Each year the USA South Athletic Conference presents its most prestigious awards by honoring one male and one female as the Student-Athletes of the Year. These student-athletes are recognized as recipients of the Don Scalf Award. The 2019 winners are Methodist University women's cross country/track & field student-athlete Lindsey Pritchard and LaGrange College men's tennis student-athlete John Mitchell Benton.
To be eligible for the Don Scalf Award a student-athlete must be either a junior or senior, have participated in a USA South sport earning at least All-Conference recognition and have a minimum 3.00 GPA. The athletic directors vote for the award winner each spring at the conclusion of all Conference schedules.
This award is named in honor of Don Scalf, whose commitment to the student-athlete, guardianship of the value of academic achievement and devotion to the principles of Division III athletics set a standard that holds steadfast in the Conference today. He taught for 36 years and coached for 18 at N.C. Wesleyan College. He also served as Athletic Director at N.C. Wesleyan for six years. During his coaching career his teams won Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference basketball and golf championships. In addition, he was a founding father of the DIAC in 1963 and served as its Secretary-Treasurer for 25 years.
Lindsey Pritchard - Methodist University
Pritchard, a dual-sport athlete for the Monarchs, competing in cross country as well as track & field, concluded her collegiate athletic career this past spring. After battling injuries her first two years, she rebounded to become a two-time First Team All-Conference and an All-South/Southeast Region honoree in cross country, which included an individual title at the 2017 Conference Championship. On the track, she set one meet and two program records. Academically, Pritchard accumulated a 4.00 GPA while majoring in Environmental and Occupational Management as well as Spanish with a minor in Military Science. She was a three-time Methodist Scholar-Athlete of the Year, two-time USA South Academic All-Conference honoree, earned Academic All-American status in 2018 and was named the 2019 Methodist University Lucius Stacy Weaver Award, given to a student who shows service, academic and spiritual excellence. Pritchard was heavily involved in Methodist's Army ROTC program and this spring was given the Pallas Athene Award which is presented to the top-two female Army ROTC Cadets in the country. She also earned the Army ROTC MOAA Scholarship and Award in 2018 and received Methodist's President's ROTC Award in 2019. Additional campus activities involved serving as President of Methodist's Environmental Club, being a member of the Global Ambassadors Organization, being active in Methodist's Hispanic Club, volunteering with parking and security detail at MU events, painting faces at a St. Andrews Academy Festival and organizing a booth at MU Service Day.
John Mitchell Benton - LaGrange College
Benton concluded his senior year this spring as he was named LaGrange College's Eagle Award winner which is given to the top male student-athlete on campus. He was a four-year performer on the Panther men's tennis team and was named USA South First Team All-Conference this past season. Academically, Benton graduated with a 3.73 GPA while majoring in History with a minor in Coaching and Political Science. He was a three-time member of the USA South Academic All-Conference team, a three-time ITA Scholar-Athlete and collected the 2019 Phi Alpha Theta Sue Kafrouni Student of Year Award for highest graduating GPA in the History department. Benton's campus activities included a three-year term as Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President, three years as a Residential Advisor and three years as Delta Tau Delta Recruitment Chair. He was the LaGrange Campus Circle Sponsorship Coordinator, a LC Circle K Member and was on the LC Healthy Campus Task Force. Additionally, Benton was a Sponsorship Coordinator for LC Campus Circle, working with young adults with disabilities who are out of high school, attempting to provide them with a collegiate experience. Finally, Benton occasionally spent time with children with disabilities at the LaGrange, Georgia Discovery Cottage and read to elementary school students.
To view past Don Scalf Award winners, click HERE.