SEMO wins OVC Commissioner's Cup for the first time

Southeast Missouri State University has quietly put together several impressive athletic performances in recent years. That success culminated this year with stellar athletic performances and a first-time award: the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner's Cup.

The award is earned on a points system, and prior to this year Southeast hadn't finished higher than third. This year, SEMO finished with 119 points -- 7.5 points ahead of its closest competitor, Belmont, which finished at 111.5.

The Redhawks finished first in women's tennis, track and field and softball. And on the men's side baseball won the regular season conference title and the OVC Tournament championship. The men's track and field team finished second. And Southeast boasted third-place finishes in women's basketball, soccer and volleyball.

Even the programs that had less than championship years have good things going for them. Though down this year, the Redhawks football team has been strong in recent years and looks to rebound this fall under Coach Tuke. And there is momentum with the men's basketball program under new coach Brad Korn.

For Southeast, there's plenty of praise to pass around for the OVC Commissioner's Cup. Of course, players have to compete, and the Redhawks are certainly doing their part on the field and in the classroom. SEMO athletes regularly stand out for their performance not only on the field but with impressive GPAs. Southeast coaches deserve recognition. And athletic director Brady Barke and his staff have laid the foundation for a winning culture.

Congratulations to SEMO on winning this year's OVC Commissioner's Cup. May it be the first of many to come.