ROCK HILL, S.C. --- Tusculum football and track student-athlete Evan Altizer is this year's recipient of the South Atlantic Conference Presidents Award as selected by the league's faculty athletic representatives.
Altizer and Coker tennis player Henrik Hellbe were the male co-recipients of the award while Wingate distance runner Valerie Griesche was the female honoree.
The SAC Presidents Award is the most prestigious honor the conference awards to its student-athletes. It exemplifies the finest combined qualities of excellence in athletics, academics and community leadership. During the year, the league recognizes 20 Scholar Athletes, representing each of the conference-sponsored sports. The top male and female SAC Scholar Athletes from each represented member school are then nominated for the SAC Presidents Award.
Altizer graduated from Tusculum this spring with a 3.87 cumulative grade point average while majoring in English. He was named the SAC Football Scholar Athlete of the Year and earned Google Cloud Academic All-America® football first team honors. He was also an Academic All-District selection for both football and track & field and is on the national ballot for the Google Cloud Academic All-America® track team which will be announced later this month.
He is a four-time member of the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll, President's List, Dean's List and Charles Oliver Gray Honors List. Earlier this spring he was the 2017-18 recipient of the Tusculum President's Award.
As a senior on the football team, the Weddington, North Carolina product led the Pioneers with a 9.1 punt return average, while was third in the league and 42nd in the nation. His season-long 45-yard return at UNC Pembroke set up a touchdown in Tusculum's 31-10 road win. He leaves Tusculum as the program's all-time leader with 83 punt returns while his 677 punt return yards are second in the school's record and his 8.16 punt return average is seventh-best by a Pioneer.
Altizer started in all 10 games as a receiver in 2017, where he finished second on the team with 25 receptions for 444 yards. His four touchdown receptions led the Pioneers. During his 42-game career, he posted 67 receptions for 1,359 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 1,359 receiving yards rank him 15th in Tusculum history.
Altizer ALSO competed with both of the Tusculum indoor and outdoor track programs as a sprinter where he finished 14th in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.97 seconds at the South Atlantic Conference Outdoor Championship. He also placed 16th in the 200 meters with a time of 22.1 seconds at the SAC Outdoor meet.
He has given time to his community, during his first two years at Tusculum he volunteered with the Doak Elementary Lunch Buddies Program. For three years he volunteered at Tusculum View Elementary School, assisting with the Drop Everything and Read Program. With his football teammates, Altizer also volunteered with roadside cleanup projects as part of the Adopt-A-Highway Program.
Altizer volunteered during the Tusculum's Nettie Day of Service for the region, providing numerous hours working on various service projects. He served as a campus ambassador for the Tusculum President's Society during his junior and senior years. He was also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and volunteered for the Greenville Boys and Girls Club, as well as spending time volunteering for the Special Olympics.
This marks the ninth time in the last 11 years that a TC student-athlete has garnered SAC Presidents Award honors. Tusculum's 11 total SAC Presidents Award winners are the second most in conference history.
Past Tusculum honorees of the SAC Presidents Award include: Julie Maples (Women's Basketball: 2004-05), Glen Black (Football: 2006-07), Jarrell NeSmith (Football: 2008-09, 2009-10), Simon Holzapfel (Men's Cross Country: 2010-11), Taylor Rakes (Baseball: 2011-12, 2012-13), Ashley Sarmiento (Volleyball: 2012-13, 2013-14) and Lukas Winkelmann (Men's Tennis: 2014-15).