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Top Rams honored

By   /   May 18, 2010  /   Comments

By Edythe Bradley

Albany State University Golden Rams student athletes were honored for their outstanding academic and athletic achievements during the recent 40th annual All-Sports Banquet at ASU’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation Complex. Student athletes who participate in football, volleyball, baseball, tennis, softball and women and men’s basketball, track and field, cross country, cheerleading and dance were honored during the event.

The banquet was an opportunity to honor student athletes for their accomplishments during the 2009-2010 season, said ASU Athletics Director, Dr. Joshua W. Murfree.

“We are here to pay tribute to the best and the brightest, our champions, the ASU Lady Rams and Golden Rams sports teams, for their successes on the playing fields and in the classroom,” Murfree said. “Our teams have enjoyed tremendous successes this season and we thank them for their hard work, dedication and service to the University.”

More than 100 student athletes were honored, including Carolina Ribeiro and Demetrice Johnson, who received ASU’s top awards, the 2010 Female and Male Student-Athlete-of-the-Year awards. Callie Hamilton, who received the first-ever Ram Award, which is presented to the student athlete who exhibits school spirit, dedication, leadership and service to the community.

Ribeiro, a senior tennis and volleyball player, led the Lady Rams tennis team to its first SIAC championship title. She was named to the SIAC All-Conference First Team in Singles and Second Team in Doubles. She received the team’s Most Outstanding Singles Player Award, Senior Award and Academic Achievement Award. She also helped the Lady Rams volleyball team win their ninth consecutive SIAC championship and their 10th in the past 12 years during the 2009 season. She was named to the 2009 SIAC All-Conference Volleyball Second Team and the SIAC All-Tournament Team. She was named the team’s best defensive player.

Johnson, the star senior running back, led the Golden Rams football team to another successful season. Johnson rushed 859 yards on 171 carries for 15 touchdowns and caught 30 receptions for 446 yards and five touchdowns during his senior campaign. A candidate for the 2009 Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II College Football Player, Johnson was named to the 2009 All-SIAC Team and the Daktronics All-Super Region Two Second Team. He received the team’s Best Offensive Back Award.

Hamilton, a senior Lady Rams basketball player and cheerleader, also received the Best Offensive Player Award for her performance on the court. She led the team in rebounds, averaging 7.7 rebounds per game, and in blocks with 14. She was second on the team in scoring, averaging 10.9 points per game and in steals with nine.

The Lady Rams softball team’s Most Valuable Player Award went to senior shortstop Ta’Shelya Bynum, who recorded 64 hits, scored 45 runs, including eight homers, and 50 RBI during the season. Latrice Lewis, a junior outside hitter with the Lady Rams Volleyball Team, earned the Most Valuable Player of the Year and Academic Achievement awards after leading her team with 316 kills and 185 digs during the 2009 season.

Senior quarterback A.J. McKenna received the football team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player and Most Improved Offensive Player awards after leading the Golden Rams to a second place finish in the SIAC. McKenna threw for 2,027 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for another 328 yards. Junior defensive back Mario Fuller took home the Most Valuable Defensive Player and Best Defensive Back awards. Fuller led the “Dirty Blue” defense with 67 tackles, including 50 solos, and four interceptions.

ASU’s cross country awards went to freshmen Asia Palmer and Lil’Diamond Jones as Best Female and Male Performers and the Lady Rams tennis team, who captured their first-ever SIAC Tennis Championship, named juniors Dominique Lambert and Crystal LeGrand as the Most Outstanding Doubles Team. Senior Larry Johnson, who went 8-4 and struck out 60 batters, earned the baseball team’s Pitching Award. Senior catcher Jarvis Beck was named the Best Defensive Player.

Freshmen Candice Vaughn was named Most Valuable Women’s Track Athlete and Rookie of the Year, and Shabreka Carter received the Most Valuable Women’s Field Athlete. Carter won the SIAC championship in the discuss throw and hammer throw competitions. Senior Antoine Thomas was named Most Valuable Men’s Track Athlete, and senior Eric McCrary was named Most Valuable Men’s Field Athlete. Thomas won the men’s 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash in the SIAC’s championship meet last week, while

Senior point guard Nafeesha Frost, who led with Lady Rams with 11.3 points per game and 68 assists, was named Most Outstanding Player. Junior forward Truett O’Neal, who averaged 13 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, was named Most Valuable Men’s Basketball Player and received the Top Rebounder award.

Ayan Brown received the Most Outstanding Cheerleader award and Lacey Brooks was named Most Outstanding Platinum Diva dancer.

Albany State also honored former Athletics Director Dr. Wilburn Campbell, who retired as Dean of the College of Education; current Athletics Director Dr. Joshua Murfree, Jr., who accepted the job as superintendent of Dougherty County Schools, and Coach Jesse Massey, a longtime athletics supporter and volunteer, for their service and support of Golden Ram athletics.

In presenting awards, Assistant Athletics Director Stephanie Harrison-Dyer said, “Tonight, we are celebrating achievement, and these very special people have made many contributions to the Albany State University and the Department of Athletics. These gentlemen are great leaders, role models, motivators and supporters of this great institution and our great Athletics program.”

