Drury Names Finalists for Dr. Edsel Matthews Award

by Ed Beach

Drury University has announced the finalists for the Dr. Edsel Matthews Award for men’s sports as part of their 2020 All-Sports Awards.

The Dr. Edsel Matthews Award is the highest honor given to a student-athlete at Drury and is presented to one men’s senior student-athlete and one women’s senior student-athlete who displays leadership, character and have had an exemplary athletic and academic career.

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 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 Matthews Award are listed below.

Clayton Engel – Baseball
Clayton Engel has been named a First Team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selection twice in three years. Last year, he led the team in hits, runs batted in, home runs, doubles, total bases, slugging percentage, runs, and he was tied for the team lead in triples. The senior from Ozark, Missouri owns a career batting average of .317 and is Drury’s all-time leader in slugging percentage. The outfielder set single-season records last year in runs, total bases, and tied team marks in home runs and doubles. His 61 RBI’s last year is the second-highest season total in team history. Engel has also been named an All-Academic honoree in the GLVC in 2018 and 2019.

Nico Hadeler – Tennis
Nico Hadeler was last year’s GLVC Player of the Year in men’s tennis and has been an All-GLVC selection every year of his career. When the 2020 season ended, the native of Heilshoop, Germany was the fourth-ranked singles player in the Midwest Region and was named the Senior Men’s Player of the Year in the region. Hadeler went 8-2 this season and has a career singles record of 58-15. He is 55-25 as a doubles player in his career and helped his team advance to the NCAA-II tournament in all three years while picking up wins to the round of 16 each season.

Isaac Johnson – Basketball
Isaac Johnson ended his four-year career with the Panthers ranked 39th on the program’s all-time scoring list. The Springfield native out of Kickapoo High School passed 1,000 career points, becoming the 42nd player in team history to reach the milestone, and he ranks seventh all-time at Drury in career three-pointers. Johnson was named the GLVC’s All-Defensive Team in 2020, was a Second Team All-GLVC selection as a sophomore in 2018, and was selected to the All-Freshman Team in 2017. He helped the Panthers to three 20-win seasons in four years, NCAA-II Tournament appearances in 2018 and 2019, and the GLVC West Division title in 2018.

Clayton Larsen – Golf
Clayton Larsen was named an All-Conference performer in both of his seasons at Drury after transferring from Indian Hills Community College. The Manchester, Iowa native was also voted to the All-Region team by the Golf Coaches Association of America and qualified as an individual for the NCAA-II SuperRegional in 2019. Larsen finished in the top five in three of Drury’s six tournaments last fall and tied for first at the Fall Midwest Regional Tournament in Eureka, Missouri. He tied for third at last year’s GLVC Championship and during his two seasons with the Panthers, had seven top-10 finishes in 17 career events. Larsen was also an All-Academic selection in the GLVC last year and is on track to make the list again in 2020.

Pavel Semochkin – Swimming & Diving
Pavel Semochkin was a 2020 NCAA-II All-American in five events and an honorable mention All-American in another. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Semochkin had the number one ranked time in the country in the 100 Butterfly, was on the top-ranked 400 Medley Relay team and ranked number two in the nation in 100 Breaststroke. At last year’s national championship meet, he finished second in two events and third place in another. Semochkin has won three GLVC championships in his career, has been the runner-up in three others, and owns the conference record in the 100 Fly. He is also the Drury record-holder in the 100 Fly and ranks second in program history in the 100 Back and 100 Breast.

This year’s 2020 Men’s Matthews Award winner will be named later this week.