For the last six weeks, we have been counting down the Top 30 returning student-athletes. First, we released them in segments of five, and for the last month, it has been individually.
Based on the votes of more than 100 people that took their time to rank these nominated players, time has come to unveil the top returning student-athlete for the 2016-17 school year.
#1 Savannah Hooper
Hooper hit the field running, literally, this season.
After missing most of the basketball season with an injury, Hooper was spectacular out of the gate. With just three practices under her belt, she hit over .700 with four steals in spring break. She reached in her first six plate appearances of the season.
"Savannah is truly an outstanding athlete and a fabulous softball player," said Wilmington head coach Beth Floyd. "She's the type of player that's a game changer, she plays so hard and she is such a great athlete. Savannah also demonstrates tremendous leadership she works hard and she's the definition of a true team player. I have great expectations this year for Savannah the skies the limit for her, with her work ethic her passion her heart she can do anything she sets her mind to. I look for her to, not only be a great player on our team and in our conference, but to be a great leader for us as well. She's the type of player that always puts her teammates first you find that quality in the special players such as Savannah."
Hooper recorded a hit in 27 of Wilmington's 34 games this season, and never went hitless in back-to-back games.
For her exploits, she was named second team All-Central Region and second-team All-OAC. She was also the Wilmington College Female Athlete of the Year after finishing third in the OAC with a team-high .472 batting average. Her average was the third-best average all-time in WC softball history.
Not only has Hooper performed well on the field, she has excelled in the classroom. A biology major, she was named first team CoSIDA Academic All-District.