Athletes of the YearFour outgoing senior student-athletes at the University of Arkansas at Monticello are finalists for the yearly Great American Conference athlete and scholar-athlete of the year awards to be presented at the league’s annual Night of Champions.

The 2014 GAC Night of Champions is set for June 16 at 6:30 p.m. inside the downtown Little Rock Marriott. The event will be streamed live for free via the GAC Sports Network at gacsportsnetwork.com.

UAM’S Male Athlete of the Year nominee: Ben Agredano, Baseball (Anaheim, California)

Agredano helped the Boll Weevils earn the program’s first ever NCAA Tournament bid as he earned All-GAC honors for the second consecutive season. He became a finalist for the Josh Willingham Award – the Division II MVP. He earned All-Region honors from three outlets and All-Tournament honors at the Central Region Tournament. He set the UAM single-season record with 81 hits.

Quote from Arkansas-Monticello Baseball Coach John Harvey: “There are a lot of outstanding student-athletes in the GAC, but I would certainly put [Ben] near or at the top of that list because of his value to our program and respect from his peers,” said UAM baseball coach John Harvey. “Ben is one of the most intense players I have ever had the privilege to coach. Every swing and ground ball, especially during practice, was treated game-like. He is someone that will excel in whatever he chooses to do after baseball, starting now with a spot on our coaching staff while he finishes his degree at UAM.”

UAM’S Female Athlete of the Year nominee: Beth Johnson, Softball (Allen, Texas)

Johnson became a three-time All-GAC performer as she hit .346 with a league-leading seven triples. She started every game during her four-year career with the Cotton Blossoms and had a role in 140 wins. She ranked inside the top 10 of seven different statistical categories. She served as the 2013-14 President of UAM Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

Quote from Arkansas-Monticello Softball Coach Alvy Early: “Beth is an exceptional young lady that has worked untiringly in her efforts to do her best at anything she attempted in her softball career,” said UAM softball coach Alvy Early. “She has also accomplished academic milestones such as Chancellor’s List, Dean’s List, and Alpha Chi. She has a deep commitment for delivering her very best and has been the ultimate team player. Through her work on the field and classroom Beth has distinguished herself among her peers as a person who is dedicated, knowledgeable, professional, and loyal.”

UAM’S Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year nominee: Tyler Caruthers, Baseball (Denham Springs, Louisiana)

Caruthers served on the UAM SAAC each of the past two academic years. He coordinated wreath raffle and assisted with 5K Glow Run for Make-a-Wish fundraisers. A member of the Dean’s List, he helped the Boll Weevils advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history by hitting .322 with eight doubles and eight stolen bases.

Quote from Arkansas-Monticello Baseball Coach John Harvey: “It has been very rewarding to see [Tyler] go from a guy that was unsure of himself when he first arrived on campus, to someone that wanted to be the guy on the field in pressure situations,” said UAM baseball coach John Harvey. “He is a model of what I would like my two sons to become. He’s not a guy that the coaching staff has to worry about going to class or making good grades. More importantly, he is a quality human being that I hope that our younger guys will pattern themselves after for years to come.”

UAM’S Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year nominee: Brittany Eitel, Softball (Hallsville, Texas)

Eitel, a four-year starter and three-time All-Conference selection, earned the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar Athlete Award and D2 Athletic Director Association Academic Achievement Award. She appeared in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges and served as President of UAM’s student chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants

Quote from Arkansas-Monticello Softball Coach Alvy Early: “Brittany has maintained excellent balance with her athletic career and her academic responsibilities,” said UAM softball coach Alvy Early. “Aside from her outstanding accomplishments on the field, and her superlative academic credentials she has served as President of the UAM Chapter Institute of Management Accountants while also being a member of Alpha Chi, a national honor organization. Brittany is a very impressive individual. Although somewhat reserved, she works untiringly to do her best at whatever she attempts.”