SJR State Press Release

May 2012

SJR State names student-athletes of the year

St. Johns River State College Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach Ross Jones recently announced the year's top student-athletes.

Freshman pitcher Matt Pennington was named the male Student Athlete of the Year. The former Suwannee High School baseball player was 2-3 on the mound for the Vikings this spring, with a 2.70 ERA in 34 innings pitched. Pennington's work ethic and 4.0 GPA is a reflection of his commitment to succeed as a college student. He said receiving the award was a blessing. "It is a relief to see your hard work pay off," he said. Pennington plans to return to the mound next spring and ultimately further his education in ministry at Liberty University in Virginia.

Softball player Heather Sutliff was named the female Student Athlete of the Year. The center fielder and leadoff batter hit .246 with 5 home runs and 11 doubles. The former Palatka High School athlete recognized her fellow teammates for their dedication as student-athletes. "We all put in a lot of work, and it's an honor to be recognized for that work and commitment." Sutliff was also named second-team all-conference for the Mid-Florida Conference this year and has been nominated for Female Athlete of the Year for the Mid-Florida Conference. Sutliff maintained a 4.0 GPA this year.

Jones said both students symbolize the phrase student-athlete. "They are both outstanding individuals who excel in the classroom and on the field," he said. "They are outstanding leaders in the community and are perfect examples of what we at SJR State expect from our student-athletes."


SJR State President Joe Pickens, J.D. presents Athlete of the Year awards to Heather Sutliff and Matt Pennington.

Return to SJR State home page.

Susan Kessler
SJR State Director of Public Relations and Publications
5001 St. Johns Avenue
Palatka, FL 32177
(386) 312-4020