FHU Athletes, Coach to Represent AMC for NAIA Awards

FHU Athletes, Coach to Represent AMC for NAIA Awards

Thu, Jul. 9, 2015 - [FHU News]

By Matt Barker, Sports Information Director

HENDERSON, Tenn. - The Freed-Hardeman University Athletic Department will be represented on the national level as two student athletes and one coach have been selected as nominees from the American Midwest Conference for multiple NAIA awards.

Among those selected to represent the AMC from FHU were Evan Forhetz, Nolan Huber and Head Coach Jonathan Estes.

Forhetz, a 5-foot-10 junior from Nashville, Tenn., was selected to represent the Lion basketball program as the AMC nominee for the Emil S. Liston Award, an award presented annually to student athletes who show high athletic and scholastic achievement. Forhetz racked up conference awards earlier in the year earning AMC Newcomer of the Year honors after averaging 13.6 points per game and leading the nation in assists with 6.7 per game. A transfer from Lee University, Forhetz has also excelled in the classroom earning a 3.8 GPA.

Huber, a 6-foot-1 junior from Peach Tree City, Ga., was selected to represent the Lion baseball program as a nominee for the A.O. Duer Scholarship, a scholarship presented annually to a junior student-athlete who has excelled in scholarship, character, and citizenship.

Aside from his success on the field, Huber has volunteered his time and services to help those in need across the world. In 2014 Huber founded Sunday Best Clothing Company, a company that donates a portion of its sales to provide adoption services, clean drinking water, and educational resources to families in need across the world. By donating a portion of its t-shirt and hat sales to those in need, Huber's company has already made an impact on thousands of people across the world.

Huber started 10 games for the Lions during the 2015 season and finished the year with a 3.91 ERA, five wins, and one save.

Wrapping up the list of those selected to represent the AMC is Jonathan Estes, head coach for the Lion baseball program, who was nominated for the NAIA Coach of Character Award. The award is presented annually to a coach who has embraced the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character Initiative by using methods of teaching character through sport and community leadership.

Beginning in 2012 Estes collaborated with the local school district in Henderson and the Education Department at FHU to develop the Champions of Character Program at East Chester Elementary School. Estes, along with his wife Ashley, an instructor in the Education department at Freed-Hardeman, developed a curriculum for the Lion baseball players to use to teach students at the elementary school the five core values of character. The program not only proved to be a positive method for Estes to teach his players the five core values, but it has also fostered a strong relationship between the athletic department and the local community.

Estes is coming off one of his best seasons with the Lion baseball program since he came to FHU six years ago. The Lions ended the 2015 season with a 37-16 record and clinched the AMC regular-season title. The baseball program ended the season ranked No. 23 in the coaches postseason top 25 poll.

Will Wolper, commissioner of the American Midwest Conference, spoke highly of the three individuals selected from Freed-Hardeman to represent the conference at the national level.

"All three gentlemen are well deserving of these honors and are tremendous representatives of Freed-Hardeman, the American Midwest Conference, and the NAIA," Wolper said. "To have three individuals selected as conference nominees speaks highly to your leadership that places the appropriate priorities and values on intercollegiate athletics."

Mike McCutchen, athletic director at FHU, stated his appreciation to the individuals selected for representing Freed-Hardeman in a positive way.

"It is a real honor to have all three of our nominees selected by the American Midwest Conference," he said. "We are blessed to have some outstanding student-athletes and coaches at FHU and are very proud of Evan, Nolan, and Coach Estes for the way they represent the university, the AMC, and the NAIA."

The American Midwest Conference has forwarded all nomination information to the NAIA for review. The results will be released in the coming weeks.