SOU senior Speer a finalist for small college award

Southern Oregon senior forward Jacki Speer is a finalist for the Ad Rutschman Small College Female Athlete of the Year Award.

The winner of the award, presented to the top small college athlete in the state of Oregon during the 2009 calendar year, and 16 other state awards will be announced Jan. 31 at the Oregon Sports Awards. The two-hour event, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Tiger Woods Center, salutes the state's top athletes, coaches and teams for their efforts in 2009 or lifetime achievements.

Speer was a third-team All-American and an all-Cascade Collegiate Conference all-star as a junior, when she averaged 16.6 points and 11 rebounds. She led the team with 22 double-doubles as the Raiders went 25-7 and qualified for the NAIA Division II National Championships for the second year in a row.

The Centralia, Wash., native ended 2009 ranked second in the nation in rebounding (14.5 per game) and fourth nationally in scoring (21.7 points per game). In November of 2009, Speer set the SOU school record for rebounds in a game (28) and a career and moved into second place on SOU's career scoring list.

Ahmad Rashad, Emmy-winning broadcaster and former football star, will host Oregon Sports Awards for the fourth consecutive year. Rashad, a wide receiver and running back for the University of Oregon from 1969-71, played in four Pro Bowls and one Super Bowl during a 10-year NFL career.

Bill Schonely, the Portland Trail Blazers' former broadcaster, is back as show ambassador.

Doors open at 5 p.m., with hors d'oeuvres and a hosted bar before the show. Tickets are $50.

To order, call Chelsea Corrado at SportsOne, 503-721-7477, ext. 24.

Comcast SportsNet will air this year's Oregon Sports Awards on several occasions: 8 p.m. on Feb., 2; 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 7; 9 p.m. on Feb. 7; 8 a.m. on Feb. 8; 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 12; and and 6 p.m. on Feb. 17. In addition, the show can be seen via Comcast On Demand beginning Feb. 13. Comcast Cable of Oregon digital cable customers may view it at no additional charge by going to Channel 1/sports and fitness/Comcast SportsNet/Oregon Sports Awards.

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