Charlotte, N.C. – 2018 David Rowlands Male Student-Athlete of the Year winner was announced Friday by the NJCAA national office. The recipient of this year's award is LSU Eunice's All-American pitcher Zach Hester.
Hester led the Bengals to the baseball program's sixth national title in 2018 behind his NJCAA Division II-leading 134 strikeouts. Hester finished the season with a 13-1 record, including two wins at the NJCAA Division II World Series in Enid, OK.
"This award couldn't go to a finer individual," said LSU Eunice baseball head coach and athletic director Jeff Willis. "Zach's leadership skills, work ethic, character, and integrity are all off the charts."
The Rowlands award is the capstone of a well decorated career for Hester in Eunice, adding to a list of other acomplishments that include a NJCAA DII Baseball First Team All-American selection, MVP of the 2018 NJCAA Division II Baseball World Series, and the NJCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year. Hester was also the statistical category champion in both wins and strikeouts in Division II baseball.
Hester also embodied the true spirit of a student-athlete, finishing with a perfect 4.0 GPA and an associate's degree. For his efforts in the classrom, Hester was named to the NJCAA All-Academic First Team.
"It's no surprise to the success he attained on and off the field because of his deserve-to-win mentality," noted Willis.
Hester is the first Rowlands Award winner in LSU Eunice history and the first baseball player to do so since Tim Anderson of East Central (MS) won it in 2013.
The next stop for Hester is in Birmingham, AL with NCAA Division I program Samford University.
"Zach has earned everything he has gotten and has left a true legacy for all of our players and coaches to live up to at LSU Eunice," said Willis.
About the NJCAA David Rowlands Award
David Rowlands was an active member of the NJCAA from 1972-1988. He was a regional director during that time and from 1975-1988 was the chair of the NJCAA baseball committee. Rowlands, a baseball coach at Truman College (Chicago, Ill.), served on the NJCAA gymnastics, golf, executive and eligibility committees. Rowlands was the perfect model of hard work, discipline, ethics and excellence in community college athletics. This award is given annually to the NJCAA Student-Athlete that best exhibits these traits.