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The Loop

Mid-season awards: Best player you've likely never heard of

November 23, 2009

These players seemingly wear their anonymity like a badge of honor. All I can say is sorry for the shinning the spotlight on you.



__[#image: /photos/55ad71ceadd713143b42338f]|||Derek Ernst.jpeg|||

Derek Ernst, UNLV

A solid contributor to the Rebels line-up as a freshman a year ago, when he posted seven top-10 finishes, the 19-year-old from Clovis, Calif., has avoided a sophomore slump, earning a share of two titles and finishing no worse than T-12. When senior Eddie Olson left the team to try Q school early in the spring, Ernst stepped up his own expectations and becoming the Rebels team leader.

"He is a very tough competitor," noted UNLV men's coach Dwayne Knight upon Ernst's arrival at UNLV. "He is really gutty and works hard on his game. I call him a 'gamer,' because every time he shows up he is going to give the best he can--he is just that kind of competitor."

*Honorable mention: Kelly Kraft, SMU

*A victory at the Gopher Invitational to start the spring was the junior's fourth career title, and the first of four top-five finishes he would post this fall. While his play isn't flashy, his results are starting to be.


Stefanie Kenoyer__, Furman


The junior from Lighthouse Point, Fla., is the two-time Southern Conference individual champion and preparing to make it three-in-a-row this spring after starting the fall with a three straight top-three finishes. She'd finish with four top-10s and positive thoughts for a three-peat.

Kenoyer's credentials are stout: she had led the team in scoring both her freshman (74.91) and sophomore (74.7 average), making her current 72.5 all the more impressive.

*Honorable mention: Kenda Little, Oregon

*Two wins (Dick McGuire, OSU Giustina) in her first two events of the fall, plus a T-7 to close the first semester boosted her career top-15 finishes total to 14. Only the second Duck to win all-conference honors twice.