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San Antonio – St. Mary’s University men’s golf coach Wes Skidmore was named 2009 Heartland Conference Coach of the Year, while three Rattlers were named All-Heartland Conference, it was announced on Monday.

Skidmore was named Coach of the Year after leading the Rattlers to their third league title and their first since the 2003-2004 season. The Coach of the Year award was the second for Skidmore and marked the fourth time that a Rattler coach has received the honor from the Heartland Conference in the league’s nine-year existence.

Jeff Rein (So., Garden Ridge) was named first team All-Heartland Conference in his first semester as a Rattler. Rein took medalist honors at the Heartland Conference Tournament after shooting a three-round total of 204. He had a 73.9 stroke average this spring and finished in the top 25 in all six tournaments he played in, including two top-five finishes.

Joining Rein in receiving first team All-Heartland Conference honors was Matt Vela (So., San Antonio). Vela finished as the runner-up at the Heartland Conference Tournament to earn first team recognition for the second straight year. Vela led the Rattlers with a 73.67 stroke average and had eight top-20 finishes in 11 tournaments this season. He finished the season by placing in the top 20 in the last five tournaments.

Receiving second team All-Heartland Conference honors for the first time was Preston Akromis (Sr., San Antonio). Akromis finished eighth at the Heartland Conference Tournament, one of seven top-20 finishes for him this season. He had a 75.1 stroke average this season, the lowest of his career.

With their win at the Heartland Conference Tournament, the Rattlers secured a berth in the NCAA South Central Regional Tournament on May 4-6 in Allendale, Mich., at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University. The Rattlers have advanced to the NCAA Regional Tournament each of the last eight years.

2009 Heartland Conference Men’s Golf Awards

Individual Awards
Player of the Year:
Aaron Murphy, Lincoln
Freshman of the Year: Seth Stuart, Dallas Baptist
Coach of the Year: Wes Skidmore, St. Mary’s

First Team All-Heartland Conference: Matt Vela (St. Mary’s), Jeff Rein (St. Mary’s), Aaron Murphy (Lincoln), Matt Hatcher (St. Edward’s), Collin Mayer (St. Edward’s)

Second Team All-Heartland Conference: Seth Stuart (Dallas Baptist), Bennett Smith (Dallas Baptist), Andrew Workman (St. Edward’s), Nick May (Newman), Preston Akromis (St. Mary’s)

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