FRISCO – It was quite the year for the Bearkat golf programs. After sweeping the men’s and women’s titles, the Kats added two more achievements on Monday. The Southland Conference announced Jenna Phillips and William Holcomb were named the Student Athletes of the Year.
In addition to Phillips honor, she is joined on the All-Academic first team by teammate Hanna Alberto.
“This is such a huge honor for our programs to have both the student athletes of the year in the Southland Conference,” said head coach Brandt Kieschnick. “While we always strive to be the best we can out on the course, it is equally important to maintain a high level of achievement in the classroom as well. For Will and Jenna to receive this honor is a testament they have put in on every aspect of being a student athlete.”
Phillips makes her way on the all-academic squad for the second time of her collegiate career and does so as a marketing major with a flawless 4.0 GPA. The senior earned top-10 finishes in eight of the Bearkats’ 13 tournaments throughout the 2018-19 campaign. After helping Sam Houston State to a conference title, Phillips was named a second-team all-conference selection.
She concluded her senior season with a 74.54 scoring average and recorded a season-low round of 67 on two occasions, once at the UT Arlington Invitational (Oct. 22-23) and again at the Texas State Invitational (Feb. 11-12).
Holcomb earns his second consecutive Student-Athlete of the Year and first team all-academic honors after an automatic selection as a 2019 First Team All-Conference nod. The junior pushed the Bearkats to a conference championship and an appearance in the 2019 NCAA Austin Regional, where he tied for 38th individually.
Holcomb led Sam Houston State throughout the season with four top-10 finishes and a 71.74 scoring average. He also tabbed the team’s lowest round of the season with a 66 at the Huntsville Toyota Bearkat Invitational (April 1-2). Holcomb is a general business major who holds a 3.55 GPA.
Alberto, the 2018-19 Southland Golfer of the Year, has maintained a 3.62 GPA as a public health major and claims her spot as an automatic selection following a first-team all-conference nod. Alberto, a junior, is making her second appearance on the all-academic roster after leading Sam Houston State with a 72.18 scoring average.
With the two Student Athlete of the Year Awards, the Bearkats ended up taking seven of the eight individual awards in Southland Conference golf this year. Luis Carrera was the freshman of the year on the men’s side, while Alberto was the player of the year and Kenlie Barrett was the freshman of the year for the women. Kieschnick was coach of the year for both teams.
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.