2017 SMDR Newcomer of the Year: Nijal Pearson

Photo by Gerald Castillo

2017 End of Year Awards

Nijal Pearson stepped up during the 2017 Sun Belt quarterfinals against Louisiana-Monroe when the Bobcats needed a spark. 

A freshman guard at the time, Pearson recorded 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals against the Warhawks with Texas State’s leading-scorer then-senior Kavin Gilder-Tilbury in foul trouble. 

Pearson put together a strong freshman campaign during the 2016-17 season. He finished his first year as a Bobcat averaging 13.3 points per game and recorded 5.7 rebounds per game. He also shot 72.1 percent from the free-throw line. 

Pearson’s freshman performance earned him the 2017 San Marcos Daily Record Newcomer of the Year award. 

“(Pearson) was very hungry (during his freshman season),” head coach Danny Kaspar said in an interview in October. “It’s almost like he wasn’t recruited heavy, he should have been, and he had a chip on his shoulder. He had something to prove.”

Newcomer of the Year Nominees (Alphabetical Order):

San Marcos freshman setter Julia Antu 

San Marcos freshman setter Julia Antu finished the season with the most assists during the 2017 season. 

Antu recorded 570 assists. She tallied 243 digs and 56 aces during her freshman campaign. 

Antu was named to the All-District 14-6A Second Team. 

Texas State freshman middle blocker Tyeranee Scott

Bobcat freshman middle blocker Tyeranee Scott started 24 games for Texas State. 

Scott recorded a career-high 12 kills in three matches - Twice against Louisiana and once against Louisiana-Monroe. She was named Sun Belt Freshman Player of the Week two times during the 2017 season. 

“(Scott) has learned a lot these three or four months she’s been at Texas State,” head coach Karen Chisum said after the Bobcats’ win over Louisiana on Nov. 10. “She’s going to be a force to be reckoned with here in the future.”

Texas State sophomore golfer Sasikaran Somboonsup

During her freshman season, Texas State golfer Sasikaran Somboonsup won the Sun Belt championship by scoring a career-best 6-under par. She was named to the conference All-Tournament team. The Sun Belt named Somboonsup the conference Newcomer and Freshman of the Year and she was also placed on the All-Sun Belt First Team. 

Somboonsup finished her freshman campaign with a 74.69 scoring average, which ranked third in the Sun Belt. She was the top finisher for the Bobcats in the final three events of the 2016-17 season. 

San Marcos junior safety Therrance Soto

Rattler junior safety Therrance Soto was a surprise in the secondary. With familiar faces like senior cornerback Demarcus Hall and junior safety TaShumbrae ‘Scooter’ Brown, Soto’s name was unfamiliar. 

But he made his presence known early. Soto recorded a pick-six during San Marcos’ second game of the season. He finished the year with 95 total tackles, two interceptions and two pass breakups. 

Soto received District 14-6A’s Newcomer of the Year award. 

San Marcos Daily Record

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