The annual Charles Paul Conn Athlete of the Year award winners at Lee University turned out to be three instead of the usual two this year, as basketball All-American Hollie German and golf All-American Courtney Shelton shared the female honor while Brice Sharp received the male recognition. The award named for the Cleveland school's president goes to "individuals who best exemplify the athletic, academic and spiritual leadership" qualities sought in Lee athletes, according to the announcement posting. Sharp is a basketball player from Walker Valley High School who started 16 of 26 games his senior season and won the 2012 NAIA Pattison Scholarship Award and a 2012 Champions of Character award. "On the court Brice is a great competitor, and in the classroom he epitomizes what a student-athlete should be," coach Tommy Brown said. "He is a person of great character, and my respect for him is immense." German came from Polk County High School and became the Lady Flames' all-time scoring leader with 2,300 points, as well as Lee's first NCAA Division II All-American and the NCCAA Division I women's basketball player of the year. That was after she was an NAIA first-team and WBCA All-American in 2013. She led Lee to back-to-back national-runner-up finishes, and she is a math/secondary education major with a 3.98 grade point average. "Hollie is just a wonderful teammate, leader, Christian role model and really the epitome of what we as coacheds want our players to be," Lady Flames coach Marty Rowe said. "Hollie is the best to ever play her sport at our university." Shelton led her Lady Flames to the 2014 NCCAA national championship and was the individual winner, and she was a two-time NAIA first-team All-American before that. She helped lead Lee to 19 team wins in 40 career tournaments and has a 3.975 GPA as a politicial science major who has been accepted into several prestigious law schools. "She will go down as the most decorated player in the history of Lee golf, men or women," golf coach John Maupin said. "However, what I will remember most about Courtney ... is her ability to compete while putting others first."
• The Sewanee tennis teams both won their NCAA Division III first-round openers, the 20th-ranked women 6-0 over Heartland Conference champion Hanover in Atlanta and the Sewanee men 5-2 over Elmhurst in St. Louis. That men's match was closer than the score indicates, as Eric Roddy and Alex Cooper at No. 1 doubles won 9-8 and Rand Jackson and Sean Laughlin won 8-6 at No. 3 while Elmhurst won 8-6 at No. 2. Sewanee's Charles Williamson, Roddy and Laughlin won in straight sets in singles, the last two each with a 7-5 clincher. The Tigers (15-6) play host and No. 2-ranked Washington University today. Sewanee's women are 21-3 and face No. 19 Washington & Lee today.
• After winning the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament as the fifth seed, the Bryan College baseball team has been assigned to the same site (Hunter Wright Stadium) in Kingsport, Tenn., for an opening-round series of the NAIA tournament, and the Lions (33-26) are seeded fourth out of five teams. They open play Monday against fifth seed Culver-Stockton (29-26). Missouri Baptist (45-12) is seeded first with Brewton-Parker (32-11) second and Cumberland (40-18) third.
• Former Heritage High School multisport athlete Rachel Rebne is transferring from NCAA Division III member Berry College to Dalton State College to join the NAIA school's first women's golf team. The daughter of Council Fire Golf Club pro Richard Rebne was the medalist in a Georgia Class AAAA sectional and also ran cross country and played soccer for Heritage, and she had a 4.0 grade point average through high school and her first semester at Berry. "We are extremely excited to have Rachel join our program," DSC coach Jim McGrew said in a school release. "She is an outstanding student and a person of great character that will be a great influence for our team. She had an outstanding high school career and a good first year [at Berry], ending with an excellent conference tournament."
• The Chattanooga RailRunners professional basketball team plays the last regular-season game of its debut year at 7 tonight at the Rossville Athletic Center, and the night includes a special salute to "mothers who survived cancer." According to team owner Paul "Showtime" Gaffney in a team release, "Any mother who has battled cancer and raised children, while holding down a job, these are true heroes. We want our RailRunner Nation survivors to post their names and how many years they have been winning their fight on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and at the game we will have them walk out and be honored during our eight media timeouts." Gaffney said part of the night's proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. The RailRunners lead the Central Basketball Association with a 7-2 record and have clinched home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, which start next Saturday.
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