Vela Named Heartland Conference Player of the Year
San Antonio – Matt Vela was named Heartland Conference Men’s Player of the Year, while Jimmy Willingham and James Grant were selected as all-conference in the Heartland Conference Men’s Golf Awards, announced on Tuesday by the conference coaches. For the women’s team Jenna Wessels and Amanda Anderson were picked as second team all-conference.
Vela (Fr., San Antonio) finished second at the Heartland Conference Championships last week, helping him to earn Heartland Conference Freshman of the Year and Heartland Conference Player of the Year Honors. Vela has finished in the top 10 in nine of his 12 meets this season, including five top-five finishes. He has a 73.2 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.
In addition to his honor Vela was named first team All-Heartland Conference. Also picking up All-Heartland Conference honors were Jimmy Willingham (Sr., San Antonio) and James Grant (So., San Antonio). Both were named to the second team this season. It was the first all-conference honor for both players. Willingham has a 75.3 stroke average, including five top-20 finishes this season. Grant has a 76.0 stroke average this season, including five top-20 finishes.
Wessels (So., Katy) placed 10th at the recent Heartland Conference Championships, her top finish in her first season with the Rattlers. Joining her on the all-conference team was Amanda Anderson (Jr., San Antonio), who finished 12th at the Heartland Championships.
St. Mary’s finished second in the Heartland Conference Golf Championships, completed last Tuesday in Dallas. The team is now waiting on a potential NCAA Regional berth, which will be announced later in the week. The women’s team finished third at the recent Heartland Conference Championships in their final meet of the season.