40th Annual All-Sports Banquet Award List (2009-2010)
Department of Athletics – Albany State University

Female Athlete of the Year: Carolina Ribeiro
Male Athlete of the Year: Demetrice Johnson
RAM Award: Callie Hamilton

Baseball
Best Defensive Player: Jarvis Beck
Pitching Award: Larry Johnson
Most Homeruns: Brandon Marcus and William Smalls
Most Improved Player: Tyler Rich
RBI King: DeMarcus Price
Captains Award: B. J. Stewart
Most Stolen Bases: Brandon Marcus
Coaches Award: David Lewis
Highest Batting Average: William Smalls
Freshman of the Year: Corbin Williams
Newcomer of the Year: Brandon Small
Academic Achievement Awards: Brian Gary, Andre Jones, Dallas Neloms, Ken Nesbitt, B.J. Stewart

Women’s Basketball
Most Outstanding Player: Nafeesha Frost
Best Offensive Player: Callie Hamilton
New Comer of the Year: Rosetta Daniels
Academic Achievement Awards: Breanna Fields, Callie Hamilton, Precious Peak

Softball
Most Valuable Player: Ta’Shelya Bynum
Most Improved Player: Shandria Usher
Best Defensive Player: Macy Mager
Best Offensive Player: Deanna Birdsong
Newcomer of the Year: Dominique Bryant
Academic Achievement: Macy Mager, Ashia Merideth, Monica Powell, Sasha Reece, Shandria Usher

Volleyball
Most Valuable Player: Latrice Lewis
Most Improved Player: Tiffany Butler
Best Defensive Player: Carolina Riberio
Best Offensive Player: Bonnie Salary
Newcomer of the Year: Priscila Sena
Academic Achievement Awards: Sabrina Garcia, LaTrice Lewis, Carolina Ribeiro

Tennis
Most Outstanding Doubles Team: Dominique Lambert & Crystal LeGrand
Most Outstanding Singles Player: Carolina Ribeiro
Freshman of the Year: Reanah Kellogg
Hustle Award: Kristina Jackson
Most Improved Player: Jasmine Williams
Coaches Award: Brittany White
Academic Achievement Awards: Jasmine Williams, Brittany White, Crystal LeGrand

Football
Most Valuable Offensive Player: A.J. McKenna
Most Valuable Defensive Player: Mario Fuller
Most Improved Offensive Player: A.J. McKenna
Most Improved Defensive Player: Jonathan Armstrong
Best Receiver: Ronnie Childs
Best Offensive Back: Demetrice Johnson
Best Offensive Lineman: Norris Byrd
Best Defensive Lineman: Jacob Hardwick
Best Freshman Offensive Player: Janell Jones
Best Freshman Defensive Player: Justin Blash
Best Defensive Back: Mario Fuller
Best Linebacker: Frederick Green
Most Valuable Special Teams Player: Juan Bongarra
Most Valuable Special Teams Player: Gary Howard
Most Valuable Special Teams Player: Jamarkus Gaskins
Highest Grade Point Averages: Mario Fuller and Terry McGhee
Academic Achievement Awards: Herndon Burns, Mario Fuller, Bruce Ryles, Ernest Seay,
Robert Lee Taylor, Terry McGhee, Jamoski Ward

Men’s Basketball
Most Valuable Player: Truett O’Neal
Top Rebounder: Truett O’Neal
Best Offensive Player: James Clark
Best Three-Point Shooter: Sean Glenn
Best Defensive Player: Jawan Bailey
Newcomer of the Year: Jonathan Hines
Coaches Award: Brandon Sims
Academic Achievement Awards: Jawan Bailey, Jonathan Hines

Women’s Track & Field
Most Valuable Track Athlete: Candice Vaughn
Most Valuable Field Athlete: Shabreka Carter
Most Improved Athlete: Ambroshia Austin
The Woman Award: Cherrisa Brockington
Rookie of the Year: Candice Vaughn
Academic Achievement Awards: Cherrisa Brockington, Shabreka Carter

Men’s Track & Field
Most Improved Athlete: Nehemyah Price
Most Valuable Track Athlete: Antoine Thomas
Most Valuable Field Athlete: Eric McCary
The Man Award: Ronnie McGirt
Rookie of the Year: Kristopher Taylor
Best Distance Track Runners: Sherrard Thomas, Robert Smith and Alex Brown
Academic Achievement Awards: Daniel Machooka, Eric McCrary, Durrell Smith

Cross Country
Best Female Cross Country Performer: Asia Palmer
Best Male Cross Country Performer: Lil’Diamond Jones

Cheerleaders
Most Outstanding Cheerleader: Ayan Brown
Freshman of the Year: Camille Houston
Coaches Award: Chanceton Scott Bennett
Most Dedicated Cheerleader: Whitley Patterson
Most Improved Cheerleader: Adrienne Francois
Appreciation Award: Todd Anderson (Sam, the Ram)
Academic Achievement Awards: Ali’yah Arnold, Ayan Brown, Pennie Chapple, Lauren Clements, Ashley Upshaw, Ashley Lipscomb, Shunterra Lucy, Adrienne Francois, Sherray Nelson, Charde’ Woods

Platinum Divas
Most Outstanding Dancer: Lacey Brooks
Most Dedicated Dancer: Renniah Gay
Most Improved Dancer: Brandi Richardson
Academic Achievement Awards: Brandi Walker, Amani Jackson

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About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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