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UWA’s Holgate, Shartzer among GSC 2014 ‘Top Ten’ honorees

Published 9:53am Monday, June 23, 2014

A pair of student-athletes from the University of West Alabama, baseball player Mitch Holgate and softball player Anna Shartzer, are among the 2014 Gulf South Conference’s 18th Annual “Top Ten” Award winners.

The awards, based on athletic, academic and extracurricular achievement during the 2013-14 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 on Thursday, June 26 at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front starting at 6:15 pm. The entire ceremony will be streamed live and may be accessed at http://bit.ly/1nX16bw.

Fans can also check out the 2014 GSC “Top Ten” photo album on the official GSC Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/1nX1cQl.

The “Top Ten” are selected with the assistance of an advisory committee representing conference athletic directors, senior women’s administrators, sports information directors, faculty athletic representatives and presidents. The committee makes a recommendation to the Commissioner, who has the final decision.

Holgate is UWA’s first “Top Ten” winner since the Conference changed the award from the “Top Eight” after 2004 when Tigers quarterback and current head football coach Brett Gilliland was selected.

Including Holgate, a sophomore from Windsor, Ontario, Canada and the GSC baseball player of the year, a trio of underclassmen populated the men’s side, including juniors Gary Buffington III (West Florida, Golf, Tampa, Fla.) and Trey Casey (Christian Brothers, Basketball, Cincinnati, Ohio) and sophomore Mitch Holgate (West Alabama, Baseball, Windsor, Ontario). Only two of the five male “Top Ten” winners are seniors: Jordan Chovanec (Graduate, Delta State, Baseball, Inez, Texas) and Drew Eiland (Alabama Huntsville, Baseball, Auburn).

A member of the 2013 “Top Ten”, Shartzer is the 17th all-time back-to-back winner. Including Shartzer, five seniors highlight the women’s winners: Mary Kelley (Alabama Huntsville, Softball, Mobile), Annalee Pierce (Delta State, Cross Country, Yazoo City, Miss.), Renea Porsch (West Florida, Cross Country, Land O’Lakes, Fla.) and Alison Welch (Christian Brothers, Volleyball, Olive Branch, Miss.). Completing the list is junior Courtney Albritton (Valdosta State, Softball, Macon, Ga.).

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