Lander holds 49th Annual Athletics Banquet

The three big award winners were, from left, Michal Pospisil, recipient of the Male Athlete of the Year Award; Breshay Johnson, recipient of the Female Athlete of the Year Award; and Reed Gray, recipient of the Dr. Boyce M. Grier Award. (Photo by Joshua S. Kelly)
The three big award winners were, from left, Michal Pospisil, recipient of the Male Athlete of the Year Award; Breshay Johnson, recipient of the Female Athlete of the Year Award; and Reed Gray, recipient of the Dr. Boyce M. Grier Award. (Photo by Joshua S. Kelly)

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.

Following are the complete list of individual awards.

Women's Soccer
Most Valuable Player - Kayla Walker
Academic Award - Shannon DeSantis
Coach's Award - Shannon DeSantis
Sportsmanship Award - Kayla Combs

Baseball
Academic Award - Robbie Hoyt & Cole Weaver
(the remainder of awards will be annouced following the season) 

Men's Soccer
Most Valuable Player - Jordan Skelton
Academic Award - Ian Foulger
Coach's Award - Sinclaire Sandy
Sportsmanship Award - Danny Shanahan

Women's Basketball
Most Valuable Player - Mylea McKenith
Academic Award - Victoria Baldwin
Sportsmanship Award - Cameron Davis
Best Defensive Award - Mylea McKenith
Assists Award - Ty'hesha Reynolds
Rebounding Award - Breshay Johnson

Volleyball
Dr. Lorraine Redderson MVP Award - Halle Dotson
Academic Award - Kendall Korte
Co-Coach's Award - Sophia Perkins & Reyonia Whipple
Sportsmanship Award - Kendall Korte

Men's Tennis
Most Valuable Player - Eirik Groner
Academic Award - Charles Baron
Sportsmanship Award - Alexandre Springer
Coach's Award - Ozan Cildir

Women's Tennis
Most Valuable Player - Ivanka Mocic
Academic Award - Caroline Yodice
Sportsmanship - Isabella Schulz
Coach's Award - Yuriko Ono

Men's Basketball
Finis Horne MVP Award - JR Washington
Academic Award - Sergio Smith
Rebound Award - JR Washington 
Most Improved Award - Telvin Gabriel

Golf
Most Valuable Player - Michal Pospisil
Academic Award - Michal Pospisil
Coach's Award - Conor Richards
Sportsmanship Award - Jordan Ainsley

Softball
Doug Spears MVP Award - McKenzi Ferguson
Academic Award - Chandler Carey
Coach's Award - Chandler Carey
Sportsmanship Award - Kyra Irvin

Cheerleading
Most Valuable Player - Tia McFadden
Academic Award - Tia McFadden
Coach's Award -Kyle Coopwood & Jessica Davis

Dance Team
Most Valuable Player - Haley Moore
Academic Award - Savanna Guess
Coach's Award - Savanna Guess