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.
Freshman 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.
The 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
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
MVP Aleena McDaniel
Most Improved Te’Borah Hawkins-Hollingsworth
Aggie Pride Award Chelsea Fox
Spirit Squad Most Valuable Performer Quanetra Respass
Rookie Spirit Squad Member of the Year Brittany Pegram
Most Improved Cheerleader Brittany Poole
Hustle Award Denzel Keyes
Defensive MVP Jeremy Underwood
MVP Lamont Middleton
Top Free Throw Shooter Richaud Pack
Top Rebounder Bruce Beckford
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
Got S.P.A.R.E.S Award Kristin Shinn
Industriousness Award Briana Jackson
Cooperation Award Najah Owens
Coaches Award Emily Strombeck
Rookie of the Year Aarica Carrington
Wright Swimmer Award Christian Hill
MVP Erika Eisenman
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