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Three Southern Miss Student-Athletes Garner Awards at 2009 Founders Day Celebration

March 30, 2009

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Three University of Southern Mississippi student-athletes, Rebecca Masters, Gerald McRath and Kendra Reed, were all selected for top honors during the school's annual student awards day, Monday, as part of the Founders' Day Celebration.

"Congratulations to the awards our outstanding student-athletes received from Southern Miss," said Director of Athletics Richard Giannini. "Not only are they excellent athletes, their leadership skills show they are among the elite students at our university."

Masters, a rising sophomore from Ellisville, Miss., was named Most Outstanding Freshman Female at the school. The Golden Eagle soccer player appeared in 14 matches during her first season as a forward. In her first semester, Masters garnered Athletic Director Honor Roll accolades at the University.

She is a member of the Honors College and a Luckyday scholar majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics.

McRath, a former Golden Eagle linebacker from Powder Springs, Ga., and Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2007, garnered the Best Male Citizen honor. McRath earned many football honors during his tenure at Southern Miss including a first-team C-USA award this season. As a December 2007 graduate of the University, McRath tallied 386 career tackles during his four playing seasons.

Due to injuries sustained early in his career, he was given an extra year of eligibility but elected to enter the National Football League Draft this April. McRath was named to the C-USA Commissioner's List and the Athletic Director's Honor Roll during his time at the school. McRath was an active member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee which sponsored community programs.

Former women's basketball player Kendra Reed, of Bay St. Louis, Miss., was inducted into the University student Hall of Fame. Reed, who played and started in 126 consecutive games in her four-year career, finished her career sixth in scoring with 1,537 points. She played more minutes (4,051) than any other Golden Eagle in her women's basketball career.

Reed finished her career tops at the school in free-throw percentage (.859) and second in career 3-point goals made (200), attempted (525) and percentage (.381). Her final scoring average was 12.2 points per contest which is 14th overall in school history.

The three-time C-USA All-Academic honoree was Co-Freshman of the Year in the league in 2006. She also garnered second and third team honors by the conference during her playing days.

The awards were given as part of the school's 99th Founders' Day.

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