Leach and Mascia Selected as Nominees for 2020 McWhorter Award

Aubrey Leach & Nico Mascia / Credit: UT Athletics

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Former Tennessee student-athletes Aubrey Leach (softball) and Nico Mascia (baseball) have been nominated for the 2020 H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship.

The H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship has been presented by the Southeastern Conference since 1986 to the league’s top male and female scholar-athletes.

The SEC will name the 2020 recipients of the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship on May 26.

Highlights of Tennessee’s nominees are as follows:

AUBREY LEACH, Softball
Major: Political Science

  • Two-time All-SEC honoree (2018 & 2019)
  • Three-time NFCA All-Region honoree (2017-19)
  • SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll every year (2016-19)
  • Two-time NFCA All-American (2018 & 2019)
  • 2019 Softball America All-American
  • Set Tennessee single season record for runs scored with 80 in 2018
  • 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 25 Finalist
  • Ranked No. 5 in Softball America’s 2019 Top 100 Ranking
  • 2019 Senior CLASS Award All-American Second Team
  • 2016 SEC All-Freshman Team
  • Two-time Easton/NFCA Scholar-Athlete (2016 & 2017)
  • Member of the VOLeaders Academy Class of 2016-17
  • Participated in numerous community service events:
    • Rhett Syndrome Awareness Pre-Game Clinic (2018)
    • Stronger TogetHER women’s basketball clinic for children in Knoxville (2018)
    • Autism Awareness Softball Tournament (2015)
    • Light the Night Walk for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (2015, 2016)
    • Take Back the Night walk for victims and survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence (2015, 2018)
    • Goals for Girls, instructed an after-school program (2016)

NICO MASCIA, Baseball
Major: Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

  • Nominated for the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Scholar Athlete in 2019
  • 2018 SEC Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year
  • 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-America Second Team, selected by CoSIDA (First UT baseball player since 2005 to earn Academic All-America honors)
  • 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District 3 First Team, selected by CoSIDA
  • Dean’s List every year (2015-19)
  • SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll every year (2015-19)
  • Had highest GPA among male student-athletes at Tennessee during 2015-16 and 2017-18 academic years
  • Was a member of the 2019 UT baseball team that ended a 14-year NCAA Tournament drought
  • Led the Vols with a .487 slugging percentage and .439 on-base percentage and also finished the year third on the team with a .278 batting average and five home runs in 2018
  • Tied the Tennessee single-game record for runs scored in 2018 with seven against Western Carolina on March 27
  • In 2019, started a job as a full-time employee in the University of Tennessee Medical Center in the orthopedic trauma unit as a medical assistant
  • Throughout his baseball career, consistently led community service events such as visiting the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and leading teaching sessions for under privileged children in local schools (2015-2019)
  • Worked in musculoskeletal research to help determine best possible artificial joint replacement for an individual (2015-2018)

Each year the SEC provides the league’s male and female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Scholarship recipients with a $20,000 post-graduate scholarship. The 26 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship. The award recipients are chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from the 14 SEC institutions and are honored at the SEC Spring Meetings in Sandestin, Florida in late May.

Zhipeng (Colin) Zeng of the swimming and diving team and Erica Treiber of the volleyball team were Tennessee’s nominees for the award in 2019. Last year’s McWhorter Award recipients were Texas A&M track and field member Nathan Hite and Vanderbilt bowler Kristin Quah.

-UT Athletics

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