Two AUM Warhawks are named finalists for the Gulf South Conference’s Commissioner’s Trophy


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Sommer Rhea of the volleyball team and Alexander Wagner of the men’s soccer team have been named finalists for the Gulf South Conference’s Commissioner’s Trophy, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday (May 26).

The Gulf South Conference annually hands out the Commissioner’s Trophy to the league’s top overall male and female student-athletes, recognizing athletic, academic, and extracurricular achievement. The award is one of the most prestigious prizes in all of Division II and the most significant individual honor that the league presents. It was first awarded in 1975 and honored the outstanding male student-athlete in the conference. In 1983, when the Conference officially began conducting women’s championships, the GSC began honoring its outstanding female student-athlete as well.

Wagner (Ratingen, Germany) was instrumental in helping lead the men’s soccer team to a 9-6-3 overall record in 2019, a 6-2-3 mark in Gulf South Conference play and the number-two seed in the Gulf South Conference Championship. He led the team in minutes played as a center back and was the anchor of a defense that allowed only 20 goals all season, earning him an All-GSC First Team Nod, and United Soccer Coaches’ All-South Region Second Team spot.

Academically, Wagner boasts a 3.9 grade point average, while majoring in International Business. He was voted to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team and has been named to the Dean’s List all five semesters at AUM, while also earning a spot on the GSC All-Academic team in 2019.

Additionally, he has volunteered with multiple initiatives in the community, including youth soccer clinics at the YMCA, assembling gym equipment at the YES Senior Workout Center, AUM Housing Move-In and the Alabama Special Olympics State Basketball Championship.

Rhea (Oregon, Ill.) served as a team captain for the volleyball team in 2019 and earned Second-Team All-GSC honors this past season. She led the team in kills with 361 and was second in digs with 431, helping the team to a 17-16 record and the first GSC postseason win in school history.

In the classroom, Rhea sports a 3.9 grade point average, while majoring in biology. She was the department of biology’s nominee for the College of Sciences Outstanding Student Award and earned Academic All-District and Second-Team All-America honors from CoSIDA, while also earning GSC All-Academic Team honors in 2019.

In addition, Rhea has been active in the community, volunteering as a youth coach at multiple clinics at the YMCA, a dog walker with the Montgomery Humane Society and with the Alabama Special Olympics State Basketball Championship.

On Thursday, May 28, the league office will announce the annual “Top Ten” selections, narrowing down the list of potential Commissioner’s Trophy winners to five men and five women. This will be the 24th straight year that the “Top Ten” (formerly the “Top Eight”) will be recognized the conference.

The 2020 GSC Commissioner’s Trophy winners will be announced Friday, May 29.