Basketball

Herd’s Dixon, Elmore, and Zerkle Share Student-Athletes of the Year Awards

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Rising junior men’s basketball guard Jon Elmore (Charleston, W.Va.) and senior softball players Morgan Zerkle (Milton, W.Va.) and Jordan Dixon (Edmond, Okla.) have been named Marshall’s 2016-17 Student-Athletes of the Year.

The male award is named for longtime Herd basketball assistant coach and Associate Athletic Director Ed Starling, while the female award is named for Dr. Dorothy Hicks, who founded women’s athletics at Marshall in 1970 and is a member of the Marshall Athletics Hall of Fame.

MUSB 2017 Morgan Zerkle

Morgan Zerkle is the co-Outstanding Women’s Student-Athlete of the Year at Marshall, sharing the honor with fellow senior on the softball team, pitcher Jordan Dixon. (HI file photo)

For Zerkle, this is her second time to earn Female Student-Athlete of the Year honors, while it is the first time Elmore has received Male Student-Athlete of the Year honors and the first time Dixon has earned Female Student-Athlete of the Year honors.

Elmore is a 6-foot-3 guard who led Conference USA in points (19.7) and assists (5.9). He became the second Marshall player to earn a spot on the league’s first team (James Kelly in 2016), the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ first team and helped lead the Herd to a spot in the league tournament championship game.

Elmore earned C-USA Player of the Week honors for the week of Dec. 12, while his 691 points were sixth in school history for an individual season. He became the third player in Marshall history to reach 200 assists in a single season (Mike D’Antoni in 1971-72 and 1972-73 and current Marshall assistant coach Cornelius Jackson in 1990-00).

Zerkle began her senior season selected as a member of the USA Women’s National Team. The reigning Miss Marshall then dominated for the Herd. The Milton, W.Va., native helped lead Marshall to a program-record 42 wins and the C-USA regular season title. Zerkle finished her career as the Herd’s all-time leader in average (.451), stolen bases (162) and triples (14).

She racked up numerous awards along the way highlighted by C-USA Player of the Year, NFCA Mideast All-Region First Team, and NFCA All-America Second Team. Zerkle was a finalist for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, a first team Senior CLASS Award All-America and drafted by the Scrap Yard Dawgs of the National Pro Fastpitch League.

MUSB 2017 Sr. Day vs. UAB 8-11 & 8-4 Jordan Dixon in the stretch

Jordan Dixon is the first pitcher in the history of Marshall softball (1993-2017) to have both over 100 wins and over 1,000 strikeouts in her career. (HI file photo)

Dixon became one of the best pitchers in the country during her senior campaign. The Edmond, Okla., native finished the season third in the country with 32 wins and ninth with 294 strikeouts. The senior ace ended her four seasons becoming the first Marshall pitcher to earn 100 wins (108), record 1,000 strikeouts (1,115) and pitch 1,000 innings (1,074.2). She tossed two no-hitters including a 2-0 win over WKU in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Tournament.

Dixon is fifth in NCAA history with 203 appearances and is just the 58th pitcher ever to reach both 100 wins and 1,000 strikeouts. It was just the second no-hitter in the history of the conference tournament. Dixon capped off the year as the C-USA Pitcher of the Year, NFCA Mideast All-Region First Team, and NFCA All-America Third Team.

About Woody Woodrum

Senior Editor and columnist/writer for Herd Insider since 2003, with Kindred Communications on radio for Marshall football/men's basketball pregame and postgame shows since 1996 and with First Sentry Bank Sportsline (Also Scott on Sports, Sideline Sports and Herd Insider Sportsline) since 1997. Married to Liz (12-22-1990) and one son, Tre' (11-7-1997). National Sportswriters & Sportscasters West Virginia Broadcaster of the Year winner for radio, 2000; won W.Va. Broadcasters Best Talk Show in 2013 with co-host Paul Swann and W.Va. Broadcasters Best Play-by-Play in 2015 with Jason Toy (Huntington at South Charleston, state AAA semifinals). Member of (College) Football Writers Association of America, (College) Basketball Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Color commentator for Marshall football (1999-2000), for Marshall basketball (2004-2016) and Marshall baseball (2004-2016). Color for high school football at Spring Valley (1999-2008), Cabell Midland (2009-2012) and Huntington (W.Va.) High School (2013-2016).

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