The spring of 2011 was full of honors for Matt Nelson. A member of the Emory & Henry College tennis team, Nelson received athletic and academic accolades this past season.
Nelson, now in his junior year at E&H, was selected to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference First Team at No. 1 doubles along with Chip Wintringham (Burlington, N.C.) and was named to the all-league second team for his work at the No. 3 singles position.
"Matt exemplifies the ideal of a true scholar-athlete who has been able to find the proper degree of balance in his pursuits," said Director of Athletics Myra Sims. "He is an excellent tennis player who has developed great skill by virtue of his talent and dedication to the sport. He has achieved this great success as a tennis player while also keeping the proper emphasis on academics."
For the season, Nelson compiled a 15-2 record in singles play including an 8-0 mark at the No. 3 spot. He was 7-1 in ODAC play and finished the season on an 11-match winning streak. In doubles, Nelson was 12-6 on the year and was 9-4 (5-1 ODAC) with Wintringham as a partner. For his efforts, Nelson also took home All-State College Division honors from the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID).
"Matt led us on the court and in the classroom. Between the All-ODAC honors and his inclusion on the VaSID All-State College Division Men's Tennis Team, Matt demonstrated tremendous talent, character, and commitment," said Josh Parmenter, who led both the men's and women's tennis squads for the 2011 season. "He is a special player and a remarkable representative of E&H and our tennis program. I feel lucky to have worked with Matt in 2011, and I can't wait to see him lead the team to even greater successes in the future."
The Galax, Va., native is putting up big numbers in the classroom as well, studying in the Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) in the Department of Physical Education.
"Matt was a solid student from day one. He takes his academic responsibilities very seriously – one of the best in his class," said Dr. D.C. Cobler, Program Coordinator of ATEP. "I was actually surprised the first time I saw him play. In class he's easy going and laid back; on the court he's completely different. He was much more aggressive and vocal than I ever expected him to be. He's a real competitor."
Nelson is a member of the Dean's List, the ODAC Commissioner's Honor Roll and was named Academic All-State by VaSID.
"He is a stellar student in our demanding Athletic Training major, and has been recognized repeatedly at the College, conference and state level for his outstanding academic achievement," concluded Sims. "He has performed successfully in a rigorous academic program while maintaining a high level of commitment to excellence in athletics. I am glad that we will have him representing us for two more years."