WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Senior safety Marqui Christian became Midwestern State's first male to earn Lone Star Conference Athlete of the Year honors Thursday afternoon.
Christian joins 2015 NCAA Division II individual national champion Brenna Moore, who was the first MSU student-athlete to claim the coveted conference award last summer.
The 6-2, 205-pounder was selected in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals after enjoying an outstanding four-year collegiate career at MSU.
Christian helped the Mustangs to a 10-2 regular season, an LSC playoff title and to its sixth NCAA Division II playoff berth in 2015.
He won the Cliff Harris Award as the nation's top small college defensive player (D2, D3, NAIA) after making 95 tackles including 49 solo stops and tackles for loss for the LSC top-ranked defense in terms of yard allowed per game (382.9) and scoring defense (23.4 points per game).
Christian was near unanimous All-America pick earning first-team honors from the American Football Coaches' Association, D2CCA and D2Football.com. He was a second-team Associated Press Little All American and a third-team Don Hansen All American. He also became the first Mustangs' player to earn J.V. Sykes/LSC Defensive Player of the Year and was the league's defensive back of the year.
Christian closed his career as MSU's all-time tackles leader with 295 and was a three-time, first-team all-conference performer. As a three-year starter, he competed in 41 games finishing with 10-or-more tackles 16 times. He claimed LSC Defensive Player of the Week honors four times and once earned special teams accolades.
Christian received 16 votes from the ballot distributed to the league's sports information directors claiming the honor by five votes over West Texas A&M sophomore basketball standout David Chavlovich who was followed by Texas A&M-Kingsville's Jordan Yamoah (8 votes), Angelo State's Luis Perez (6), Tarleton State's Chase Rathke (3), Eastern New Mexico's Jeremy Buurma (2, Texas A&M-Commerce's Ricky Romero (2) and Cameron's Daniel Neilsen.
Midwestern State's Katelyn Vinson finished third in LSC Female Athlete of the Year vote. The senior from Southlake closed her career as the LSC's all-time leader with 66 home runs.
The walk-on from Carroll High was an NFCA National Player of the Year Top 25 finalist this season hitting .438 with 13 homers and 52 RBIs despite being waked 50 times in just over 200 plate appearances.
Vinson finished her senior campaign third in the nation in walks per game (0.94) and second in on-base percentage (.578) but was 26th overall in batting average at .438.
The 2016 LSC Player of the Year closes her career as MSU's all-time leader in batting average (.420), slugging percentage (.827), home runs (66), RBI (224) and total bases (492).
Vinson is a four-team All-LSC honoree earning first-team accolades in 2013, 2014 and 2016. She was an NFCA first-team and Daktronics third-team All American after earning Daktronics South Central Region Player of the Year honors as a freshman in 2013.
Vinson became the just the second player in LSC history -- and first since 1997 -- to hit .500 finish with a .503 average with 22 home runs and 67 RBIs setting MSU's single season records in batting average, slugging percentage (.976), home runs and total bases (161).
LSC MALE ATHLETE OF YEAR (Name, School, Year, Sport, Points): Marqui Christian, Midwestern State, Sr., Football, 16; David Chavlovich, West Texas A&M, So., Basketball, 11; Jordan Yamoah, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Sr., Track and Field, 8; Luis Perez, Angelo State, Sr., Track and Field, 6; Chase Rathke, Tarleton State, Sr., Track and Field, 3; Jeremy Buurma, Eastern New Mexico, Sr., Football, 2; Ricky Romero, Texas A&M-Commerce, Jr., Track and Field, 2; Daniel Nielsen, Cameron, So., Golf, 0.
LSC FEMALE ATHLETE OF YEAR (Name, School, Year, Sport, Points): Isabel Jimenez-Perea, Tarleton State, Sr., Golf, 18; Libby Strickland, West Texas A&M, Sr., Track and Field, 9; Katelyn Vinson, Midwestern State, Sr., Softball, 8; Alexis Aguirre, Eastern New Mexico, So., Volleyball, Track and Field, 5; Katie MacLeay, Angelo State, Sr., Volleyball, 4; Tealey Farquhar, Texas Woman's, Sr., Softball, 4; Kaina Martinez, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Sr., Track and Field, 2; Paula Gutierrez , Cameron, Jr., Tennis, 2; Vicky Back, Texas A&M-Commerce, Jr., Soccer, 2.
2016 Marqui Christian, Midwestern State, Sr., Football
2015 Steve Naemark, Angelo State, Jr., Baseball
2014 Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M, Sr., Football
2013 Alex Carpenter, Abilene Christian, Sr., Golf
2012 Nick Jones, Abilene Christian, Sr., Track & Field
2011 Chase Larsson, Cameron, Jr., Baseball
2010 Cyril Bouniol, Abilene Christian, Jr., Golf
2009 Bernard Scott, Abilene Christian, Sr., Football
2008 Sam Belt, Central Oklahoma, Sr., Basketball
2007 Nicodemus Naimadu, Abilene Christian, Sr., CC/Track & Field
2006 Danieal Manning, Abilene Christian, Football
2005 Drew Beard, Southeastern Okla., Football
2004 Cole Province, Central Oklahoma, Wrestling
2003 Olan Coleman, Tarleton State, Football/Track & Field
2002 Steve Kelly, Tarleton State, Football
2001 Roberto Garza, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Football/Track & Field
2000 Roberto Garza, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Football/Track & Field
1999 Eddie Robinson, Central Oklahoma, Basketball
2016 Isabel Jimenez-Perea, Tarleton State, Sr., Golf
2015 Brenna Moore, Midwestern State, Sr., Golf
2014 Renee Erwin, West Texas A&M, Jr., Softball
2013 Katie Hines, Texas Woman's, Jr., Softball
2012 Elsamartina Apo, Angelo State, Sr., Softball
2011 Carla Cooper, Tarleton State, Sr., Golf
2010 Aisha Adams, Angelo State, Sr., Track & Field
2009 Emily Brister, West Texas A&M, Sr., Basketball
2008 Emily Brister, West Texas A&M, Jr., Basketball
2007 Emily Brister, West Texas A&M, So., Basketball
2006 Emily Brister, West Texas A&M, Fr., Basketball
2005 Celeste Stevenson, West Texas A&M, Basketball
2004 Michelle Hofmann, Angelo State, Softball
2003 LaTasha Mosley, Angelo State, Track & Field
2002 Brandi Robinson, Southeastern Okla., Basketball
2001 Precious Thibodeaux, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Basketball/Track & Field
2000 Sarah Butler, West Texas A&M, Volleyball
1999 Tracy Barnes, Abilene Christian, Track & Field