Clarksville, Ark.-University of the Ozarks student-athletes Olivia Fisher and Brian Sarber were named the 2008-2009 Female and Male Athlete of the Year, it was announced Thursday at the annual athletic banquet.
It is the second straight year both Fisher and Sarber have received the award.
The Athlete of the Year award is given to a student-athlete who displays outstanding athletic accomplishments, combined with academic excellence and superior career credentials. The award is voted on by the university’s athletic staff.
Fisher, a senior basketball player, averaged 9.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game en route to earning American Southwest Conference All-East Division Honorable Mention this season. The 6-foot forward ranked fifth in the ASC in rebounding and fourteenth in steals (2.0). She shot 74 percent from the free throw line in her senior campaign. Fisher was named ASC Player of the Week and D3Hoops.com Player of the Week in January after averaging 15.5 points, 18.5 rebounds and three steals in a pair of Ozarks’ wins. Fisher pulled down 23 rebounds that week against Texas Lutheran University. She finishes her career ranked fourth at Ozarks in career rebounding (817). In addition to basketball, Fisher received All-Conference honors in soccer and tennis during her career. In 2008, Fisher was named the ASC East Division Women’s Tennis Player of the Year and earned ASC All-East Division First Team honors. She was a three-time All-Conference honoree in tennis. The Mountain Home, Ark., native earned Second Team All-Conference honors in soccer the 2007 season. She was named to the D3Kicks.com Team of the Week during the 2007 campaign and finished her career as a two-time All-Conference soccer selection. She is the program leader at Ozarks in games played (73) for soccer.
In her career, she has been on the ASC All-Academic Team. Fisher is a biology major and the daughter of Mike and Toni Fisher of Mountain Home.
Sarber, a senior soccer player, led the Eagles to a 58-18-10 overall record and four playoff appearances during his four-year standout career. This season, Sarber finished second in the ASC in goals against average (0.77) and saves percentage (.866). The Allen, Texas, native posted eight shutouts, third-most in the league. He earned three major national awards this season, including NSCAA All-Region First Team, ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Third Team and NSCAA Scholar All-American Second Team. He additionally was voted to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America All-District First Team and NSCAA Scholar All-American All-South Region First Team. His conference honors this season included All-ASC First Team, ASC Men’s Soccer Distinguished Scholar-Athlete, ASC All-Tournament Team, ASC Defensive Player of the Week and the ASC All-Academic Team. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound goalkeeper was named the ASC Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 en route to leading Ozarks to the 2007 ASC regular season championship and a school best 11-2-0 conference record. That season he also earned D3Kicks.com All-Region First Team honors. For his career, he has been a three-time NSCAA All-Region player, a four-time All-Conference performer, a two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and a three-time member of the ASC All-Tournament Team. He is the career leader at Ozarks in lowest goals against average (0.80), which is also an ASC record, and career saves (375). He ranks second in career shutouts (25) and wins (49) at Ozarks.
He has been on the ASC All-Academic Team three times. He is an accounting major and the son of William and Maureen Sarber.
“Without a doubt both are deserving of this honor,” said athletics director Jimmy Clark. “Brian is one of the best soccer players to ever go through the program and one of the best students to ever attend Ozarks. The same can be said for Olivia. She played three different sports at a high level. In order to succeed both athletically and scholastically at an NCAA III institution, a student-athlete must be very disciplined, motivated and manage their time efficiently. Obviously, both have done this during their careers. They are elite student-athletes. They will be outstanding at whatever profession they pursue.”
Other nominees for Male and Female Athlete of the Year were Danielle Dirks (softball), Emalee Pearson (soccer), Lea Rana (tennis), Bruce Cameron (baseball), Keith Edwards (tennis) and Chris Williams (basketball).
Team awards given at the banquet were as follows:
Baseball: Outstanding Offensive Player-Jeremy Hogan, Jr., C, Carthage, Texas; Outstanding Defensive Player-Logan Kizer, Sr., 2B/SS, Pine Bluff, Ark.; Pitcher of the Year-John Scheuring, Sr., LHP, Bryan, Texas; Coach’s Award-Zac Mitchell, Fr., C, Bulverde, Texas.
Men’s Basketball: Outstanding Offensive Player-Jeremy Clark, Sr., G, Houston, Texas; Outstanding Defensive Player-Chris Williams, Sr., F, Forrest City, Ark.; and Coach’s Award-Tony Daniels, Sr., F, Fayetteville, Ark.
Women’s Basketball: Outstanding Offensive Player-Lacey Phillips, Fr., G, Clarksville, Ark.; Hustle Award-Olivia Fisher, Sr., F, Mountain Home, Ark.; and Coach’s Award-Ashley Teague, Fr., G, Lavaca, Ark.
Cheerleading: Cheerleader of the Year-Amy Rogers, Sr., Malvern, Ark.; Freshman of the Year-Natalie Grove, Fr., Witter, Ark.; and Coach’s Award-Brett Spahn, Jr., Greenwood, Ark.
Men’s Cross Country: Outstanding Runner-David James, Fr., Jasper, Ark.; and Coach’s Award-Lee Goble, Jr., Dallas, Texas.
Women’s Cross Country: Outstanding Runner-Tadera Garland, Fr., Pelsor, Ark.; and Coach’s Award-Samantha Puent, Sr., Bangor, Wis.
Men’s Soccer: Outstanding Offensive Player-Matt Engelman, Jr., F, Weatherford, Texas; Outstanding Midfielder-Shaun Renfro, Sr., Carrollton, Texas; Outstanding co-Defensive Player-Brian Sarber, Sr., GK, Allen, Texas; Outstanding co-Defensive Player-Dan De Hart, Sr., D, Rocklin, Calif.
Women’s Soccer: Most Valuable Player-Emalee Pearson, Jr., D, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Coach’s Award-Kaitlyn Williams, Fr., F, Clarksville, Ark.
Softball: Outstanding Offensive Player-Danielle Dirks, Sr., OF, Farmington, Ark.; Outstanding Defensive Player-Julie Wilkinson, So., 3B/C, Unionville, Mo.; and Coach’s Award-Emily Burns, So., C, Lonoke, Ark.
Men’s Tennis: Outstanding Player-Brandon Carlson, Jr., Grapevine, Texas; and Coach’s Award-Keith Edwards, Sr., Grapevine, Texas.
Women’s Tennis: Outstanding Player-Lea Rana, Sr., Dallas, Texas; and Coach’s Award-Brittany Hein, Sr., Grand Prairie, Texas.