ROCK HILL, S.C. – Corey Brown from Queens and Mars Hill's Ansley Ricker have earned the 2015-16 South Atlantic Conference Presidents Award, the League announced today. The Presidents Award is the highest individual honor presented annually by the South Atlantic Conference.
The SAC Presidents Award is voted on by the league's Faculty Athletic Representatives and to be eligible, student-athletes must exemplify excellence in athletics, academics and community service. Further, to be nominated for this prestigious award, the individual must have been honored as the Scholar-Athlete of the Year during the year in one of the league's 18 sponsored sports.
"Corey and Ansley are true examples of student-athletes and exceptional role models," said South Atlantic Conference Commissioner Patrick Britz. "Their excellence in all facets of academics, athletics and community service is exemplary and both are very deserving of this prestigious award - the highest honor any student-athlete can receive in our conference. The SAC has been very fortunate to have these wonderful individuals represent the conference and their institutions."
Ricker graduated from Mars Hill with a degree in Biology and carried a GPA of 4.0. She has earned Dean's List honors all four years of her career at Mars Hill, earning SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll honors all four years as well. Ricker has served as a College Marshall every year while she has been at Mars Hill, including serving as the Chief Marshall the past two years. Ricker founded the Beta Beta Beta chapter at Mars Hill, the national biological honor society, and has been a member of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society since her sophomore year. The honor marks her second South Atlantic Conference Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award as she earned the prestigious honor during her junior year.
During her freshman season, she led the SAC in three-point field goal percentage and started over half of Mars Hill's games. She became a full-time starter in her sophomore season where she averaged 12.4 points per game to rank second on her squad. During her junior campaign, she earned second-team All-South Atlantic Conference honors as she finished second in the League with 18.1 points per outing. She also ranked No. 2 in the League in three-point field goal percentage and led her team in assists per game. An ACL injury sidelined her for the 2014-15 season. This past season saw Ricker average 15.7 points per game to rank No. 3 in the League and rank No.4 in the South Atlantic Conference with a 39.3 stroke from downtown to earn first-team All-South Atlantic Conference honors. The three-time team captain's play helped the Lions finish the season ranked No.4 in the League standings after being picked to finish No. 8 in the preseason.
In the classroom, Ricker has participated in research with the Mars Hill faculty in sampling and monitoring water quality in streams in the Appalachian Mountains. Her Quorum Sensing Review research paper won the Alpha Chi National Honors Society Gaston-Noelle Scholarship as she was tabbed CoSIDA Academic All-District this past season. Ricker also won the Quillion College of Medicine Internship Award during the summer of 2015.
Ricker has also found time to volunteer in the community as she has volunteered with Beacon of Hope, My Sister's Place, Big Brothers Animal Rescue and local elementary and high schools in each of her four years at Mars Hill. She is a volunteer for Mars Hill student support services as a tutor and supplemental teacher and has participated in mission work in Nyanga of Capetown, South Africa.
Brown, a then junior biochemistry major, has achieved a 3.95 GPA and has made the Dean's list every semester in his freshman and sophomore years. More recently, Brown was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District First Team. He was also named a 2016 finalist for the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award (one of four males to make the finals after winning for their sport across all division).
At the conclusion of his junior season, Brown has continued to see success on the pitch. Beginning with his freshman campaign, Brown and the Royals advanced to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regionals after claiming the South Atlantic Conference regular season title and the South Atlantic Conference Championship title. This year, the Toronto native started in all of Queens' games. He totaled nine goals and 11 assists, leading Queens in both categories and finished the season ranked second in the League in goals, assists and points. Brown also made a total of five game-winning goals and had three five-point games on the year. In addition to being a two-time AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week this season, Brown was also named Queens' September and November InterCon Male Student-Athlete of the Month.
Over the course of three years, Brown has been highly involved in the community, being active in various leadership and service commitments. Since his first year at Queens, Brown has been a member of the school's Emerging Leaders Program as well as being a part of Milestone Ministries. The junior has also had extensive volunteer experience, assisting at the Mount Sinai Hospital and North York General Hospital where he shadowed doctors during their practice. On top of this, he has volunteered at Team Impact – an organization that helps children going through serious illness – and taught young soccer player how to become better athletes by being a Power Soccer coach.
Other Men's Finalists
Nathan Jones, Mars Hill
Jeff Sneed, Newbery
Other Women's Finalists
Sydney Dishman, Queens
Alyssa Johnson, Wingate
Elayna Siebert, Carson-Newman