Piedmont Athletes earn multiple USA South awards

By Chloe Sanders
Staff Writer

Piedmont College’s athletic teams have earned many USA South Conference Player of the Week awards this fall, and that may leave students asking, “How are these recipients chosen?”

The USA South Athlete of the Week is announced every Wednesday for golf and every Monday for all other sports. In order for a specific sport to be eligible to give this award, at least half of the teams in the conference must have competed in the previous week.

The award is intended to spotlight players who are excelling that week. This year, Piedmont athletes have been awarded 23 USA South Athlete of the Week Awards in five different sports.

Freshman soccer player Cassidy Reich has earned the Rookie of the Week award five of the seven weeks that it was given, as well as earning Player of the Week along with her Rookie of the Week awards the week of Sept. 21.

Another standout Piedmont athlete earning many USA South Athlete of the Week awards has been freshman cross country runner Clayton Thayer, who has earned three Rookie of the Week awards as well as one Runner of the Week award. The Men’s Cross Country team has received nine Athlete of the Week awards, sweeping the category four times. The Women’s Cross Country team has earned three of these awards this season. Cross Country athletes who have earned this award include Thayer, Jarrod Howell and Cody Parker for the men and Reese Bowles and Kristin Whitlock for the women.

Piedmont’s women’s soccer team has received eight awards, sweeping the category one week. Cassidy Reich and Michaela Gardner have earned the awards for the women’s soccer team.

The volleyball team has earned the award twice, with freshman Emily Peters receiving the Rookie of the Week award both times. Joseph Morris and Garrett Rowland have each earned a Golfer of the Week and Rookie of the Week award, respectively.