NEWBERRY — Just before South Atlantic Conference Commissioner Patrick Britz presented head coach Todd Knight with the league championship trophy, junior offensive lineman Sam Hall received hardware of his own.
Hall was the recipient of the league’s inaugural football Elite 18 award, a new initiative modeled after the NCAA’s Elite 90 award. The honor is bestowed upon the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average competing at the final site of each of the SAC’s 18 team championship events.
Because football does not have a conference championship game, the player with the highest GPA on the regular season championship-winning team is named the Elite 18 winner.
Hall, a junior Biology major, received the award on Saturday evening after starting his sixth game of the season at right tackle. He has a perfect 4.0 GPA and has already been named to the Academic All-District team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and will appear on the Academic All-America ballot along with fellow All-District honoree Holden Beemiller.