by Ed Beach
Drury University has announced the finalists for the Newcomer or Freshman of the Year in men’s sports as part of their 2020 All-Sports Awards.
Each year, Drury Athletics announces their end-of-year awards in a ceremony near the end of the academic year. With the campus closed due to concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event was canceled, but the athletics department moved forward to continue to honor student-athletes for outstanding achievements in competition, in the classroom and in the community for 2020-21.
The finalists for the Men’s Newcomer/Freshman of the Year are listed below.
Nathan Bighetti – Swimming & Diving
Nathan Bighetti was an NCAA-II All-American in four events and an honorable mention All-American in another. He was honored in the 100 Backstroke, 200 Backstroke, 800 Free Relay, and 400 Free Relay and was an honorable mention selection in the 100 Butterfly. Bighetti was the number one ranked swimmer in Division II in the 200 Back and set a program record in that event. A native of Brazil, he was also part of Drury’s 400 Free Relay team that had clocked the nation’s best time last season, and he ranked fourth nationally in the 100 Back. Bighetti won two GLVC championships taking the 100 Back, and he set a meet record in the 200 Back. He was also a national qualifier in the 100 Fly and won both the 100 Back and 200 Back against Missouri State.
John Clout – Soccer
John Clout was Drury’s only player to appear in all 19 games this game, and the freshman started in each of those 19 contests. The Hamilton, New Zealand native scored two goals, had two assists and six points. Clout was tied for fourth on the team in scoring and scored a game-winning goal in overtime in a 2-1 win at Missouri-St. Louis.
Malek Davis – Basketball
Malek Davis was voted onto the GLVC All-Freshman team in a vote of league coaches. The St. Louis, Missouri product played in all 29 games and made five starts. He shot 38 percent from three-point range, hitting 34 of 80 shots from behind the arc and was considered to be one of Drury’s best defensive players.
Sylvain Garin-Michaud – Tennis
Sylvain Garin-Michaud put together a 9-1 record and an 8-0 mark in Drury’s number singles position in his freshman season. The native of Saint Etienne, France defeated three nationally ranked players in his first 10 matches of the season and ended the year ranked 10th among singles players in the Midwest Region. Garin-Michaud was named an All-American by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and helped his team to number eight national ranking at the end of the year.
Mason Meeks – Baseball
Mason Meeks had eight appearances, one start, and went 1-1 with a 1.99 earned run average. The freshman from Lake Dallas, Texas struck out 23 batters in 22.2 innings while walking only two. Meeks allowed just 16 hits, seven runs, and five earned runs. Opposing hitters registered just a .193 batting average against him.