By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech golf coach Polk Brown announced the postseason awards for both Golden Eagles squads, with four players sharing Most Valuable Player honors between the two teams.
"Shelby and Lindsay were pretty much our rocks this entire year," Brown said. "Our team leaned on their performances heavily on the golf course. By and large, they performed well and were very consistent. They both finished off their careers with good showings at conference. Shelby really poured it on in the spring and Lindsay had an outstanding fall and a couple really good tournaments in the spring. They really set the standard performance wise for our team throughout the course of the year."
Johnson turned in the best year of her career, playing all 28 rounds for the purple and gold with a scoring average of 76.50, the fourth-lowest single-season mark in program history. An All-OVC Team representative, she took home one All-Tournament honor and a pair of top-10 finishes.
Miller, who also represented the team's Low Average award winner, also enjoyed the best season of her Tech career, turning in a 76.28 scoring average (third-lowest in program history) with an All-Tournament nod and four top-10 finishes.
"Will and Bracton have played some outstanding golf for the last two years and we certainly anticipate that trend to continue if they keep working hard," Brown explained. "They should be a very formidable duo the next two years. They are both great young men and we expect a lot out of them in terms of leadership their final two years."
A Cookeville native, Brooks was also honored as the team's Low Average man after finishing the year with a 72.94 scoring average. He earned three top-10 finishes while firing a season-low round of 67.
Womack finished the year second on the team in scoring average with a mark of 73.00. He claimed his first career medalist honors at the Grover Page Classic and concluded his sophomore campaign with two All-Tournament showings and three top-10 performances.
Most Improved honors went to sophomore Hannah Bratton on the women's side after showing a significant increase in productivity and consistency from her freshman season. She shaved five shots from her first-year scoring average while playing 15 more rounds.
For the men, Cameron Yeary claimed Most Improved accolades for the second straight year after improving his scoring average from 75.69 as a sophomore to 74.31 in his junior campaign. He earned two All-Tournament honors and was particularly effective down the stretch.
"Hannah was outstanding this year," Brown said. "From her freshman to sophomore year, she made a huge jump. That just goes to show she put in solid work throughout the course of the summer and the year. We saw some really good improvements from her.
"Cameron has just been a solid performer. From the moment he first got here his freshman year he's improved by at least two shots. To improve that much over a three-year span is very good in golf, because a lot of people don't get better at that rate in an entire career. We certainly expect him to keep that trend going into his senior year."
Freshman Heidi Lawson took home a pair of honors for the women's squad, earning Most Dedicated honors and the team's Impact Award. In her first year in Cookeville, Lawson worked up a 79.55 scoring average while participating in 22 of the team's 28 rounds.
"Heidi, coming in as a freshman, was without question the hardest worker on the team," Brown explained. "She came to the course every day ready to improve and get better. She set the tone for the rest of the team on how to go about their business. She is a wonderful young lady and I think if she continues on the path she is on, she is going to do some great things in her final three years on the team."
Named Most Dedicated on the men's team was freshman Chance Taylor, who racked up 15 rounds of action and a scoring average of 76.73 in his first season.
"Chance came in this year and showed tremendous work ethic," Brown said. "He has an amazing attitude and if you couple that with his desire to improve, that should lead to more success as his career progresses. I'm excited to see what happens with him in the future."
Taking home the Impact Award for the men's squad was freshman Bryce Beeler. The rookie earned All-OVC Newcomer Team honors while becoming the first Tech freshman to score back-to-back sub-70 rounds since 2017. He turned in an incredible medalist performance at the TSU Big Blue Intercollegiate and finished the year with a 74.25 scoring average in 24 rounds.
"Bryce made a conscious decision to improve his work ethic from the fall to the spring," Brown explained. "That's not to say he didn't work hard in the fall, but he really kicked it up a notch in the spring. To be a freshman and win a collegiate event is just a testament to the impact he had this season. He really wants it and I think the team will gravitate towards that type of mentality and personality."
The team's Best Putter honors also went to the two team captains as named at the end of the year, Johnson for the women and senior Matthew Giles for the men. Giles ranked third on the team with a 73.93 scoring average in his final season, tallying one All-Tournament honor along the way.
"Unquestionably the leaders on the teams were Shelby and Matthew," Brown said. "They both had solid careers and I think they did a good job of setting the tone for the type of mentality we want these young women and men to have. Shelby is an excellent young woman who enjoyed so much success in the fall and the spring. She closed out her career on a solid note and did awesome in the classroom.
"Matthew was just steady and solid his four years here. I'm most proud of what he did in school this past year. He did some really good things. We will certainly miss them both. They are both great, young people and we wish them both nothing but success in the future."
Sophomore Isabel York was named the Long Hitter for the women's team for the first time in her career. On the men's side, junior Dabney Dickenson earned Long Hitter honors for the third consecutive year.
Most Valuable Player: Shelby Johnson, Lindsay Miller, Will Brooks, Bracton Womack
Most Improved Player: Hannah Bratton, Cameron Yeary
Most Dedicated Player: Heidi Lawson, Chance Taylor
Impact Award: Heidi Lawson, Bryce Beeler
Low Average: Lindsay Miller, Will Brooks
Best Putter: Shelby Johnson, Matthew Giles
Long Hitter: Isabel York, Dabney Dickenson
Team Captain: Shelby Johnson, Matthew Giles