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Aggies Celebrate Success At Annual Banquet

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 04/29/2014
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North Carolina A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr., (far left) and director of athletics Earl M. Hilton III (far right) pose with Female Athlete of the Year Emily Strombeck (bowling) and Male Athlete of the Year Luke Tendler (baseball). Photo by Kevin L. Dorsey
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
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GREENSBORO – The North Carolina A&T Athletics Department came together for an evening of celebration, recognition, and memories at its annual All-Sports Banquet Monday at the Alumni Foundation Center.

Student-athletes from every team along with coaches, administration, staff, alumni, and special guests united for an evening of academic and athletic excellence.

Each program gave out their team awards, and the athletics department unveiled their players of the year.

The Female Athlete of the Year award went to sophomore Emily Strombeck of the bowling team who made history by receiving the program’s first All-American honor and was named the 2014 MEAC Bowler of the Year, another first for the program. Her teammate, freshman Kristin Shinn was named the Female Rookie of the Year. Shinn was a second-team All-MEAC selection and had an impressive rookie campaign under fifth-year head coach James Williams who was named the MEAC Bowling Coach of the Year.

Tracy King of the women’s basketball team was named the Senior Female Athlete of the Year. King, who was one of the team captains, guided the Aggies to another remarkable year. She led the team in scoring (13.0), steals (84), and 3-point field goal percentage (35.5). She became the 14th player in school history to score over 1,000 points and was a second-team All-MEAC selection. She finished the season ranked 11th in the nation in steals (2.7).

Baseball senior Luke Tendler had a huge night. He took home the highest honor on the men’s side, earning Male Athlete of the Year. He also took home the prestigious North Carolina A&T Sports Hall of Fame award along with being named Senior Male Athlete of the Year. Tendler put together a .352 career batting average and was named a Louisville Slugger All-American as a freshman and a third-team All-American as a junior.  He was also named as the No. 2 MEAC prospect for the 2014 MLB Draft by Baseball America.

Tarik Cohen, male rookieFreshman Tarik Cohen of the football team was selected as the Male Rookie of the Year. Cohen sizzled in his first season as he garnered several well-deserved awards. Cohen was named the MEAC Rookie of the Year after becoming the first freshman in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. He led the conference in rushing, racking up 102.3 yards a game. Cohen was also finished ninth for the Jerry Rice award, given to the FCS’s best rookie.

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 four student-athletes who have earned a cumulative 4.0 GPA. Men’s Track and Field athlete Dorian Claggett, volleyball player Liz Martino softball player Dasia Moore and baseball player Kyle Clary were named Academic Athletes of the Year for posting 4.0 grade point averages.  The Bowling team was awarded the Athletic Director's award for holding the best team GPA in the department. 

Bowling Team, Highest Team GPAThe Aggies had much to celebrate as they kicked the fall season off strong in several sports.  The football team celebrated another solid year as they led the nation in rush defense. The volleyball team made its first appearance in the MEAC Tournament since 2007, and the men’s and women’s cross country teams continued to improve as the men finished third at the conference meet.

The bowling team made history by making its first appearance in the national rankings and peaked to 13th at the end of the season. The women’s basketball program notched its seventh 20-plus win season and made its second consecutive appearance in the postseason WNIT. The men’s basketball team, indoor and outdoor men’s and women’s track and field programs, swimming, tennis, softball and baseball programs all made great strides in their respective seasons.

Female Athlete of the Year                      Emily Strombeck, Bowling
Male Athlete of the Year                          Luke Tendler, Baseball
Senior Male Athlete of the Year             Luke Tendler, Baseball
Senior Female Athlete of the Year         Tracy King, Women’s Basketball
Male Rookie of the Year                           Tarik Cohen, Football
Freshman Rookie of the Year                 Kristin Shinn, Bowling
Aggie Athletic Foundation Award         Erika Eisenman, Swimming

N.C. A&T Sports Hall of Fame Award   Luke Tendler, Baseball
Highest Team GPA                                     Bowling
Academic Athletes (4.0 GPA)                  Dorian Claggett, Men’s Track & Field
Kyle Clary, Baseball
Liz Martino, Volleyball
Dasia Moore, Softball

Football
MVP                                                               D’Vonte Grant
Defensive Player of the Year                   D’Vonte Graham
Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year       Travis Crosby
Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year        Tarik Cohen
Aggie Award                                                            Isaiah Martin
Lineman of the Year                                  Nathan Isles

Volleyball
MVP                                                               Aleena McDaniel
Most Improved                                           Te’Borah Hawkins-Hollingsworth
Aggie Pride Award                                     Chelsea Fox

 Cheerleading                     
Spirit Squad Most Valuable Performer                        Quanetra Respass
Rookie Spirit Squad Member of the Year        Brittany Pegram
Most Improved Cheerleader                              Brittany Poole

Men’s Basketball
Hustle Award                                              Denzel Keyes
Defensive MVP                                           Jeremy Underwood
MVP                                                               Lamont Middleton
Top Free Throw Shooter                          Richaud Pack
Top Rebounder                                           Bruce Beckford

Women’s Basketball
Most Improved Player                              DeAndra Davis
Defensive Player                                        Tracy King
Spirit Award                                                            Adriana Nazario
Coach Award                                               Christina Carter
All-Around Award                                      Tracy King
Rookie Award                                             Kenya Hailey

Bowling
Got S.P.A.R.E.S Award                              Kristin Shinn
Industriousness Award                             Briana Jackson      
Cooperation Award                                   Najah Owens
Coaches Award                                           Emily Strombeck

 Swimming
Rookie of the Year                                     Aarica Carrington
Wright Swimmer Award                          Christian Hill
MVP                                                               Erika Eisenman

Tennis
Top Performer                                            Jayla Scott
Unsung Performer                                     Lexxus Betts                        

Women’s Track & Field
Rookie of the Year                                     Daniqua Dye
Top Field Event of the Year                     Nakita Gray

Men’s Cross Country
Top Performer                                            Saeed Jones

 Men’s Track & Field
Top Performer of the Year                      Desmond Lawrence
Top Field Event of the Year                     Cliff Obodo

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