Barton's Calvin Hawke (12), putting the tag on Salem International's Matthew Flores in a rundown during a Feb. 4 doubleheader at Nixon Field, has been selected as the 2016-17 Conference Carolinas Murphy Osborne Award winner. Hawke marks the third student-athlete from Barton to receive the league's highest individual honor. Paul Durham | Times
By Tom Ham
Senior Staff Writer
Barton College senior shortstop Calvin Hawke appears a lock to repeat as an all-conference performer.
Conversation about those being considered for NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas Player of the Year in baseball includes Hawke, a four-year starter.
Regardless, Hawke, a product of Raleigh Enloe High School, will walk away from his accomplished Bulldogs career as the owner of the conference’s highest honor.
The league recently announced that Hawke has been proclaimed the 2016-17 recipient of the Murphy Osborne Award, the conference’s highest honor.
The Murphy Osborne Award is presented to the most outstanding senior conference student-athlete each academic year. Student-athletes are nominated on the basis of academic and athletic leadership and service and community excellence.
Eligibility requirements include being a senior with a minimum grade-point average of 3.25, being a full-time student at the time of nomination, having been a full-time student for at least two years at the member school, and being a starter or important substitute in a conference sport.
“When I heard I was a finalist, I was proud to just be a finalist,” Hawke commented. “When told I was selected, it was pretty cool. I was excited about it and surprised. It was a good experience.
“It’s definitely an honor and blessing. I worked hard to be as good as I can be and this is a way to see it all pay off. I want to thank my coaches, the faculty and my professors.”
HAILED BY WILKINSON
Commented Barton Director of Athletics Todd Wilkinson: “Calvin has worked very hard at Barton College for four years to be recognized as the highest achieving student-athlete in Conference Carolinas for the 2016-17 year.
“He is a great student, great player and leader. Barton College has been fortunate to have Calvin as a member of the student body and baseball roster, and we look forward to his representation as an alumnus.”
Head baseball coach Josh Simmons commented: “I couldn’t be more proud of Calvin and his reception of this honor. He, without question, ecompasses everything the Murphy Osborne Award represents. You will not find a better student, better athlete nor better person to get this award.”
Hawke becomes the third Barton recipient. Other winners were Jamie McFadden (women’s basketball and volleyball) in 2003-04 and Sandeep Mulay (men’s tennis) in 1991-92.
ON THE DIAMOND
On the diamond, Hawke has helped the Bulldogs to 90-plus wins and to three appearances in the conference tournament. He ranks inside the program’s top 10 in career batting average, hits, triples and stolen bases. Hawke’s honors include second-team all-conference in 2016, 2016 conference scholar-athlete of the year, conference defensive player of the year and a six-time conference presidential honor roll and Barton dean’s list member.
Hawke is enjoying a spectacular senior season, batting a lusty .410 (64 for 156) with 43 runs scored, 38 runs batted in, nine doubles, five triples, eight home runs, 23 stolen bases, a .492 on-base percentage and .686 slugging percentage. He has struck out only 13 times and has committed just 10 errors on 175 chances for a .943 percentage.
This season, he ranks No. 1 on the team in batting average, triples and stolen bases, and stands No. 2 in hits, runs scored, homers and RBIs.
OFF THE FIELD
Off the field, Hawke has compiled a 3.97 GPA and will graduate next month as a double major in mathematics and business. He is a member of Barton’s Sigma Beta Delta (business honors) chapter and Alpha Chi (academic honors) Society. He was also selected as chief marshal and was chosen to represent Conference Carolinas as one of two athletes to attend the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum and participate in the NCAA’s 360 Leadership Academy.
Off campus, Hawke works with Wilson Diversified Opportunities as part of Barton’s Day of Service, and volunteering at the annual Halloween Fall Festival at First Pentecostal Church.
Hawke was one of 11 nominees selected by faculty athletic representatives of Conference Carolinas institutions and represents the best-of-the-best for the league.
With Charles Lane, Barton’s faculty athletic representative, traveling to Guatemala, Hawke remembers a hurried process when Lane returned.
“Dr. Lane said I would be a good candidate for the award,” Hawke said. “It was a little late, but I got my application in. I quickly compiled my accomplishments and Susan Bane wrote a faculty recommendation letter for me.”
Hawke doesn’t deny that balancing baseball, studies and community involvement is tough, but reasons: “It gets a little easier when you decide you can do it.”
His normal weekday — when not playing a game — consists of a trip to the weight room, class, eating, practicing until 6 p.m., dinner and studying when most of his peers have finished the day.
“It’s a lot to do,” Hawke admits, “but you get used to it as you go.”
And Calvin Hawke did it Murphy Osborne Award well.