SAA Announces 2013 SMC Man and Woman of the Year Nominees

ATLANTA, Ga. - The Southern Athletic Association, in partnership with the Summit Management Corporation, announces the 2013 Man and Woman of the Year nominees.

In a joint effort to honor the Southern Athletic Association’s most elite student-athletes, Summit Management Corporation and the SAA partnered last fall to create the annual SAA Man and Woman of the Year Awards. The awards, selected by a committee comprised of Summit Management and SAA representatives, are given to the male and female nominees who best exemplify traits of leadership, character, athletic and academic success.

The SAA Man and Woman of the Year awards are the highest honors the league bestows, and a luncheon will be held June 8 at the Atlanta Fish Market in Buckhead to celebrate the recipients and their families.

The criteria for nominees included that they must be a senior with no eligibility remaining, they must have been named either First of Second Team All-SAA in the sport in which in the participated during their athletic careers, and they must have qualified for the SAA Academic Honor Roll during their tenure as a student-athlete. Additionally, SAA Man and Woman of the Year candidates are expected to be involved in their local community in some meaningful way.

Here is a glance at the outstanding student-athlete nominations for the 2013 SAA Man and Woman of the Year presented by Summit Management Corporation.

MALE NOMINEES (listed alphabetically by the nominating school)

Blaise White of Birmingham-Southern

White, of Roswell, Ga., was a four year starter on the Birmingham-Southern men 's basketball team and was named the conference Defensive Player of the Year following each his junior and senior seasons. As a pre-med student, White has volunteered in several hospitals and doctor's offices. He was also an instrumental member of the BSC Men's Basketball Reading Program, which encouraged over 2,500 kids to read books in order to win prizes. A regular at the Church of the Reconciler to feed the homeless, White also used his talents to demonstrate basketball skills to elementary school children, emphasizing the importance of character and education.





Grant Poston of Centre

Poston, of West Chester, Ohio, was named to the All-SAA Football First Team after an outstanding senior season on the gridiron. Poston also completed his fourth consecutive year of being an Academic Honor Roll standout and is a pending Phi Beta Kappa member. He is currently the President of the Jewish Student Organization, an employee of the Buck Fitness Centre and an active participant in community service and philanthropy events like the Sunrise Sundance Marathon.





Connor Silvestri of Hendrix

A star on the soccer pitch for the Warriors, Silvestri is a two-time All-Conference First Team selection as well as the Warrior's all-time leader in goals (44) and points (103). Additionally, Silvestri is a four-time Acdemic Honor Roll recipient and a two-time Capital One / CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree as a chemistry major. Off the pitch and outside the classroom, Silvestri lends his time as a volunteer assistant coach at Conway High School as well as volunteering at the Conway Interfaith Clinic and Boy's and Girl's Club.





Malte Schick of Millsaps

Schick, of Hamburg, Germany, finished a stellar career on the tennis courts for the Majors by being named SAA Men's Tennis Player of the Year, backing up three previous All-Conference First Team selections. A regular Academic Honor Roll honoree, Schick has demonstrated his ingenuity by starting his own business in his final collegiate year. When he's not excelling on the courts and the classroom, Schick has found time to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and Brown Elementary School where he teaches youngsters the finer points of tennis.





Nick Manai of Oglethorpe

Manai, of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, enjoyed an outstanding baseball career for the Stormy Petrels that culminated with a First Team All-SAA selection in 2013. An english major, Manai has been an Academic Honor Roll recipient all four years on campus wih a boundless joy for literature. In the community, Manai has thrived working three hours each Sunday in the fall with the Sandy Springs Youth League as an instructor of budding 8 -12 year old baseball stars. His dedication to the Sandy Springs Youth Sports League is evidenced by his nearly 100 hours of service over the years.




Jackson Baker of Rhodes

Baker, of Houston, Texas, has seen his stock soar as a baseball pitcher after an outstanding career for the Lynx in which his fastball has gained 10 miles per hour in velocity. The leap in speed has seen Baker pitching under the constant scrutiny of Major League Baseball Scouts, and he did not disappoint with his 2013 campaign. Baker narrowly missed receiving the SAA Pitcher of the Year distinction on his way to a First Team All-SAA Baseball selection. He led the league in ERA, strikeouts and victories.





Phillip Link of Sewanee

Link, of Atlanta, Georgia, holds three school and SAA records and was an eight-time All-Conference selection. This past season, Link led Sewanee to a close second-place finish at the 2013 SAA Championships and was First-Team All-SAA honoree. A four-time qualifier for the NCAA Championships, Link earned NCAA All-American honors in the men's 100 and 200 Breaststroke events in 2011-12. A two-time Academic All-American, Link has compiled a stellar cumulative GPA as a biochemistry major. He also serves as the President of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and as the Vice-President of Alpha Epsilon Delta National Medical Society. Link is a member of the Order of Gownsmen, a Presidential Scholar, and serves as the treasurer of the Chi Psi Fraternity.


