By James Summerlin
Two Union athletes were chosen as “Union Athletes of the Year” at the Jackson-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame luncheon for their successes this athletic season.
Kayla Hudson, senior political science major and guard for Union’s women’s basketball team, and Micah Gentle, senior Christian studies major and member of the Union golf team, received nominations as Union’s athletes of the 2010–2011 school year.
This is one of many honors for Hudson in her college athletic career. While playing for the Lady Bulldogs, Hudson and the team went 143–6. The Lady Bulldogs claimed two national titles and four conference titles.
Hudson earned individual achievements as well for her play. She was named NAIA All-American four straight times. She became the all-time assist leader at Union and finished her career with 784. She also holds the Union record for free-throw percentage at .949, three-point percentage at 50 percent, and most assists in a season with 257.
Hudson said being with her team off the court was very important to her this year because it is her final year and it helped the team grow closer as a unit when challenges presented themselves.
“We overcame some obstacles this season,” Hudson said. “We changed both individually and collectively this year.”
Gentle has been a part of the Union golf team for three years, two of which the team won TranSouth championships. In 2010, Gentle shot a 78 to win the Blue Mountain Fall Invitational. His lowest round is 68, which is the fourth best in school history.
Gentle has been a part of records the golf team has broken. Last fall, the Union team won the Red Hawk Invitational. In the win, Union’s first round score was a collective 278 and six under par. This broke Union’s record as the lowest round for a team.
Gentle’s leadership and influence on the team is what Gentle says he will remember about this season and his career.
“If I have one thing to be proud of, it would be the relationships I have formed,” Gentle said. “Seeing this line of change and leadership passing down and what I am leaving behind is going to last.”
Gentle said he was surprised to receive the award and he believes the selection was a team award for the golf team. Gentle continued to say he thinks it is better to be a part of something than just to have individual accomplishments alone.
“It blows me away, to be honest,” Gentle said. “I’m a representative of the golf team. I think it wasn’t so much what Micah Gentle has done, as much as it is what this golf team has done.”