GREENSBORO—The North Carolina A&T Athletics Department had plenty to celebrate on Monday evening at their annual All-Sports Awards Banquet.
The North Carolina A&T men’s basketball team made national headlines as they won the MEAC Championship for the 16th time in program history and picked up their first-ever NCAA tournament win. The women’s basketball team also earned a berth in a national postseason tournament, competing in the 2013 WNIT.
The A&T football team ranked second in the nation in total defense, and posted their first winning season in nine years in the second season under head coach Rod Broadway. The A&T volleyball team posted their most wins in a season since 2008 this fall. The Aggies saw new program records set in cross country, swimming and indoor track and field this season. The A&T bowling team finished second in the Southern Division and came in fifth in the MEAC tournament this year. The A&T tennis, baseball, softball and outdoor track and field teams have also made some great strides in competition this year.
On Monday evening at the Alumni Foundation Center, A&T student-athletes, coaches and department staff members and special guests came together to honor and celebrate the academic and athletic successes of their student-athletes this year. The show was hosted by women’s basketball public address announcer, Joseph Level.
Each team gave out their team awards, and the athletics department unveiled their top award winners in the festive gala themed “A Black and White Affair: A Night in Hollywood.”
The postseason successes of the bowling , men’s and women’s basketball teams were reflected in the top honors given on the night.
The Female Rookie Athlete of the Year award went to freshman bowler Emily Strombeck, who earned MEAC Rookie of the Year, second-team All-MEAC and MEAC All-Tournament honors. She led the Aggies in average and total pinfall this season. Strombeck earning female rookie honors added to what was a big night for bowling.
Strombeck’s teammate, senior Amber Brown, received the prestigious Aggie Athletic Foundation Award for excellence as a student, an athlete and as a person who overcame obstacles. Despite grieving for a mother who recently died of breast cancer, Brown has been able to maintain a 3.31 grade point average, while posting the second highest bowling average on the team.
The bowling team also earned the much sought after Athletics Director’s Academic Team Award for the A&T varsity sport with the highest GPA. A&T bowlers combined to post an impressive 3.15 team GPA.
Freshman Bruce Beckford and senior Adrian Powell of the men’s basketball team earned Male Rookie Athlete of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year, respectively. Beckford was named to the conference’s All-Rookie team averaging 8.2 points and 4.5 rebounds, with a team-best .550 field goal percentage. Powell became the 28th player in program history to total 1,000 career points, and was named the Most Outstanding Performer for the MEAC tournament.
Senior JaQuayla Berry, who was named first-team All-MEAC after averaging a team-best 12.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game this season, picked up the Female Senior Athlete of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year Awards.
Senior Mike Mayhew was named the Senior Male Athlete of the Year, and earned the coveted North Carolina A&T Sports Hall of Fame Award. He leaves the program as the all-time leading rusher with 3,521 career yards. He earned second-team All-MEAC honors this fall and was the 2011 MEAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year.
In addition to recognizing outstanding athletic performances, A&T also recognized the academic successes of their student-athletes, including those who have earned a 3.0 GPA for the year, and the six student-athletes who have earned a cumulative 4.0 GPA. Baseball player Kirby Whicker, Football player Jahkeem Forrester and tennis player April Burrage were named Academic Athletes of the Year for posting 4.0 grade point averages.
Female Rookie Athlete of the Year: Emily Strombeck, Bowling
Male Rookie Athlete of the Year: Bruce Beckford, Men’s Basketball
2012-13 Female Athlete of the Year: JaQuayla Berry, Women’s Basketball
2012-13 Male Athlete of the Year: Adrian Powell, Men’s Basketball
Senior Female Athlete of the Year: JaQuayla Berry, Women’s Basketball
Senior Male Athlete of the Year: Michael Mayhew, Football
Aggie Athletic Foundation Award: Amber Brown, Bowling
Highest Team GPA: Bowling
Academic Athletes (4.0 Cumulative GPA) April Burrage, Women’s Tennis
Kirby Whicker, Baseball
Jahkeem Forrester, Football
MVP D’Vonte Graham
Defensive Player of the Year Christopher Neal
Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year D’Vonte Graham
Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year Michael Mayhew
Football Aggie Award Travis Crosby
Lineman of the Year William Robinson III
Most Valuable Player Ashley Johnson
Most Improved Player Ian Thompson
Aggie Pride Award Jasmine Jones
Women’s Cross Country
Top Performer Award Kristin Rush
Men’s Cross Country
Top Performer Award Saeed Jones
Most Improved Player Eboni Ross
Defensive Player Ariel Bursey
Spirit Award Nikia Gorham
Coach Award Adriana Nazario
All Around Award JaQuayla Berry
Hustle Award DaMetrius Upchurch
Defensive MVP Austin Witter
MVP Adrian Powell
Top Free Throw Shooter Jeremy Underwood
Top Rebounder Austin Witter
MVP Lauren Bowling
Rookie of the Year Miranda Jacobs
Wright Swimmer Award Victoria Orr
Model of Consistency Award Courtney Crook
Rookie of the Year Emily Strombeck
Coach’s Choice Amber Brown
Top Performer Award Kimberly Stalling
Unsung Performer Award Victorea Austin
Women’s Track & Field
Track Rookie of the Year Nakita Gray
Top Field Event of the Year Sydni Cobb
Men’s Track & Field
Top Performer of the Year Darryl Williams
Comeback Performer of the Year Christian Harrison
Top Field Event of the Year Keenan Smith
Spirit Squad MVP Quatnera Repass
Rookie Spirit Squad Member of the Year Cierra West
Most Improved Gloria Smith