Lee University's Summer Lanter from Soddy-Daisy knew she was being honored Thursday night as one of the top five female athletes in the Gulf South Conference for the 2017-18 school year. But at the GSC awards banquet at Pensacola Beach, Florida, she received the Female Commissioner's Trophy as the No. 1 woman student-athlete.
The Commissioner's Trophy recognizes athletic and academic achievement as well as other extracurricular and community-service contributions, and Lee athletes have been eligible for it only since 2016. Lanter is the first from the former NAIA power to win the award.
Lanter graduated summa cum laude in May with a nursing degree and was the 2018 commissioning speaker, and she was Lee's female student-athlete of the year as well as its female Paul Conn Award recipient — the highest honor given a student-athlete at the Cleveland school. She gave more than 80 hours of volunteer service through Haven Place, the Austin Hatcher Foundation and Kickin' It for Kids with Cancer, according to a Lee release.
A two-time GSC player of the year and NCAA Division II All-South Region first-team selection, Lanter was a United Soccer Coaches second-team All-American and the D2CCA region player of the year last fall, when she helped lead the Lady Flames to the national tournament's South Region final and a 17-4-2 record. She was voted the most outstanding player in the conference tournament, and her 20 goals in the 2017 season included eight in the playoffs.
"I was honored to be a part of the Top Ten athletes (men and women) selected for this award," Lanter said in Friday's release. "After hearing what all the other incredible athletes accomplished within and outside of their sports, I am overwhelmed with gratefulness to have received the highest honor.
"It has been a privilege to represent Lee University in the GSC. The conference has been so good to me, and I am so thankful to have been able to compete against so many outstanding athletes."
Summer followed one sister, Clair, to Lee and ended her college career as a teammate of younger sibling Anna.
"What a wonderful way to finish an outstanding collegiate career," athletic director Larry Carpenter said. "She has been the driving force behind our (women's soccer team's) successful move to D2, and I am so pleased that she is being recognized by the GSC for her accomplishments."