UNION COUNTY — The Bob Dunlap Male and Female Athlete of the Year Award is presented each year to a deserving male and female athlete at Union County High School who has excelled not only in athletics, but also in the classroom as well as in the community. This year’s recipients are no different.
The award, named for former Union Coach Bob Dunlap, was created by a group of friends who either played for Coach Dunlap during his time at Union High School, or were friends with him during his time in Union and after. Coach Dunlap coached at Union High School from 1963-1969 but his impact on the programs at Union County High School continue to be felt today.
This year’s Female Athlete of the Year, as selected by the committee, is senior Rebecca Lee. Rebecca is the daughter of Lonnie and Michele Lee. Rebecca has excelled in both softball and tennis in her time at UCHS. Rebecca played Varsity tennis for the Jackets starting in the seventh grade, and played Varsity softball beginning in the tenth grade.
In tennis, Rebecca was All Region her eighth grade year through her senior year, All Academic First Team her junior and senior year, made the 4A/5A Singles State Championship Tournament her junior and senior season, made the North/South Tournament her senior year, and was the team’s One Seed in singles for three years and doubles for four.
As a softball player, Rebecca started playing JV for the Jackets in the seventh grade, and made the jump to Varsity as a tenth grader. She was on the All Academic Team as a junior and was an All Region Selection as a senior. Rebecca began her softball career at a very young age playing in the Union County Dixie Girls organization and through Travel Softball. In the past, Rebecca volunteered her time with Union County Dixie Girls as a volunteer coach and offering free pitching lessons to young girls in the organization.
Rebecca has also excelled in the classroom at UCHS. Rebecca will graduate at the end of this week with a GPA if 4.871. She has taken AP courses as well as being dual enrolled as a concurrent student at the University of South Carolina Union. During her time as a concurrent student at USC Union Rebecca has earned twenty-seven college credits that will put her ahead of the game when she enrolls in college in the fall at Newberry College where she plans to major in Biology while continuing to play softball as a member of the Newberry Softball Team.
Outside of school, Rebecca is a member of Buffalo Methodist Church and volunteers as a Children’s Church Assistant at Buffalo Baptist Church. Rebecca is also a member of the National Honor Society, Interact, National Technical Honor Society, Arthur State Junior Board of Directors, Future Farmers of America, and was a participant in the Marcus Lattimore Leadership Academy. She also volunteers in a fifth grade classroom at Buffalo Elementary School, and has helped out with the Miracle league.
“Receiving the award was a complete surprise,” said Lee. “There are so many great athletes at our school, I was just happy to be nominated. I never even thought about winning. It was exciting to be recognized for my accomplishments.”
Lee added, “I love Union County athletics and being part of a team. I’ve made life-long friends, learned from the best coaches, and made lots of wonderful memories.”
Rebecca was a member of the 2017 4A State Championship team and is the starting first baseman again for this year’s team attempting to win back to back state titles.
Will Horlacher was named Male Athlete of the Year by the committee, and there will be an article on him coming up in a future edition, but Will is currently in basic training for the Marines at Parris Island.
Tyler Shugart is the host of “Bump and Run” from 7-9 a.m. on Fox Sports 1400 AM 98.3 FM in Spartanburg. He can be reached at [email protected]