The Valdosta Daily Times
Birmingham, Ala.— —
The Gulf South Conference is proud to announce its 17th annual GSC “Top Ten” Award winners.
These awards, based on athletic, academic and extracurricular achievement during the 2012-13 academic year, recognize the top five male and top five female student-athletes as the cream of the GSC crop.
This year, six female members were selected due to an impressive pool of candidates. The top male and female receive the Commissioner’s Trophy, the Conference’s most prestigious honor.
The presentations will be made at the GSC’s Annual Awards Banquet, Monday, June 24, at the Hilton Birmingham Perimeter Park starting at 6:30 pm. The Conference will reveal the winners of the Commissioner’s Trophies, recognize its All-Sports Trophy Champions (men: Valdosta State/West Florida; women: West Florida) and bid farewell to departing administrators: University of West Georgia President Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna and Valdosta State University Faculty Athletic Representative Bobby Tucker.
The “Top Ten” are selected with the assistance of an advisory committee representing the ADs, SWAs, SIDs, FARs and Presidents from randomly selected GSC schools, which makes a recommendation to the Commissioner, who has the final decision.
Ties are not broken, so more than ten student-athletes can be honored.
Four seniors highlight the six women’s winners: Nikki Brown (North Alabama, Soccer, Bognor Regis, England), Morgan Johnson (Valdosta State, Softball, Macon, GA), Monica Malavassi (West Florida, Soccer, San Jose, Costa Rica) and Kelsey Miles (Christian Brothers, Volleyball, Cordova, TN). Completing the list are juniors, Mary Kelley (Alabama Huntsville, Softball, Mobile, AL) and Anna Shartzer (West Alabama, Softball, Gulf Shores, AL).
Brown is just the second three-time Top Ten winner in league history, following former Henderson State standout Valerie Brummal who claimed three in a row from 1997-99.
Kelly and Johnson are back from the 2012 list, while Morgan Johnson also seeks to become just the sixth student-athlete to win back-to-back Commissioner’s Trophies dating back to 1987.
Malavassi is UWF’s third consecutive Top Ten women’s winner and first soccer player since Courtney Jones in 2009. Miles is CBU’s first women’s honoree since 2006 when fellow volleyball star Laura Washington took home accolades. Shartzer will become first UWA female to take the podium since Lisa Wipperfurth was part of the inaugural “Top Ten/Top Eight” class in 1996-97.
All five male “Top Ten” winners are seniors: Tyler Aldridge (Delta State, Baseball, Steens, MS), Kevin Ducros (West Florida, Tennis, Aix-en-Provence, France), Ryan Schraeder (Valdosta State, Football, Wichita, KS), David Skull (Christian Brothers, Soccer, Adelaide, Australia) and Jaime Smith (Alabama Huntsville, Basketball, Birmingham, AL).
Aldridge is DSU’s second straight winner and first baseball standout since Craig Newton in 2005. Ducros moves UWF’s streak of men’s honorees to three and he follows last year’s former tennis teammate Sean Gunnels. VSU advanced its fourth men’s winner in five years, but Ryan Schraeder is the first Blazer football Top Ten winner since Dusty Bonner in 2001. David Skull marks the first CBU men’s honoree since 2009 and its first soccer winner since Matt Werakso in 2007. Smith joined former teammate, and 2011 honoree, Josh Magette as a UAH men’s basketball Top Ten winner and also upped the Chargers Top Ten streak to four.