Dean, Briner win Lee's Conn awards and more regional sports

Dean, Briner win Lee's Conn awards and more regional sports

May 4th, 2016 by Staff Reports in Sports - College

Softball player Lexie Dean and baseball's Kyle Briner are the 2016 winners of Lee University's Charles Paul Conn Athlete of the Year awards, as chosen by the school's athletic administrators and coaches. The awards go annually to a male and a female who are outstanding in athletics, academics and spiritual leadership. Dean is an Ooltewah resident who came to Lee from Grace Academy and will graduate summa cum laude this weekend as a health science major with a minor in psychology. She plans to be a nurse practitioner. "I have never coached a player that has had so much of herself together in all aspects of her life," Lee softball coach Emily Russell said in a school release. Dean is the Lady Flames' all-time hits leader and a past national scholar-athlete for both the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and the National Christian College Athletic Association. Briner also will graduate this weekend, and he has a 3.33 grade point average as a double major in accounting and business administration with a finance emphasis. "Kyle is one of the most amazing young men I have had the honor to coach," baseball coach Mark Brew said of the team captain and chaplain who has stood out as a starting and relief pitcher and as a senior has been a productive batter as well. "He excels in the classroom and on the field and is a winner in every sense of the word."


* The Lee University women's golf team is in seventh place but close to the top five going into the final day of the NCAA Division II Women's Super Region 2 tournament at the Marcos Pointe course in Pensacola, Fla. The Lady Flames are at 614 after Tuesday's round, 14 shots behind leader Nova Southeastern and five out of fifth. Sam Burrus is tied for 17th individually at 152 with Caroline Moore at 154, Callie Kitchens at 155 and Bernadette Little at 156.

* The Lee men's golfers improved by 16 strokes Tuesday from Monday's first round and moved up to 12th at 604 in the South/South Regional at Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. The Flames' 294 was the best morning round of the day, and it featured a 70 by Corey Sheppard and a 71 by Adam Wright. Their totals are 149 and 150 with Taylor Davis at 151 and Shea Sylvester and Peyton Sliger both at 157.


* Former major league All-Star Ryan Klesko will be present to give autographs at the Homers for Heroes charity fundraiser Saturday at AT&T Field. The noon to 5 p.m. event pits two representatives each of 16 local companies — one an employee, the other a celebrity ringer — in a home run derby benefiting Nathan Sexton, a Chattanoogan with brain cancer. Klesko will not be in the derby, but he will take batting practice and meet fans from 2 to 5. Admission costs $5 in advance through or or $10 that day at the stadium. Klesko played 16 years in the big leagues, the first eight with Atlanta, and batted .279 with 278 homers and 987 RBIs for his career. He homered in three consecutive games in the Braves' 1995 World Series championship against Cleveland.


* Peyton Parker from Bradley Central High School was among the eight basketball recruits announced Tuesday by Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, and coach David Muchnick called it a "historic time" for his program, with more than 90 percent of the scoring from last season returning and four states represented in a recruiting class for the first time. Muchnick said he first talked to the 6-foot-7 Parker when Muchnick was the interim coach at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy almost two years ago. "He is an incredibly diverse athlete," the coach said, "being 6-7, a lefty and having the ability to play both inside and outside. Peyton fits tremendously with our style of play, and I have no doubt he will make an immediate impact on our program." The release said Parker averaged more than four blocked shots as a Bradley senior, with seven points a game and 61 percent shooting.