Meet Your Fall Elite 15 Award Winners, Presented by EAB

Meet Your Fall Elite 15 Award Winners, Presented by EAB

At each Peach Belt Conference championship event, the conference presents the Elite 15 Award, Presented by EAB.  The award honors the student-athlete participating in the tournament with the highest overall cumulative GPA and is modeled on the NCAA Elite 90 Award. 

Here is a look at the five student-athletes who were named Elite 15 Award winners during our fall championships.

Women's Cross Country – Joy Diaz, Clayton State

Diaz became the first Clayton State student-athlete, in any sport, to receive the PBC Elite 15 Award.  A senior from Riverdale, Ga., she holds a perfect 4.00 GPA with a major in theater.  She was named to the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District team and has twice been named PBC All-Academic.   On the course she has competed in all four meets for the Lakers this season with a 12th-place finish at the Jaguar Cross Country Invitational.  She also competes on the Clayton State track and field team.  Diaz ran 47th at the PBC Championships.

Men's Cross Country – Brian Skoglind, Georgia College

Brian Skoglind is the eighth Bobcat to receive an Elite 15 Award, but is the first to do so in men's cross country.  A junior from Cumming, Ga., he was the recipient of the 2016-17 D2ADA Academic Acheivement Award, named twice to the PBC All-Academic team and a two-time PBC Presidential Honor Roll Gold Scholar.  On the course he ran two meets for the Bobcats in 2017 at the Valdosta State Border Clash and the Bobcat Invitational.  He has two career top-10 finishes.  Skoglin ran 46th at the PBC Championship.

Women's Soccer -  Gabrielle Coumes, Young Harris

Coumes is the first YHC women's soccer student-athlete and the eighth overall in the history to receive the honor.  A senior defender from Loganville, Georgia, she played in 625 minutes over 11 matches, including six starts for the Mountain Lions in 2017. Named to the Academic All-District III first team, Coumes has a 4.00 cumulative grade point average as a biology major. 

Men's Soccer – Carl Ludwig Eriksson, North Georgia

A junior from Uppsala, Sweden, Eriksson became the fourth North Georgia student-athlete to win an Elite 15 Award and it is the sixth Elite 15 for the Nighthawks overall.  Named to the 2017 men's soccer All-Academic team, he is majoring in business administration with a 3.79 cumulative GPA.  He has twice been named a PBC Presidential Honor Roll Gold Scholar and received the 2016-17 D2ADA Academic Acheivement Award.  Erikson played in 18 games for the Nighthawks this year with 13 starts and was tied for second on the team with five goals scored.

Volleyball – Georgia Garrison, Francis Marion

Garrison, a 5-9 outside hitter from Trinity, N.C., led the Patriots in kills per set (2.99), service aces (30), and reception percentage (.958).  She also averaged 3.51 digs per set (second best on the squad) and tallied 25 blocks, while posting a .197 hitting percentage. She led the Patriot squad with eight double-doubles and ranks among the top eight in the PBC for kills, aces, digs, and points per set. She had started 70 consecutive matches until an ankle injury sidelined her for four contests midway through the year.  She has a perfect 4.00 GPA in the classroom as a biology major, and has been named to the PBC Presidential Honor Roll and the FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic Honor Roll on every possible occasion during her time at Francis Marion.  She earned second-team All-Conference honors this season and is a two-time member of the PBC All-Academic Team.  Named Academic All-District III in November, she also picked up a D2 ADA Academic Achievement Award in 2017, and is currently serving on FMU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).