GREENWOOD – The Lander University Athletics Departmhent held the 49th Annual Athletics Banuqet on Monday evening at Horne Arena. The event honored the University's student-athletes for their accomplishments during the 2016-17 campaign.
Reed Gray, a redshirt-junior baseball player from Tampa, Fla., received the Dr. Boyce M. Grier Award as the Lander student-athlete who best exemplifies sportsmanship, integrity, pride in the university and a positive attitude. Gray, whose career will come to an end after suffering an injury earlier this season, leads the team with a .355 batting average and a .494 on-base percentage. Gray interned with the athletics department and served as a social media worker for the soccer teams, as well as assisting with various duties in the sports information department.
Breshay Johnson, a junior women's basketball player from Hopkins, S.C., received the Dr. Samuel C. Hodges Award as the Female Athlete of the Year. Johnson led the Bearcats to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and was named the D2CCA Southeast Region Player of the Year and the PBC Player of the Year. Johnson averaged 16.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, while leading the PBC with a 61.3 field goal percentage and 208 free throw attempts. Her 537 points were the most of any player in the conference.
Michal Pospisil, a senior golfer from Unhost, Czech Republice, received the M.V. Wells Award given annually to the Lander Male Athlete of the Year. Pospisil won two tournaments during the regular season and led the Bearcats to the No. 1 spot in the regional rankings. Pospisil recorded below-par scores in 12 rounds this year and helped the Bearcats rise to No. 7 in the national rankings. His 71.8 scoring average in the lowest in the conference and his 64 during the second round of the UNG Fall Invitational was the lowest round of any player in the league this season.
The men's soccer team received the Bell/Williams Award, given annually to the team that has the overall highest ranking based on team winning percentage, grade point average and campus and community involvement. The award was established in 2007 to honor two long serving University employees, Cheryl Bell, former women's tennis coach and current Associate Athletic Director/SWA and Betty Williams, former Faculty Athletic Representative.