April 28, 2016

Ole Miss’ Gamble, Alabama’s McCleney Named McWhorter Award Winners

University of Mississippi golfer Forrest Gamble and Alabama softball player Haylie McCleney are the 2015-16 Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athletes of the Year
University of Mississippi golfer Forrest Gamble and Alabama softball player Haylie McCleney are the 2015-16 Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athletes of the Year

By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

University of Mississippi golfer Forrest Gamble and Alabama softball player Haylie McCleney have been named the 2015-16 Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athletes of the Year, Commissioner Greg Sankey announced Thursday.

The two were chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from SEC universities and both will receive a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship, provided by AT&T, an SEC Corporate Sponsor, and the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

“Forrest and Haylie are the type of student-athletes who make a commitment to excellence in the classroom and in competition that are representative of the high standards of the Southeastern Conference,” Sankey said.  “Their accomplishments and their character make them ideal choices for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award.”

Gamble, a Physics major with a grade point average of 3.97, was the 2015 SEC Men’s Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a CoSIDA Academic All-American the same year.  He has been named to the Chancellor’s List at Ole Miss every semester during his career with the Rebel golf team.

Gamble finished in the top-ten this year at the FAU Slomin Autism Invitational to lead the Rebels to a first place finish, firing a season-low round of 2-under par 69 in the opening round.  He finished in the top 20 at the Shoal Creek Invitational in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama last fall and paced the Rebels with two rounds of even-par 72 at the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship this April to help Ole Miss finish second.

He also fired a career-low 66 at the 2015 SEC Championships at Sea Island, Georgia, en route to a tie for an 11th place.  He competed in every tournament his freshman season, earning his first top-five finish at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate in 2013.

McCleney is a two-time First Team Academic All-American (2014-15), a 2016 Senior CLASS Award finalist and the 2015 Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for Division I Softball.  The 2015 SEC Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, McCleney is a two-time member SEC Honor Roll (2014-15).

On the diamond, McCleney is a three-time All-American (2013-15) and four-time finalist for USA Softball Player of the Year (2013-16) while also earning All-SEC honors three years in a row.  She is just the second player in program history to be named First Team as both an All-American and Academic All-American in the same season.

The career leader at Alabama in batting average and on-base percentage, she also ranks in the top 10 in slugging percentage, hits, runs, triples, walks, stolen bases and stolen base percentage.  McCleney owns three of the top 10 single-season batting averages and on-base percentages in program history and in 2015 she set a single-season record at Alabama with a .588 on-base percentage.

The 13 other male nominees are:  Retin Obasohan, Alabama (basketball); Andrew Pisechko, Arkansas (track & field); Justin Youtsey, Auburn (diving); Jared Watkins, Florida (track & field); Ty Stewart, Georgia (swimming); Jordan Swindle, Kentucky (football); Tommy LeBeau, LSU (football); Brandon McBride, Mississippi State (track & field); Nick Sublett, Missouri (track & field); Kevin Leithold, South Carolina (swimming); Mauricio Robles Rodriguez, Tennessee (diving); Antoine Marc, Texas A&M (swimming); Rhys Johnson, Vanderbilt (tennis)

The 13 other female nominees are:  Taylor Ellis-Watson, Arkansas (track & field); Kala Faulkner, Auburn (soccer); Delaney Dye, Florida (diving); Marjorie Butler, Georgia (basketball); Morgan Bergren, Kentucky (volleyball); Natalia Gomez-Junco, LSU (soccer); Jennifer Miller, Ole Miss (soccer); Shelby Jordan, Mississippi State (soccer); Candace Johnson, Missouri (soccer); Stevi Parker, South Carolina (soccer); Faith Johnson, Tennessee (swimming); Jennifer Madu, Texas A&M (track & field); Mallory Schonk, Vanderbilt (lacrosse)

Past recipients:
1986 – John Young, Tennessee (track) and Virginia Diederich, Georgia (swimming)
1987 – Jeff Noblin, Ole Miss (football) and Julie Estin, Alabama (gymnastics)
1988 – Danny Hoskins, Ole Miss (football) and Linda Leith, Georgia (swimming)
1989 – Mikael Olander, LSU (track) and Deanne Burnett, Georgia (swimming)
1990 – Burke Masters, Mississippi State (baseball) and Janice Kerr, Florida (gymnastics)
1991 – Al Parker, Georgia (tennis) and Patty Wiegand, Tennessee (track and cross country)
1992 – Jeff Laubenthal, Alabama (baseball) and Jenifer Kleyn, Auburn (volleyball)
1993 – Lang Wiseman, Tennessee (basketball) and Aimee York, Mississippi State (volleyball)
1994 – Peter Duitsman, South Carolina (soccer) and Tammy Newlon, Mississippi State (basketball)
1995 – Michael Blanchard, LSU (football) and April Ecke, Mississippi State (cross country)
1996 – Martin Nyberg, LSU (swimming) and Michelle Palmisano, Vanderbilt (basketball)
1997 – Andrew DeVooght, Georgia (swimming) and Meredith Willard, Alabama (gymnastics)
1998 – Jeremy Jackson, Mississippi State (baseball) and Shani Abshier, South Carolina (volleyball)
1999 – Jeff Zurcher, Kentucky (football) and Jessica Field, Arkansas (volleyball)
2000 – Joey Pitts, Georgia (tennis) and Lisette Lee, LSU (golf)
2001 – Scott Westerfield, Mississippi State (football) and Kim Black, Georgia (swimming)
2002 – Trey Dyson, South Carolina (baseball) and Tiffany Woolley, Arkansas (softball)
2003 – Matt Bonner, Florida (basketball) and Kristin Sterner, Alabama (gymnastics)
2004 – Caesar Garcia, Auburn (swimming & diving) and Lauren Imwalle, Alabama (soccer)
2005 – Rob Robertson, Ole Miss (football) and Lauryn McCalley, Tennessee (swimming & diving)
2006 – Rudy Niswanger, LSU (football) and Sarah Lowe, Florida (basketball)
2007 – Emeel Salem, Alabama (baseball) and Erika Schneble, Vanderbilt (track & field)
2008 – Joseph Sykora, Alabama (golf) and Kristen Hastrup, Auburn (swimming & diving)
2009 – Bram ten Berge, Ole Miss (tennis) and Christine Magnuson, Tennessee (swimming & diving)
2010 – Jordan Anderson, Auburn (swimming & diving) and Phoebe Wright, Tennessee (track & field)
2011 – Dan Mazzaferro, Auburn (swimming & diving) and Erica Meissner, Auburn (swimming & diving)
2012 – Michael Roth, South Carolina (baseball) and Wendy Trott, Georgia (swimming & diving)
2013 – Barrett Jones, Alabama (football) and Chelsea Oswald, Kentucky (track & field/cross country)
2014 – Cory Whitsett, Alabama (golf)  and Shannon Vreeland, Georgia (swimming)
2015 – Nathanael Franks, Arkansas (track & field) and Maddie Locus, Georgia (swimming)