Brooks named SAC Male Athlete of the Year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The South Atlantic Conference Council of Athletic Directors named Catawba’s Craig Brooks and Wingate’s Jade Montgomery as the 2014-15 South Atlantic Conference Athletes of the Year on Tuesday.
Brooks, a right-handed pitcher and third baseman from Parkwood High in Monroe, earned the American Baseball Coaches’ Association’s Gold Bat award to go along with being named the ABCA’s National Pitcher of the Year. Brooks also earned the D2 Baseball News Brett Tomko (Pitcher of the Year) and Josh Willingham (Division II MVP) awards.
Brooks struck out a nation’s-best 158 hitters as a senior and ranked No. 1 in the country with 14.36 strikeouts per nine innings. He also posted nine wins and three saves. He finished each of Catawba’s three wins in the Division II World Series.
Opposing hitters batted .156 against Brooks this season He surrendered just 16 earned runs and had an ERA of 1.45.
Brooks was drafted in the seventh round by the Chicago Cubs with the 203rd overall pick after leading the Indians to a national runner-up finish. Brooks signed with the Cubs and is in Arizona now. He’ll be starting his pro career in the next few days.
Montgomery, a soccer forward from Monroe, is the first-ever athlete in South Atlantic Conference history to win the Athlete of the Year honor three straight years. She was also the first player in SAC history to earn three straight women’s soccer Player of the Year honors.
Brooks’ award marks Catawba’s third male Athlete of the Year honor and second in three years. Montgomery picked up Wingate’s sixth overall women’s honor.