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Male, female athletes of year announced

LEWISVILLE, Neb. (AFPN) -- Maj. Roger Sherman takes aim at targets on the Eastern Nebraska Gun Club firing range here. The Air Force Services Agency named Major Sherman the 2005 Male Athlete of the Year. The major is a special assistant to the commander of U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ted Green)

LEWISVILLE, Neb. (AFPN) -- Maj. Roger Sherman takes aim at targets on the Eastern Nebraska Gun Club firing range here. The Air Force Services Agency named Major Sherman the 2005 Male Athlete of the Year. The major is a special assistant to the commander of U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ted Green)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan (AFPN) -- Staff Sgt. Twyla Sears swings at a softball during a game here. The Air Force Services Agency named Sergeant Sears the 2005 Female Athlete of the Year. The sergeant is a power production journeyman with the 353rd Operations Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan (AFPN) -- Staff Sgt. Twyla Sears swings at a softball during a game here. The Air Force Services Agency named Sergeant Sears the 2005 Female Athlete of the Year. The sergeant is a power production journeyman with the 353rd Operations Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo)

SAN ANTONIO (AFPN) -- One shoots at targets, the other at strikeouts, but both are the Air Force Services Agency’s Athletes of the Year for 2005.

Maj. Roger Sherman, a special assistant to the commander of U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the 2005 Male Athlete of the Year. He is a member of the Air Force Action Pistol Team, which is comprised of some of the Air Force’s top shooters. They compete internationally in the sport of practical pistol shooting.

Staff Sgt. Twyla Sears, of the 353rd Operations Support Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, is the 2005 Female Athlete of the Year. Sergeant Sears is a pitcher for the All Armed Forces Women’s Softball Team that won the Amateur Softball Association’s 2004 Western Regional Softball Championship. She earned First Team All American honors.

Both athletes were “stunned” to hear the news that they had been selected.

“It’s great to be recognized for something you’ve worked so hard for,” Major Sherman said. “I was overwhelmed with gratitude to my wife and son for all the sacrifices they made, allowing me to work toward my goals. I couldn’t have done it without their love and support.”

Sergeant Sears said, “I think this award shows everyone that you’re not just a statistic and that you are valued and recognized for accomplishments that aren’t necessarily job-related.”

Major Sherman was the only military servicemember selected to the U.S. Practical Shooting National team. His event combines many dimensions of shooting, including drawing from a holster and shooting at multiple moving targets. He finished sixth of 700 competitors at the U.S. Practical Shooting Association National Handgun Championship and was a bronze medalist at the world championship, competing against 1,200 shooters.

Sergeant Sears is recognized as one of the military’s best softball players. Her all-star team advanced to represent the Armed Forces at the Western Regional tournament. Her performance led the armed forces team to the championship. She went on to pitch the Armed Forces team to second place in the Amateur Softball Association’s Major Level Division championship.