OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Stevenson University football standout Austin Tennessee and women’s basketball star Sara Tarbert were named the 2016-17 Senior Athletes of the Year as the Stevenson Department of Athletics held its inaugural Mustang Gala, its 23rd overall athletics awards banquet, Sunday evening at a sold-out Owings Mills Gymnasium.
Women’s lacrosse senior Brady Heher was named the recipient of the Fighting Heart Award, while women’s golf senior Emily Haas was named Stevenson’s nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Haas and Raymond Hastings (football) were the recipients of the Dean Dawson Award, while Kyle Weidemeyer (baseball) and Elizabeth Kamosa (women’s swimming) received the Dick Watts Transfer Award.
Men’s ice hockey and women’s swimming were honored for having the highest male and female team grade point averages, and Most Valuable Players in a total of 27 sports were honored, while the Stevenson Student-Athlete Advisory Committee handed out three awards as well.
Several new awards were handed out for the first time. MC McFadden was the recipient of the inaugural Fran Fidler Spirit Award, while Trey Shackelford ’96 received the Alumni Award. Football winning its first Middle Atlantic Conference championship was named the Moment of the Year, while Brittney Celano’s 37-yard free kick goal in women’s soccer was selected as Play of the Year.
Tennessee was a four-year standout for the Stevenson football program. A three-time Middle Atlantic Conference First Team selection on defense, Tennessee was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2017. He was a consensus First Team All-American by D3football.com and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), and was named the D3football.com Regional Defensive Player of the Year. Tennessee also received the Rocky Meyers Division III Defensive Player of the Year award. He was recently invited to the Minnesota Vikings’ rookie mini-camp.
Tarbert leaves Stevenson as one of its most decorated athletes. A three-year standout for the women’s basketball program, she was a three-time All-American, earning WBCA All-America honors and D3hoops.com Second Team All-America accolades as a senior. A two-time MAC Commonwealth Player of the Year and three-time First Team All-Conference selection, Tarbert totaled 1,780 points and 1,005 rebounds in three seasons. She established Division III records for double-doubles in a season (29) and consecutive double-doubles (30) and also earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. Tarbert was also a finalist for the Josten’s Trophy.
The Fighting Heart Award honors a student-athlete, male or female, who has overcome the odds and shown perseverance in their life, on or off the field. It is given to the person who best depicts a “Fighting Heart”.
Heher spent much of her freshman year at Stevenson with what was believed to be strep throat, but after months of misdiagnosis, it was diagnosed as thyroid cancer. She spent months going through treatment, had surgery to remove her thyroid, and spent monts rehabbing toget back on the field. Heher remained upbeat through the entire process, and has gone on to total 91 goals and 32 assists for 123 points over her career.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award is given annually by the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics. The NCAA established the Woman of the Year Award in 1991 to celebrate the achievements of women in intercollegiate athletics. The award is unique because it recognizes not only the athletics achievements of outstanding young women, but also their academic achievements, community service and leadership.
NCAA member institutions from all three divisions nominate their own woman of the year. To be eligible, these women must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport and must have completed eligibility in their primary sport.
Haas is a three-time MAC All-Conference performer who helped lead the Mustangs to back-to-back conference women’s golf championships in 2015 and 2016, and a second-place finish this season. A two-time MAC All-Academic pick, Haas has won back-to-back NCAA Elite 89/90 Awards, and was recently named the MAC Senior Scholar-Athlete for women’s golf. A Fashion Merchandising major, Haas sports a 4.0 GPA at Stevenson.
For excellence in and out of the classroom, the Dean Rose Dawson Scholar-Athlete Award is given in recognition of achievement in higher education, athletics, personal honor and team spirit. This award is given annually to the respective male and female athlete graduating with the highest cumulative GPA and is in consideration of the academic four year work where the complete body of work is done at Stevenson University.
A four-year member of the Mustang football program, Hastings played wide receiver. He made his first career appearance against Misericordia this season and recorded a catch. A Business Administration major, Hastings has compiled a 3.955 GPA at Stevenson.
The Dick Watts Transfer Award is given to the graduating student athlete who transferred to Stevenson University and based on their academic work at Stevenson, will graduate with the highest grade point average while competing in varsity athletics.
Weidemeyer has spent two years academically at Stevenson and joined the baseball team for the 2017 season. He has appeared in 12 games for the Mustangs this season. A Business Administration major, Weidemeyer has compiled a 3.68 GPA.
Kamosa has been a three-year member of the women’s swimming program, joining the program prior to its inaugural season in 2014-15. She has posted a 3.87 GPA at Stevenson as a Business Communications major.
Men’s ice hockey, a first-year program, was honored for holding the highest team cumulative GPA among male teams at 3.352, while women’s swimming was honored for posting a 3.596 cumulative grade point average.
The inaugural Alumni Award was presented to Shackelford by Ricky Sanchez ’98. The award will be awarded to an athletic alum who embodies Stevenson’s four core values of Community, Excellence, Integrity and Learning following their departure and embodying what it means to be a Mustang throughout their daily lives. Shackelford, a men’s lacrosse standout, was an inaugural inductee into the Dick Watts Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014 and currently serves on the Hall of Fame committee.
The Fran Fidler Spirit Award is named for Fran Fidler, who recently retired after 20 years serving as the administrative assistant in the Stevenson athletic department. Fidler came up with the characteristics of the award, which will go annually to someone who exhibits a positive attitude, a sense of involvement and is enthusiastic, who acts with the department’s best interests at heart and goes the extra mile. The winner of the award can be a student-athlete, coach, or staff member.
Fidler presented the award to McFadden, who serves as the department’s administrative coordinator and as assistant strength and conditioning coach. McFadden has been at Stevenson since 1997 when she was hired as women’s lacrosse coach, a role she served in until 2002.
Recipients of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee awards:
Athlete Choice Awards: Nate Ellis (Men’s Volleyball) and Emily Haas (Women’s Golf)
Staff Appreciation Award: MC McFadden, Administrative Coordinator/Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach
Most Valuable Players in each of Stevenson’s varsity sports:
Baseball: Kevin Kopas
Men’s Basketball: Cameron Hayes
Women’s Basketball: Sara Tarbert
Beach Volleyball: Kristen Brooks
Men’s Cross Country: Langston Gash
Women’s Cross Country: Kayla Bias
Field Hockey: Blair Bitner
Football: Billy Lewis
Men’s Golf: Andrew Wally
Women’s Golf: Emily Haas
Women’s Ice Hockey: Chelsea Blackburn
Men’s Lacrosse: Kyle D’Onofrio
Women’s Lacrosse: Olivia Monteiro
Men’s Soccer: Michael Tringali
Women’s Soccer: Morgan Cary
Softball: Tiffany McKee
Men’s Swimming: Zac Cather
Women’s Swimming: Melanie Milam
Men’s Tennis: Bryan Gieselman
Women’s Tennis: Jenna Skove
Men’s Indoor Track and Field: Devonte Williams
Women’s Indoor Track and Field: Danika Ani
Men’s Outdoor Track and Field: Devonte Williams
Women’s Outdoor Track and Field: Danika Ani
Men’s Volleyball: Landon Shorts
Women’s Volleyball: Annika Schwartz