NACOGDOCHES, Texas – 2014-15 has been a year unlike any other for Stephen F. Austin Athletics as the Lumberjacks once again established themselves as the premiere program in the Southland Conference. Those successes were recognized Wednesday night as SFA hosted its annual Champions Dinner in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Grand Ballroom.
It was a year most programs in the nation would love to have. Seven regular season conference championships. Three NCAA tournament appearances, including a national runner-up showing. Seven Coaches of the Year. Six All-Americans. Over two dozen all-conference honors and 18 Southland Conference major award winners. And to top it all off, closing in on yet another SLC Commissioner’s Cup.
Being held in front of a packed Grand Ballroom, each of the Lumberjack and Ladyjack teams had the opportunity to award their respective sport award winners. Each of the SLC championship teams were recognized for their performances, comprised of soccer, volleyball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track and field and tennis. A special recognition was also given to the three programs that represented SFA in the NCAA tournament: football, men’s basketball and bowling, fresh off its national runner-up showing.
Following the presentation of the team awards, which were voted on by the head coaches of the respective teams, the top academic student-athletes were recognized with the Murray Shaw awards, culminated with Paige Holland being named the Kathy McGough Academic Athlete of the Year.
The remaining 2015 SFA Champions Dinner major award winners were then announced, beginning with track and field’s Shawn Goff being named the Jene’ Carter SAAC award winner. Men’s basketball picked up a pair of major honors with Thomas Walkup being named the Dick Wright Sportsmanship award winner and Jacob Parker earning the Bob Shelton award. Soccer’s Megan Dunnigan took home the Steve McCarty Award, combining senior leadership, academics and on-field performance.
The final two awards of the night were reserved for SFA’s top male and female student-athletes of the year as the two award winners capped an incredible evening. Women’s basketball’s Porsha Roberts was named the June Irwin Female Athlete of the Year, followed by football’s Gus Johnson earning the Ralph Todd Male Athlete of the Year as the duo came off record breaking performances in their respective sports.
In last year’s banquet, Director of Athletics Robert Hill challenged the SFA programs to raise the bar in his closing remarks. It was a challenge each team took to heart as SFA looks to put the finishing touches on a remarkable 2014-15 season.
But as the night concluded, a handful of Lumberjack student-athletes made the comment that may very well be the motto for 2015-16. “Let’s do it again next year. Only bigger.”
2015 SFA Champions Dinner Award Winners
Selected by respective sport head coaches
- Ladyjack Bowling Team MVP: Stephanie Schwartz
- Lucille Norton Award (Women’s Basketball): Porsha Roberts
- Sue Gunter Offensive Award (Women’s Basketball): Taylor Ross
- Gary Blair Defensive Award (Women’s Basketball): Tierany Henderson
- Sandy Miller Award (Athletic Trainers): Emily Montana and Ashley St. Clair
- Dianne Baker Award (Tennis): Vivienne Kulicke
- George Reese Award (Men’s Golf): Blake Pugh
- Ladyjack Women’s Golf Team MVP: Jessica White
- Scotty Bailess Award (Volleyball): Paige Holland and Jill Ivy
- Michelle Reid Award (Volleyball): Janet Hill
- Robert Maluski Award (Men’s Cross Country): Charles Mathenge
- Gwen Cole Award (Women’s Cross Country): Samantha Ottman
- Buddy Lowery Defensive Award (Men’s Basketball): Trey Pinkney
- George Johnson Offensive Award (Men’s Basketball): Thomas Walkup
- Pam Thorsten Award (Soccer): Megan Dunnigan
- Joe Richardson Award (Men’s Track and Field): Josh Taylor and Charles Mathenge
- Carolyn Barnett Award (Women’s Track and Field): Demi Payne
- Sadie Allison Award (Softball): Brittany Lewis
- Lumberjack Baseball Team MVP: Cameron Gann
- Mart Crawford Award (Football): Marvin Gray
- Cally Belcher Award (Football): Joshawa West
##Murray Shaw Academic Award Winners
Highest GPA for a two-year letterwinner per sport
- Baseball: Dan O’Neill
- Men’s Basketball: Tanner Clayton
- Women’s Basketball: Brittney Matthew
- Bowling: Paige Kraushaar
- Football: Aaron Thomas
- Men’s Golf: Baxter Ward
- Women’s Golf: Mackenzie Steiner
- Men’s Track and Field: Joshua Taylor
- Women’s Track and Field: Shambrail Woods
- Men’s Cross Country: Ervin Mooney
- Women’s Cross Country: Courtney High
- Soccer: Morgan Glick
- Softball: Hannah Welch
- Tennis: Malena Gordo
- Volleyball: Paige Holland
##Major Award Winners
Voted on by SFA Athletic Administrators
- Jene’ Carter SAAC Award: Shawn Goff, men’s track and field
- Kathy McGough Academic Athlete of the Year: Paige Holland, volleyball
- Dick Wright Sportsmanship Award: Thomas Walkup, men’s basketball
- Steve McCarty Award: Megan Dunnigan, soccer
- Bob Shelton Award: Jacob Parker, men’s basketball
- June Irwin Female Athlete of the Year: Porsha Roberts, women’s basketball
- Ralph Todd Male Athlete of the Year: Gus Johnson, football