OKLAHOMA CITY - Henderson State sophomore football player Kevin Rodgers and Arkansas Tech senior basketball player Rosie Silva claimed the 2012-13 Great American Conference Athletes of the Year, announced Monday at the second annual GAC Night of Champions from the Bricktown Event Center.
The league's sports information directors voted on the Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards; they were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.
2012-13 GAC MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR - KEVIN RODGERS, HENDERSON STATE, FOOTBALL
In his first full season as the Reddies' starting quarterback, Rodgers led Henderson State to its first unbeaten and untied regular season in school history. He opened the season by winning the GAC's Offensive Player of the Week award in each of the first three weeks. In total, he won six GAC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
2012-13 GAC FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR - ROSIE SILVA, ARKANSAS TECH, BASKETBALL
Through the first two years of the Great American Conference, no woman's basketball has scored most points, dished out more assists or accumulated more steals than Arkansas Tech's Rosie Silva. She led the Golden Suns to GAC regular-season and tournament titles as she won both the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards. She garnered the Defensive Player of the Year honor for a second straight year. She lived up to the hype of the preseason All-America status she earned following a junior campaign where Silva averaged 13.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.7 assists and a Division II-leading 4.8 steals per game. Following the 2011-12 season, she earned First Team All-GAC and Second Team All-South Central Region honors. This year, she averaged 15.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 5.1 steals. She finished second in the nation in steals per game. She earned a Second Team All-Region honor and became the 28th player in Golden Suns history to receive an All-America honor, a Third-Team selection from Women's Division II Bulletin. She owns both the GAC and the Arkansas Tech single-game, single-season and career records for steals. Her 280 thefts over the past two years are 37 more than combined totals of the next three most prolific stealers in the GAC.
Other nominees for the 2012-13 GAC Female Athlete of the Year award included Arkansas-Monticello senior Maggie Sands (softball), East Central senior Shelby Simmons (softball), Harding junior Mollie Arnold (volleyball), Henderson State junior Kendall Earp (golf), Northwestern Oklahoma State senior Taylor Marsh (soccer) Ouachita Baptist senior Monica Williams (basketball), Southeastern Oklahoma State sophomore Jacee Bennett (softball), Southern Arkansas sophomore Hanna Gill (softball), Southern Nazarene Oumoul Thiam (basketball) and Southwestern Oklahoma State senior Josie Price (soccer. Former Arkansas-Monticello softball player Kayla Jackson won the inaugural GAC Female Athlete of the Year.