EUGENE – Three student-athletes from Oregon have been selected as nominees for the 2022 Senior CLASS AWARD®. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be ranked as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable accomplishments in four areas of excellence: community, class, character and competition.
third baseman Sam Novitskeleft fielder Tanner Smith and closer Kolby Somer are among the 30 candidates announced today.
Novitske, of Pleasanton, Calif., with a 3.65 GPA in business, started more than 125 games in his four seasons at Oregon. He had over 130 hits while playing third base, shortstop and second base during his career. A member of the 2021 Regional All-Eugene Team, Novitske earned CoSIDA First Team All-District 8 honors in 2020 and was a member of the Spring Academic Honor Roll in 2020 and 2021. Novitske has spent time off the field by participating in Oregon’s partnership with Team Impact.
Smith, of Newport Beach, Calif. 3.22 GPA in political science, earned third team college baseball All-America honors in 2021, finishing last season batting .324 with five home runs and 36 RBIs while leading at bat for the Ducks. He had a Pac-12 best 24 double, which set a new Oregon single-season record for two baggers, while hitting base at a .417 clip and batting .533. The Ducks left fielder ranked third among all Pac-12 players with 33 extra hits. His 24 doubles ranked fifth nationally and his 0.44 doubles per game were the best in the Pac-12 and 12th overall in the nation. Smith also tripled four times, which was good for second place in the Pac-12 and 28th nationally. Smith earned a spot on the 2021 Dean’s List and is a leader off the court participating in O Heroes, Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Team Impact.
Somers, a senior from Hillsboro, Oregon, has already completed a degree in General Social Sciences – Business and is working on his Masters in Sports Product Management. He earned All-Pac-12 Conference first-team honors and NCBWA All-America honors last season, topped the Ducks’ closing games in 2021. The southpaw finished the season with a 2-2 record and a 3.08 ERA with 11 saves. . He pitched 37 in 26.1 innings while holding opposing batters to a .149 batting average. He ranked third in the Pac-12 in saves, as well as sixth all-time in single-season saves at Oregon. His seven saves in conference play were the second most in the league, one behind the point guard. Fourth all-time in career saves at Oregon, Somers has been involved with Team Impact, O Heroes and the Miracle League.