Chaplain named SAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year

ROCK HILL, S.C. – Senior pitcher J.D. Chaplain has been named the 2015 SAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the South Atlantic Conference office.


The SAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year is a prestigious honor that the league awards annually. Each member institution is allowed to nominate one student-athlete per sport, and the league Faculty Athletic Representatives vote to decide the conference’s overall winner. The award criteria equally weighs three categories: academic achievement, athletic excellence, and service and leadership.


“I'm so happy to see J.D. get this recognition,” said head coach Matt McCay. “He's worked very hard here and I'm so proud to have had the opportunity to have coached him. He has made a huge difference in our program, but more importantly on our campus, with the type of student and person he is.”


Chaplain, a Black Mountain native, concluded his career with a 4-3 record and 4.99 ERA in a team-high 61.1 innings pitched during the 2015 season. He finished the season third on the team with 43 strikeouts while issuing just 13 free passes.


The best start of his career came in his final regular season performance on April 11 at Tusculum. Chaplain pitched a complete game, striking out five and retiring 23 of the first 27 batters he faced in a 6-3 Brevard victory. The win propelled Brevard to a SAC Baseball Championship bid as a No. 7 seed, the program’s first postseason appearance in three years.


As large as Chaplain’s contributions have been on the field, he has proven to be just as valuable off of it. He has participated in several mission trips to West Virginia, Vancouver, and Prague to spread the Gospel through helping to feed the hungry, participating in inner-city missions, and conducting baseball camps. He spent two years as the president of Brevard’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes and spearheaded fundraising efforts to benefit a Brevard graduate working as a teacher in Tanzania.


Chaplain is responsible for raising nearly $500 for the Vs. Cancer Foundation to benefit pediatric cancer patients in Western North Carolina in his four years in Brevard. He has also served as a guest speaker in several churches and works as a baseball coach with Transylvania County youth teams. His concern for others was on display during his sophomore year, when he spent time visiting children in the hospital that suffered serious baseball injuries and had the Brevard baseball team sign a jersey for them.


In addition to becoming Brevard baseball’s first-ever SAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Chaplain departs the program tied for second in the NCAA era with 29 career starts. He is also fifth with 93 strikeouts and seventh with a career 5.11 ERA.


Click here to read the full release from the South Atlantic Conference.


Featured image provided by Tusculum Athletic Media Relations.

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