dan Miller as Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season after guiding the YellowJackets to a school-record 23 wins and the ASC East Division regular season title.
In the West Division, guard Timothy Aguero of Howard Payne earned Freshman of the Year honors. Newcomer of the Year went to three recipients – LaKendric Hyson from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Tristen Licon of Sul Ross State and Keilyn Nance from Hardin-Simmons University. Along with Thomasson, UMHB’s Braden Hammond was Co-Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year. Sul Ross head coach Clif Carroll took Coach of the Year honors for the third straight season after guiding the Lobos to a 22-6 record and the program’s first ASC Championship since 2004.