Lempke, Shepard Earn WAC Honors
May 4, 2011
HENDERSON, Nevada - Louisiana Tech's Jack Lempke was named the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year as voted by the league coaches while senior Clinton Shepard was named second team all-conference which was announced the WAC office Wednesday following the final round of the championships held at Rio Secco Golf Course.
Lempke becomes the first LA Tech Bulldog golfer to ever earn WAC Freshman of the Year honors while Shepard is only the third LA Tech golfer to earn all-conference honors - joining Preston Smith who earned second team honors in 2004-05 and Matthew Harvey who earned first team accolades in 2007-08.
Lempke earned his honor after a rookie season that saw him record a scoring average of 74.24 through 21 rounds entering this week's WAC Championships. The Frisco, Texas native registered three Top 20 finishes during the season, including a best of 12th place at the Squire Creek Invitational last October.
"Jack was one of three freshman nominated for the award, and the league coaches voted him as the top freshman," said Tech head coach Jeff Parks. "He deserved it. He played great for us this year and really helped our team take it to another level."
Lempke led all freshmen at the WAC Championships with a 22nd place finish.
Shepard, the lone senior on this year's team, earned his honor after leading the Bulldogs with a 73.13 scoring average this year. The West Monroe native recorded six top 20 finishes during the season, including four Top 10 finishes.
He wrapped up his career with a career-best third place finish at the Jim West Intercollegiate in San Marcos April 10-12 where he led the Bulldogs to their second team title of the year - the most in the last two decades.
"Clinton is so deserving of this," Parks said. "It's a real tribute to him. We haven't played the other eight teams in this league during the year so for the WAC coaches to nominate and vote him on the team says a lot. They did it based on his national ranking and what he did for us. He had a great year."
Shepard entered the week ranked 234th in the nation by Golfstat.com and will find out Monday if he is one of 45 golfers nationwide selected to play as individuals in the NCAA Championships.