San Antonio – St. Mary’s University men’s golfer Matt Vela was named PING Division II All-South Central Region for his play during the 2007-08 season, it was announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America on Wednesday.

Vela (Fr., San Antonio) earned the honor after a strong first season with the Rattlers. He finished second at the Heartland Conference Championships, helping him to earn Heartland Conference Freshman of the Year and Heartland Conference Player of the Year Honors. He placed 21st at the NCAA South Central Regional as well. Vela’s honor gives the Rattlers an All-South Central Region honoree for the third straight season.

Vela has finished in the top 10 in nine of his 13 meets this season, including five top-five finishes. He has a 73.3 stroke average this season for the Rattlers. He is just the second Rattler to earn Heartland Player-of-the-Year recognition and the first to be named Freshman-of-the-Year. Jamie Amoretti is the only other Rattler to be named player of the year.

The Rattlers advanced to the NCAA South Central Region Tournament for the seventh straight season, finishing eighth. They finished second at the Heartland Conference Championships for the fourth straight season. Vela, Jimmy Willingham (Sr., San Antonio) and James Grant (So., San Antonio) all received All-Heartland Conference honors.

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