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Hard Work Pays Off: Athletes Earn National Player of the Week Honors

Ecclesia College Athletics is thrilled to announce that two student athletes have earned National Player of the Week honors so far this spring. Junior Baseball players Stevie Morphew and Dane Clark, along with every other member of the team, have worked hard all year and throughout their careers, and it has shown so far this season.

Stevie Morphew was the first Royal this year to earn the NCCAA Student Athlete of the Week Honor. Morphew earned this recognition after a tremendous weekend in February in which the Royals defeated two Nationally Ranked NAIA programs in Texas Wesleyan and LSU-Shreveport. At the time Texas Wesleyan was receiving top 25 votes and they currently ranked #17 in the nation, and LSU-Shreveport was ranked #25 in the nation and are now ranked #9. Stevie seemed like he was on base all weekend. In the Saturday matchup against LSU-Shreveport, who was leading the nation in strikeouts, Stevie went 4-4 while spraying the entire field, and each hit came with 2 stikes on him. He batted .714 that weekend, scoring 5 runs and hitting a triple. Morphew is a leader on the team, a terrific student, and is a force in our offense.

Dane Clark is the the most recent recipient of Player of the Week honors. Coming off a terrific weekend at the plate, we found out yesterday that Dane had earned the honor. Dane got started during our midweek games against NCAA Division II opponent Ouachita Baptist University. He had a hit in each game of the double header and raised his batting average. Clark stayed hot this weekend. In three games against Dallas Christian College, he had 7 hits including 3 doubles and drove in 7 runs. Dane sparked the offense and was a big part of the three wins we earned this weekend. Over the course of the weekend Dane raised his batting average from .286 to .395. Dane works hard on and off the field and we are proud of him for this achievement.

In addition to having two players win Player of the Week, we have been able to nominate others throughout the season. Senior Matt Garrison could have also been nominated (only one fielder and one pitcher can be nominated from each team each week) after this weekend as he batted .444 with 2 doubles, a triple, 4 RBI, and 5 stolen bases. Junior Tyler Burkey was nominated this week as well after he pitched against Ouachita Baptist and Dallas Christian. Tyler threw 11 innings and had a 2.55 ERA for the week and struck out 6. Senior Mason Alexander was nominated the same week that Morphew won. Mason pitched a gem against an undefeated Texas Wesleyan team. He pitched the complete game allowing just 1 earned run, and 7 hits while striking out 8 and not allowing a walk. During the game Mason loaded the bases in the 3rd and then struck out three straight batters. Senior Caleb Wood has also earned a nomination. In a week where we played Southwestern Christian and Randall Caleb batted .555 with 2 doubles, a home run and 7 RBI. In many of those games Caleb either was the go-ahead run, or he drove it in.

We are so proud of all of our guys and the hard work they put in day in and day out, week after week. The honors they are receiving and being nominated for are well deserved, and are a testament to their tireless work ethic, desire to always improve, and the glory they give to God. We look forward to seeing these guys play out the rest of their season as they continue to leave everything they've got on the field. We are thrilled to recognize these athletes and hope to do so with more of our team as the season continues.

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