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Everett and Hodge Named Leadership Award Recipients

Chris Everett (left, football) and Samantha Hodge (right, women's soccer) served as the Student-Athlete Advisory Council president and vice-president.

June 1, 2011

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Western Carolina University's Chris Everett (football) and Samantha Hodge (women's soccer) were named recipients of the sixth annual Coleman Lew Leadership Award as announced by the Southern Conference and Coleman Lew & Associates, Inc., as a part of the annual league meetings in Charleston. Everett and Hodge were two of the combined 25 Southern Conference student-athletes to be selected for the award.

Everett is the second-consecutive Catamount football player to garner the honor, joining former quarterback Zack Jaynes in 2010, while Hodge is the first WCU women's soccer player to earn the honor.

The award recognizes student-athletes from each of the Southern Conference's 12 member institutions. Coaches, faculty athletic representatives and senior woman administrators nominate prospective candidates based on leadership, academic excellence and athletic achievement in both the college environment and the community. Athletic directors and representatives from Coleman Lew & Associates conducted one-on-one interviews with the finalists before determining the award winners.

Everett, a rising senior defensive back from Greensboro, N.C., is the current president of Western Carolina's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and will serve a second term in 2011-12 for his fourth year of service to the organization. He was also selected as the Southern Conference's representative to the NCAA SAAC and has twice represented WCU at the SoCon's Student-Athlete Leadership Institute (SALI). A double-major in Science Education and Biology, Everett was nominated for the 2010 All-State AFCA Good Works team last fall.

Hodge is a redshirt junior on the Catamount women's soccer team. She is the current vice president of Western Carolina's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and will serve a second term in 2011-12. Boasting a 3.960 cumulative grade point average while majoring in mathematics, Hodge has twice been named to the Southern Conference Fall Academic All-Conference Team.

"Our firm is privileged to have an educational partnership with the Southern Conference," said Kenneth D. Carrick, Jr., president of Coleman Lew & Associates. "We are proud to present the sixth annual Coleman Lew Leadership Award to these outstanding student-athletes who have demonstrated leadership skills in their academic performance, athletic skill, and community service."

"Our members should take great pride in these student-athletes, who represent their institutions so well," said Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino. "The Southern Conference is again grateful to Coleman Lew & Associates for their commitment to this program."

Recipients will be recognized at the Southern Conference Honors Dinner on Wednesday, June 1 at the Charleston Marriott in Charleston, S.C.

Previous WCU Coleman & Lew Leadership Award Recipients:
2011 - Chris Everett (football) and Samantha Hodge (women's soccer)
2010 - Zack Jaynes (football) and Emily Clarke (women's basketball)
2009 - Jake Robinson (men's basketball) and Katie Hennessey (volleyball)
2008 - David Gift (men's track & field) and Mollie Fowler (softball)
2007 - Ogden Hansford (men's track & field) and Raquel Ramseur (women's track & field)
2006 - Matt Harlfinger (men's cross country/track & field) and Bianca Melone (women's golf)