After a record breaking year on the links, the honors are now rolling in for Sam Houston golf for their accomplishments off the course.
On Monday, the Southland Conference announced Hanna Alberto and William Holcomb have been named as the Student Athletes of the year for women’s and men’s golf. Also named to the women’s academic squad was Jenna Phillips.
“I’m proud of Hanna and Will and this is a great day for our program,” said head coach Brandt Kieschnick. “We want our players to be great at everything they set their mind to and this honor shows a great deal of the culture of Bearkat golf. We want our players to excel in the areas they control which leads to great golf but, more importantly, leads to success off the golf course. As a coach, I’m honored to have both players receive this award and I’m inspired by their desire to be the best.”
Alberto, who was also name Southland Player of the Year, earned the academic accolade posting a 3.71 GPA as a public health major. Alberto finished second at the 2018 Southland Conference Women’s Golf Tournament in Montgomery after winning three regular season tournaments as a sophomore. She led the Southland in scoring average per round at 72.73.
“Hanna embodies the successful student-athlete,” Kieschnick said. “She is humble, works hard, and does her best in everything she puts her hand on. This award caps off a great season for her.”
Holcomb, the lone automatic selection to the all-academic teams after garnering All-Conference First Team honors, helped lead the Bearkats to their third NCAA appearance in five years. He paced the squad with a team-best 71.64 scoring average, more than three shots better than last season. He recorded four top-10 finishes, including a runner-up outing at the Bearkat Invitational at Walden while holding a 3.57 GPA in general business. He shot a low round of 66 on the yea
“Will is a work-horse and commits all his effort and mind to what he’s doing,” Kieschnick said. “To be able to play at a very high level, and maintain a high GPA shows what a special talent and person he is.”
Phillips, who was a second team selection, had a 75.15 stroke average on the year, earning her a second team selection. Phillips won the Bearkats’ home event in October, and 5 times this season was a top-10 finisher. Her low round of the year was a 68, which was also a career best. She has posted a perfect 4.0 GPA while majoring in marketing.
The All-Academic teams are voted on by a head coach, sports information director and academic/compliance staff member from each Southland Conference institution. Student-athletes must possess a 3.0 cumulative GPA, have completed one full academic year at the nominating institution and participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s competition to qualify for All-Academic selection. Nominees who were also named to the All-Conference First Team or CoSIDA Academic All-District team are automatically named Southland All-Academic.
The Southland Conference awards committee, which consists of one administrator from each of the 13 member schools, votes for the student-athlete of the year. The Southland student-athlete of the year award is presented to one student-athlete who achieves excellence in both academics and athletics. All nominees must have earned at least a 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale, and demonstrated athletics achievement for at least two years at the nominating institution.