(FAYETTEVILLE, NC) - 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 2014 winners are Averett University volleyball player Allison Sparks and Methodist University football player Max Reber.
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.
Allison Sparks - Averett University
Sparks concluded her collegiate career this past fall when she was named an All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Additionally in 2013, Sparks collected a bevy of individual honors including AVCA All-South Region, USA South Player of the Year, First Team All-Conference, USA South All-Tournament Team, Virginia Sports Information Directors Co-Player of the Year and Averett Female Student-Athlete of the Year. In her career, Sparks was a three-time First Team All-Conference honoree and was selected to the USA South All-Tournament team twice. In the classroom, Sparks compiled a 3.73 grade point average while majoring in elementary education and recently graduated Magna Cum Laude. She is a four-time member of the USA South All-Academic Team and made either the Dean's List or President's List in every semester at Averett. Sparks has participated in several community service activities including Special Olympic clinics. She has also served as a student tutor in the subjects of English and Math for future elementary educators.
Max Reber - Methodist University
Reber concluded his junior year this past fall and helped lead the Monarchs to a USA South Regular Season Co-Championship. He was named the USA South Offensive Player of the Year while leading all of NCAA Division III in total offense. He is a two-time USA South All-Conference performer earning first team honors this past season and second team accolades a year ago. Reber is currently the Methodist football program's career record holder in passing yards, pass completions, pass attempts and touchdown passes. He also holds single-game program records for pass completions, passing yards and touchdowns. Off the field, Reber currently owns a 3.01 grade point average while majoring in sports management. He is a two-time USA South All-Academic Team member and has been named a Methodist University Scholar Athlete twice. In 2014, Reber earned Methodist's William Lowdermilk Leadership Award and the Sports Management Major Leadership Award. In his free time, Reber has volunteered with the Humane Society, Salvation Army, Special Olympics, local elementary schools and the Wounded Warrior Project.