Mississippi University for Women senior golfer Brady Scola of Southaven was named the men’s golf Student-Athlete of the Year by the United Small College Athletic Association.
The award honors the balance of academics, athletics and community involvement. Scola was a four-time USCAA All-Academic Team member. In the classroom, he carried the golf team’s top grade point average while a four-year member of the program. He was the recipient of the Mississippi Land Bank Scholarship and the Whitfield Scholarship. He was awarded an internship at State Farm as he works toward his degree in business from The W.
“It is a great feeling to be voted Student-Athlete of the Year,” Scola said. ”A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into both school and the game of golf over the past four years. It is great to be able to be recognized for everything that I have worked so hard for.
“This award is something that I will cherish for a long time and I would like to thank my team and my coaches for everything they have helped me with along the way”
To Owls golf coach Benji Williams, Scola was a no-brainer for the award.
“Few other players under my charge have worked harder to improve his game than Brady,” Williams said of Scola. “He was a key part of our USCAA runner-up team last spring and was a key contributor this fall, as well. Brady was my lone freshman in the first class I recruited for the inaugural season of The W men’s golf. It’s great to see how far he has come from that freshman year. He has worked really hard the past four seasons in the classroom and on the course.”
Scola capped his career at The W by tying for 26th at the USCAA nationals in State College, Pennsylvania, shooting of 78-78-=156.
Scola has volunteered at a local 5K run, is a part of The W’s “Team-for-Team” initiative (where members of one sport support the others by assisting with game day duties) and helps out at the campus-wide Oktoberfest.
Redshirt freshman Logan Pannell of Columbus, a New Hope High School graduate, was recognized on the 2021 USCAA All-Academic Team.
Derbyshire shares USCAA medalist honors
Freshman Olivia Derbyshire of Ocean Springs fired her best round of the season in the finals of the USCAA National Invitational Tournament to earn a share of medalist honors. Derbyshire is the second Owls women’s golfer in as many years to sit atop the tournament’s final standings.
“It feels amazing,” Derbyshire said. “I have worked so hard for this, and I am so excited for what else I can bring to The W and accomplish while doing so. My short game was on point the past few days. I would chip up and have a tap-in birdie on almost every hole. That was definitely my strong suit through this tournament.”
Derbyshire shot even-par 36 on the Penn State Blue Course’s back nine. For the tournament, Derbyshire had an 83 on Monday followed by a 6-over-par 78 on Tuesday, giving her an aggregate 161 for the 36 holes.
That was enough to catch leader Ali Bazzani of St. Mary of the Woods College for the top spot. Bazzani, who finished second last year to The W’s Emma Coggin, carded an 80 in the final round.
The USCAA women’s tourney does not keep team scores. Also competing for The W were Chesne Joyner, who shot 183 on rounds of 95 and 88 to finish 11th, and Ta’Dashia Flowers, whose 187 on rounds of 96 and 91 was good for 12th.
Joyner and Flowers earned spots on the 2021 USCAA All-Academic Team honor rolll. Both are redshirt freshmen.
“I’m proud of this group,” Williams said. “They have worked really hard this fall semester, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Men’s golfers tie for third
The W men’s golf team finished tied for third place at the USCAA championships, collecting several postseason honors along the way. The Owls have finished in the top five at the event in each Williams’ four seasons.
As a team, The W had scores of 304-306—310 for 36 holes.
Freshman Timothy Turnage and redshirt sophomore Zach Riley earned All-American accolades. Turnage shot 1-over 73 Monday and 74 on Tuesday, tying for fourth place and earning first-eam honors; Riley’s rounds of 76 and 75 gave him a total of 151, tying for 11th and earning second-team status.
Pannell tied for 19th with scores of 77-79—156, while freshman Seth Wallace rounded out The W finishers with cards of 84 and 86 for 170.