BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Delta State University senior outfielder Clay Casey has been named announced as one of the Gulf South Conference’s “Top Ten” Award winners.
These awards recognize the top five female and top five male student-athletes for their athletic, academic, and extracurricular achievement during the 2017-18 academic year. Of this group, the top male and top female will receive the Commissioner's Trophy, the conference's most elite award.
The presentations will be made at the GSC's Annual Awards Banquet, Thursday at the Hilton Pensacola Beach starting at 5:30 p.m. The entire ceremony will be streamed on Facebook Live and can be accessed at www.facebook.com/TheGulfSouthConference.
Following the top ten presentations, the conference will reveal the winners of the Commissioner's Trophies and recognize the All-Sports Trophy Champions (Overall: West Florida, Men: West Florida, Women: Lee).
The "Top Ten" are selected with the assistance of an advisory committee representing the Athletic Directors, Senior Woman Administrators, Sports Information Directors, Faculty Athletics Representatives, and Presidents from randomly selected GSC schools, which makes a recommendation to the Commissioner who has the final decision.
Casey, a Computer Information Systems Major with a 4.0 grade point average, has made the most of his two years at Delta State, exemplifying everything it means to be an excellent student-athlete. The starting team captain was a two-time First Team All-GSC member, ranking second in the conference in home runs and RBIs and earning GSC Player of the Week and NCBWA Player of the Week honors this season. He garnered many awards throughout his career earning NCBWA and D2CCA All-American and All Region honors in 2017 along with being named to the 2017 ABCA All-South Region Team. He was named to the President’s list and was awarded the Charles S. Kerg Award for being the Top Male Student-Athlete on the Statesmen campus. He also contributed to many on-campus and off-campus community service projects.
Casey is one of three seniors that highlight the top five male Top Ten winners. The other seniors were Bradley Louis (West Alabama, Soccer) and Chandler Blanchet (West Florida, Golf). The juniors that round out the list are Beau Justice (Valdosta State, Basketball) and Josiah Brooks (Lee, Track & Field). Brooks gives Lee three winners in the past four years, following his brother Justin's recognition last season. Casey garners Delta State's sixth award in the past seven years, while Justice is Valdosta State's first winner since 2013. Blanchet is West Florida's 14th Top Ten winner and fifth men's golfer to win. Louis brings West Alabama its first men's soccer honoree this year.
Four seniors headline the five female Top Ten winners: Janey Berends (Union, Cross Country), Lexie Bradley (North Alabama, Volleyball), Katie Nelson (Montevallo, Cross Country), and Summer Lanter (Lee, Soccer). Completing the list is junior Andrea McDonald (Mississippi College, Soccer/Track & Field).
Bradley became North Alabama's seventh women's honoree in eight years, while McDonald claimed Mississippi College's first ever Top Ten award. Berends gives Union its first women's honoree since Amy Philamlee in 2015. Nelson is Montevallo's second all-time selection, following Adrianne Peters in 2003. Lanter returned Lee to the women's list for the second straight year.