LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Fifty student-athletes from across the country have been selected to the watch list for the NFCA/Schutt Sports Division II National Player of the Year award, announced the Association on Wednesday afternoon.
Headlining the list are 23 returning NFCA All-Americans, nine from the first team, including 2015 Player and Freshman of the Year recipients, Courtney Poole of North Georgia and Janessa Bassett from Dixie State, respectively.
In all, the group consists of 24 seniors, 14 juniors and 12 sophomores, representing 37 programs from 18 different conferences. Ten programs garnered multiple candidates with Valdosta State, West Virginia Wesleyan and California (Pa.) boasting three representatives apiece. Dixie State, Wayne State (Mich.), Cal State Monterey Bay, Humboldt State, University of Missouri-St. Louis, West Texas A&M and Azusa Pacific earned two nods apiece.
The Peach Belt (Armstrong State, Montevallo, North Georgia, Young Harris) and Lone Star (Angelo State, Cameron, Tarleton State and West Texas A&M) Conferences have representation from four programs. The Great Lakes Valley (Bellarmine, Indianapolis, UMSL) and Gulf South (UAH, Shorter, Valdosta State) Conferences have three schools on the list.
The Top 25 finalists for the 2016 NFCA/ Schutt Sports Division II National Player of the Year award will be announced on April 21.
While an athlete does not have to be on watch list to be considered for the Top 25, the winner will come from the 25 finalists. The Top 10 finalists will be announced on May 6 and the Top 3 on May 11 with the 2016 Player of the Year revealed on May 18.
Behind the collaboration between the NFCA and the NCAA Division II Head Coaches Committee, and the generosity of Schutt Sports, the award was created in 2015 to honor the outstanding athletic achievement among softball student-athletes throughout Division II.
The list was voted on by the eight-member NFCA Division II All-American/Coaching Staff of the Year Committee, consisting of one member from each of the NFCA’s eight regions.