FEMALE NOMINEES (listed alphabetically by the nominating school)

Kristen Stoll of Berry

Stoll, of Kennesaw, Georgia, was a member of Berry's inaugural softball team and recently punctuated her playing career by being named to the Softball All-SAA First Team. Academically, Stoll has been named a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America Scholar (3.5+ GPA) in each of the past two years. While distinguishing herself as an excellent student and athlete, Kristen has exemplified the Berry motto, "Not to be ministered unto, but to minister." She has graciouls given her time to a myriad of community service acrivities including working with Habitat for Humanity.



Shelby Moore of Birmingham-Southern

Moore, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a dual-sport athlete who excelled at each as she was named First Team All-SAA in Volleyball and Second Team All-SAA in Women's Track & Field. As a biology major, Moore has also excelled in her field in the classroom, earning Academic Honor Roll status every semester on campus. A member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Moore has spent hours outside the playing fields and classrooms bettering her community. The volunteered with the Layout for Literacy Ultimate Frisvee Tournament as well as leading in the National Day of Service.





Rachel Brannen of Centre

Brannen, of Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, recently capped a stellar career on the pitch for the Colonels that included being named First Team All-Conference three times. Brannen has starred academically as well, being named a 2012 National Soccer Coaches Association Academic All-American. A member of Psi Chi, the international honors society on psychology, Brannen has conducted independent research over the past year where her findings have been presented at the Association for Psychological Science in Washington, D.C. She also has thrived in helping her community as a planner for the Sunrise Sundance to raise money for absused and neglected boys at the Sunrise Care Center.






Melissa Clement of Hendrix

Clement, of Rogers, Arkansas, finished a decorated career on the volleyball courts for Hendrix as the school's all-time leader in kills and blocks and as a All-SAA Volleyball First Team recipient, the second All-Conference First Team selection of her tenure. Additionally, Clement has excelled all the while racking up Academic Honor Roll recognition for her sparkling work in the classroom. Clement has brightened her community as well, serving as a volunteer hospice care worker in addition to volunteering at a nurse's station at Kids First in Lowell, Arkansas.





Raven Scott of Millsaps

Scott, of Boutte, Louisiana, just completed an outstanding career on the volleyball courts for Millsaps whener she was named a Conference Newcomer of the Year as a freshman and All-SAA First Team selection as a senior. An Academic Honor Roll qualifier every semester on campus, Scott also thrives as a community leader. She was at the forefront of "Dress for Success," an initiative that provided prom dresses for members of an underdeveloped community. She has also served as a mentor and volunteer for the Mississippi Young Women's Leadership Summit and still finds time to volunteer at the Mississippi Children's Museum.




Sherry Blystone of Oglethorpe

Blystone, of Cumming, Ga., capped a stellar four years as part of the Oglethorpe women's track & field program by earning All-SAA Second Team honors with her teammates in the 4 x 100 meters dash. She is part of a group that now owns the school record for that event. In the classroom, Blystone has been an Academic Honor Roll qualifier every semester on campus as she is working full-time to pay her way through school. In addition to her outstanding GPA and highlights on the track, Blystone has lent her time as a Med Share volunteer in each the past four years. She also has served as a volunteer to a local Brookhaven school Path Academy.




Lindsay Svehla of Rhodes

Svehla, of Bellevue, Nebraska, was a speed merchant on the track for the Lynx during her four years, racking up a myriad of awards. She is a four-time Conference Champion in the 4x100 meters relay among a group that holds the school record in that event. Academically, Svehla is a constant member of the Academic Honor Roll, demonstrating her dedication to hard work. In the community Svehla has perhaps made an even bigger impact as she volunteers for the Memphis Family Shelter, the Church Health Centre and Adopt a Friend. Additionally, Svehla has spent two summers in Uganda volunteering at Amani Baby Cottage where she helps take care of and teach the local children.





Jenny Liles of Sewanee

Liles, of Little Rock, Arkansas, continues an incredible athletic and academic career on the campus of Sewanee. She is a four-time All-Conference First Team selection and continues her playing career as a doubles duo in the NCAA Championships later this month. On the same day she was guiding Sewanee to a second round NCAA Tournament victory last Saturday, Liles was also named Valedictorian of the University of the South. She has been named a Benedict Scholar (highest merit scholarship) and is president of both Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Delta Epsilon. So much are her contributions to the Sewanee community, they can hardly be measured.