JOPLIN -- Skyler Bowlin was named both the Male Athlete of the Year and E.O. & Virginia Humphrey winner, while Jasmine Lovejoy was named the Female Athlete of the Year at the annual Student-Athlete Awards Ceremony tonight.
The awards were part of the annual year-end celebration in the MSSU Athletics Department held in the Ballroom of the Billingsly Student Center. More than 300 student-athletes attend the banquet and reception that rewards them for their hard work over the previous year.
Lovejoy was one of the best women's basketball players in the MIAA and in this area of the country this year. She was a first-team All-MIAA selection, second-team All-Region selection and a member of the MIAA's All-Defensive Team. She was twice selected as the MIAA Player of the Week this year, and had three 30-point games this season, including 36 in the season opener at Arkansas-Fort Smith and 38 in a win over then 20th ranked Emporia State.
She increased her scoring average from 14.4 in her junior season to 18.2 this year, and went from .091 from behind the arc to .440. She was second in the MIAA in scoring, sixth in rebounding, fourth in field goal percentage, fourth in steals, and fifth in offensive rebounds, while ranking third in minutes played.
The E.O. & Virginia Humphrey Award is presented annually to the MSSU student-athlete that has the highest respect for Missouri Southern, outstanding athletic ability, outstanding leadership and respect for fellow teammates and students.
Bowlin simply won almost every award he could win this year. He was the unanimous MIAA Player of the Year, while earning his second-straight MIAA Defensive Player of the Year nod. He was named Region Player of the Year by two different organizations, while making three different All-American teams. He was a three-time All-MIAA selection and a four-time member of the MIAA's All-Defensive team. He was also a finalist for the National Player of the Year.
He is the MSSU career leader in three pointers with 224, while ranking fourth on the points list with 1,664. He ranks third in assists with 568 and second in steals with 265, while his career free-throw percentage is second all-time at .830. He was a two-time MIAA Player of the Week this season and was selected to participate in the Division II All-Star Game. Bowlin topped his career off this past week by signing a professional contract to play basketball in Germany.
Southern also introduced two new awards last year dealing with community service. Awards are given to the team with the highest average community service hours and the individual that garners the most number of hours themselves. This year the Missouri Southern softball team averaged nearly 28 hours per player helping the community, while MSSU football player Bart Starkey picked up over 30 hours himself to earn individual honors.
Team awards, as well as Lionbacker Awards of Excellence were also given to members of the teams. Below is a list of each winner of the award.
|Team Award||Student-Athlete||Lionbacker Award of Excellence||Student-Athlete|
|Volleyball MVP||Shakila Balkhi||Men's Basketball||Chris Scruggs|
|Men's Basketball Don Gross
|Skyler Bowlin||Women's Basketball||Jasmine Lovejoy|
|Football John Ware Memorial Lion Heart Award||Roland Thompson||Women's Soccer||Michelle Dimza|
|Women's Basketball MVP||Jasmine Lovejoy||Men's Track & Field||Corey Reynolds|
|Men's Track & Field MVP||Aki Nummela||Women's Track & Field||Kelly McKay|
|Women's Soccer MVP||Lindsay Altman||Men's Cross Country||Jake Benton|
|Women's Track & Field MVP||Nicole Green||Women's Cross Country||Victoria Kline|
|Men's Cross Country MVP||Viktor Kuk||Football||Dusty Bratzler|
|Baseball Warren Turner MVP||Patrick Deao||Volleyball||Amelia Judge|
|Golf MVP||Andy Hogenmiller||Baseball||CJ Matthews|
|Women's Cross Country MVP||Silvia Pineda||Softball||Megan Roark|
|Softball MVP||Nicole Reed||Golf||Jamie Voegeli|