After posting the best single season of any student-athlete in program history, sophomore outfielder Chandler Jenkins (West Lincoln HS) adds another program first with the ABCA/NJCAA DII National Player of the Year award. This marks the first time in Catawba Valley Community College athletics history where a student-athlete was named National Player of the Year in their respective sport.
"It is truly an honor to receive this award," Jenkins stated. "There are so many great baseball players in our division and to have been named Player of the Year is truly a blessing. I have to thank God, my coaches, my teammates, my family and everyone who supported me along the way. My time at CVCC have been the best two years of my life so far. It was a second chance for me and I can't thank coach Rozzelle, coach McDonald, and coach Harvey enough. They helped me grow as a player, a person, and a Christian. I wouldn't be where I am today without them."
Jenkins has already racked up awards with NJCAA First Team All-American, ABCA/Rawlings First Team All-American, NJCAA All-Academic Team, Region X Player of the Year, and First Team All-Region X. In Region X play Jenkins claimed the regular season Triple Crown leading the region in homeruns, batting average and runs batted in. Jenkins also rewrote the Red Hawks record book grabbing 7 offensive single season records.
Nationally, Jenkins was ranked in the top ten in seven offensive categories and top four in four categories. Hitting 18 homeruns (3rd in nation, 2nd in region, CVCC record), 164 total bases (3rd in nation, 1st in region, CVCC record), 40 extra base hits (3rd in nation, 1st in region, CVCC record) and an .868 slugging percentage (4th in nation, 1st in region, CVCC record) highlighting the impact Jenkins had on the Red Hawks this season. Jenkins had also logged 87 hits (7th in nation, 1st in region, 2nd in CVCC history), 74 RBI (7th in nation, 2nd in region, CVCC record), .460 batting average (7th in nation, 1st in region, CVCC record), 21 doubles (12th in nation, 2nd in region, 2nd in CVCC history), and a .516 on base percentage (34th in nation, 2nd in region, CVCC record).
Jenkins who was originally signed as a pitcher at Gardner Webb came to CVCC for an opportunity to play the field and hit. Red-shirted at Gardener Webb in 2015, Jenkins was plagued by injuries in his first year with the Red Hawks (2016). Posting only 29 at bats, Jenkins hit .241 with 2 doubles and 5 rbi. Coming back for his second season, Jenkins was named team captain and had a productive fall season.
"Chandler is the epitome of perseverance," Head Coach Paul Rozzelle stated. "After battling back from an injury last season, he chose to continue to put in the work and came out this year and never stopped hitting. An ultimate competitor that plays with his hear on his sleeve. This accomplishment is an indication of his work, his fight, and his resolve to accomplish his dreams. We as a school are so proud of him for this accomplishment. Chandler is a special young man that we were fortunate to have the last three years."
In the start of the 2017 season Jenkins started off on a roll with a 16 game hitting streak including 10 multi-hit games with 7 doubles and 4 homeruns. Twice during the season Jenkins had a 3 game homerun streak and twice during the season he had multi-homerun games. Jenkins surpassed current Red Hawks hitting coach Marshall McDonald's homerun record with 18 on the season making Jenkins not only the single season homerun record holder but the career homerun record holder at CVCC. Jenkins was a key cog in the Red Hawks offense posting multi-rbi in 20 games and had 7 games where he accounted for 4 or more rbi.
Receiving his Associates degree at CVCC, Jenkins signed an athletic scholarship at East Carolina University to continue his education and collegiate baseball career, where he will have 2 more seasons of eligibility.
VIEW NJCAA PRESS RELEASE: http://www.njcaa.org/sports/bsb/2016-17/div2/releases/06-28-17_Jenkins-DII-POTY
VIEW ALL ABCA PLAYERS OF THE YEAR: http://abca.org/news/2017/2017_abca_players_of_the_year
The ABCA National Players of the Year are chosen by the ABCA All-America committees in each respective division. ABCA/Rawlings First-Team All-America selections are eligible for National Player of the Year honors.
The ABCA, founded in 1945, is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its over 8,000 members represent all 50 states and 25 countries. Since its initial meeting of 27 college baseball coaches in June 1945, Association membership has broadened to include eight divisions: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth. The 74th annual ABCA Convention will be held Jan. 4-7, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana.