RICHARDSON, Texas – Outstanding individual achievement in the classroom and within athletic competition earned 10 American Southwest Conference student-athletes recognition as the Distinguished Scholar-Athlete of the Year in their respective winter or spring sport.
Named as Distinguished Scholar-Athletes are Conner Combs, East Texas Baptist, in baseball; Jeff Martin, LeTourneau, in men's basketball; Candler Gregory, Belhaven, in women's basketball; Jarrod Brown, Mary Hardin-Bayor, in men's golf; Alisa Wilson, LeTourneau, in women's golf; Stefanie Polderman, UT Dallas, in softball; Arthur Fagundes, UT Tyler, in men's tennis; Kate Bramlett, East Texas Baptist, in women's tennis; Derek Gainey, McMurry, in men's track and field; and Shantel Thomas, McMurry, in women's track and field.
ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete of the Year award recognizes student-athletes who attain a high level of academic achievement while competing as a starter or important reserve on his or her athletic team. The conference sports information directors select the Distinguished Scholar-Athlete within each sport from nominees submitted by the institutions.
Conner Combs (Southlake, Texas/Carroll HS) is a two-time ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in baseball, earning the honor in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons. A graduate student completing studies for a master's degree in business administration, Combs has twice been named CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year for NCAA Division III baseball (2017, '16), and was both a CoSIDA Academic All-American and ASC Academic All-Conference honoree this spring. On the field, Combs led ETBU to a runner-up finish in the ASC Baseball Championship Tournament Series and was voted ASC Player of the Year for a second straight year after leading the league in total bases and batting .403 over the regular-season. President of the ETBU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Combs is active in service projects with several organizations.
A CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team and All-District First Team award recipient, Kate Bramlett (Granbury, Texas/HS) completed her East Texas Baptist kinesiology degree and tennis career in three years. Bramlett was named ITA All-Academic and claimed a second ASC Academic All-Conference award. During the 2016-17 season, she was selected ASC East Division Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year, All-Conference, All-East Division, and the ITA West Region Most Improved Senior after leading the Tigers to the ASC championship and a berth in the Division III Women's Tennis Championship. She totaled over 100 combined career wins in singles and doubles.
Lauren Lee and Jayme Perez were also named to the women’s basketball and softball Winter-Spring Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams respectively. Lee was named the ASC Co-Sportsmanship Player of the Year, and Perez was a CoSIDA Academic All-American and NFCA All-American for the fourth time. Cody Blankenship and Hannah Godwin were named to the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Scholar-Athlete Teams.