The Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) intercollegiate athletics department hosted a Student Athletics Awards Banquet on Friday, April 27 at the West Campus in New Port Richey.   

Each year, one female and one male PHSC student athlete who demonstrate excellence in the classroom, on the fields and courts, in leadership on campus, and with service in the community is selected by the PHSC coaching staff to receive the prestigious Dr. Debra J. Hay Outstanding Student Athlete Award. Hay was a former dean of student services, and an advocate for student athletes who encouraged excellence. The 2018 Dr. Debra J. Hay Outstanding Student Athlete Award winners are: 

Kaelin Ruiz, PHSC sophomore from Osceola High School, Kissimmee, Fla., women’s softball, holds a 3.8 grade point average. Ruiz plays third base and has a batting average of .330 with 27 RBIs and an on base percentage of .427. Her community service projects have included participation in youth softball clinics. Ruiz will graduate this week with her Associate in Arts degree. 

Trey Pearce, PHSC sophomore from North Florida Christian High School, Tallahassee, men’s baseball, carries a 3.93 grade point average. Starting first baseman, Pearce was the NJCAA DII Region 9 Defensive Player of Year in 2017 and has been a model of consistency in the field with a .990 fielding percentage this season. He was third on the team with nine doubles and batted .229 in 50 games. His community service has included the Forest Lake Park clean-up and working the Run with the Bobcats 5K. Pearce will graduate with his Associate in Arts degree.  

“These exemplary student leaders have inspired their teammates and deserve recognition for their achievements as students, athletes and members of the college community,” said Steve Winterling, PHSC athletic director and men’s baseball head coach.  

Other recognition included the naming of the 2017-2018 most outstanding players for each spring intercollegiate sport at PHSC. Winners include:  Adley Eliacin (sophomore), men’s basketball; Sacha Olivera (sophomore), women’s softball; and Ryan Russell (sophomore), men’s baseball.