VIENNA - The Ohio Valley University Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has announced the winners of the second annual Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards, softball player Brittany Shepley and wrestler Chase Long.
Individuals were nominated based on the following criteria: athletic achievement, character and leadership. Award recipients were selected by a committee composed of faculty members and the intercollegiate athletics administrative staff.
Long, a junior from Buckhannon, W.Va., was the first OVU wrestler to qualify for the NCAA Division II national tournament.
To make it to the tournament, he defeated the No. 1 seed in the region, taking second place overall at the NCAA Super Region I. Long was also honored at the NCAA D-II tournament with the NCAA Elite 89 award for having the highest GPA of all wrestlers represented.
"Chase's attitude speaks from his results of being SAAC president, the prestigious NCAA Elite 89 winner, and a national contender and toutnament qualifier,'' said OVU head wrestling coach Pat Sole. ''Chase is a team captain and leads through example on and off the mat. All of his teammates look up to him and respect him as a man and athlete. He consistently never waivers from his focus and helps keep his team on track. He is going to be a success in wherever God leads him in life."
Shepley, a senior from Chatham, Ontario, Canada, won her award for the second straight year. A team captain and all-around outstanding player, she led her team in batting average and hits throughout this season.
Shepley has been an All-WVIAC player every year as well as being named to the Daktronics All-Atlantic Region second team in 2011-2012.
"Brittany is an excellent student and player," said head OVU head softball coach Rob Graham. "She is outgoing, very polite and gets along with everyone on the team. Shepley is an extremely-coachable player and a great team player with leadership ability. She never lets anything bother her. She is always positive."