(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) - 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 as these athletes receive the Don
Scalf Award. The 2006 winners are Ferrum softball player
Kim Cox and N.C. Wesleyan baseball player
Blake Rice. 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
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. He also served as Athletic Director for six years. During his coaching career his teams won Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference basketball and golf championships. He was a founding father of the DIAC in 1963 and served as its Secretary-Treasurer for 25 years.
During her three years at Ferrum, Cox has been successful on the softball field and in the classroom. While earning a 3.89 cumulative grade point average, Cox has been named Academic All-Conference three times and is a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society at Ferrum. Athletically, Cox is a three-year starter for the Panthers' softball team. After her first season she was named the USA South Rookie Pitcher of the Year and after her sophomore season she was named Second Team All-Conference and All-State while also being tabbed Conference Tournament MVP.
Rice has excelled in the classroom, on the baseball field and in the community at N.C. Wesleyan. Academically, the junior has posted a 3.617 cumulative grade point average while being named to the 2006 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District for baseball. Rice has been named N.C. Wesleyan Male Student-Athlete of the Year twice and he has been named to the President's list five times, USA South Academic All-Conference three times and to the President's Honor list once. In 2006, Rice was Third Team All-American, First Team All-Region, USA South Pitcher of the Year, First Team All-Conference and South Regional Co-Most Valuable Player. Rice volunteers as a tutor on campus and reads at an area elementary school.