‘Bear Nation Celebration’ Tuesday

The University of Central Arkansas athletic department will hosts its seventh annual "Bear Nation Celebration" Tuesday, Aug. 22 at the Farris Center.

The annual event brings together UCA’s 400+ athletes and coaches, along with fans and supporters, once a year to celebrate accomplishments of the past year. UCA’s athletes will be recognized for their athletic and academic achievements throughout the night. Awards will be given for Player of the Year (male and female), Student-Athlete of the Year (male and female), Freshman of the Year (male and female) and Academic Achievement Award (highest team cumulative grade-point average for both men’s and women’s teams). Each coach will present the team highlights from the past season.

The Bear Nation Celebration featured honoree this year will be Arvil Burks, former UCA coach, faculty athletic representative and long-time supporter. The Purple Circle Member of the Year will also be recognized.

Entertainment for the event will be provided by UCA alum and nationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Matthew Huff.

All tickets/tables purchased automatically include a ticket to the reception, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Farris Center. A silent auction will be conducted during the reception.

For more information, contact Colton Primm at 501-450-5837 or e-mail at cprimm@uca.edu.

CBC’s Lawson signs pro contract

Former Central Baptist College baseball player Jalin Lawson has signed a professional contract with the Westside Woolly Mammoths of the United Shore Professional Baseball League .

Lawson played two seasons at CBC and was both an NAIA and National Christian College Athletic Association All-American both years, earning a first-team selection in 2016 and a second team selection in 2017. In his seasons at CBC, recording a .403 batting average with 34 home runs and 115 runs batted in, while scoring 135 runs and walking 71 times to just 32 strikeouts.

In three contests since signing, Lawson is two-for-eight with two RBI and three walks.

In just its second season, the USPBL has sent 18 players to Minor League Baseball. The league, which launched in May 2016, plays a 75- game schedule from May-September. All games are played at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica, Mich.

Britt joins UCA softball staff

One of the best players in Central Arkansas softball history is returning to Conway, as head coach David Kuhn announced Tuesday that Kasey Britt will be joining his coaching staff for the 2018 season.

Britt, who played at UCA from 2009 to 2012, wrote her names all over the UCA softball record books during her time in Conway, hitting .320 with 178 career hits, 47 doubles, three triples, and 24 home runs while driving in 126 runs. She ranks in the top-ten in program history in 21 categories. She was named All-Southland Conference and NFCA All-South region twice.

Since graduating, Britt has been an assistant coach coach at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. She helped lead the Blazers to a 75-40 record during that time, including back-to-back NAIA National Tournament appearances. While primarily in charge of skill development for outfielders, pitchers, and hitter, Britt mentored eight All-Southern States Athletic Conference honorees, seven All-Regions selections, two SSAC Players of the Year, two SSAC Golden Glove winners, and one NAIA All-American.

Britt has spent the past two seasons at Young Harris College in , Georgia, where she oversaw the skill development of the Mountain Lions’ defensive positions and hitters while also contributing to other aspects of the program. During her time on staff, YHC went 75-34, earned its first-ever postseason win in 2016, and set a program record for wins and appeared in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament during both the 2016 and 2017 seasons.