SAAC honors Wilmington College's best

Program has ESPYS-like theme

April 22, 2012

Pat Carroll (at right) receives his ESPYS-like SAAC award from event co-organizer Sara Fisher. Carroll was named SAAC's Senior of the Year and won a Record Breaker award.

Pat Carroll (at right) receives his ESPYS-like SAAC award from event co-organizer Sara Fisher. Carroll was named SAAC's Senior of the Year and won a Record Breaker award.

Three student-athletes received top honors at the Wilmington College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Awards Program at Hugh G. Heiland Theatre Sunday night.

Sophomore Malcolm Heard II was named Male Athlete of the Year by voting SAAC members while junior Julie Creech and senior Annie Cekada were Co-Female Athletes of the Year.

The ESPYS-like format of the program put a contemporary spotlight on both the student-athletes and SAAC.

“We want campus to be more aware of what SAAC is. We thought this event would do that and also honor our athletes,” said event co-organizer Sara Fisher, a junior volleyball player from London, Ohio. “It was a special night to award all the teams and athletes, and also raise awareness about SAAC.”

Heard was a standout on the football field and basketball court, where he earned All-Ohio Athletic Conference honors. He led the Quaker football team with 39 receptions for 487 yards and three touchdowns. On the hardwood, he averaged 14.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Creech (Dayton/Centerville) became Wilmington’s first female six-time All-OAC swimmer with second-place finishes in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly events at the conference championship. Cekada (Mineral Point, Pa./Central Cambria) earned her third All-OAC and All-Great Lakes Region honors on the cross country course last fall.

Team of the Year honors went to the men’s basketball team. The Quakers got hot in the OAC Tournament, advancing to the championship game. Along the way, the Quakers posted upset wins at Baldwin-Wallace at John Carroll. The Quakers’ thrilling 79-74 win at John Carroll in the OAC Tournament semifinals was named Best Game of the Year by SAAC.

The Biggest Upset award went to the Wilmington softball team for its 4-3 extra-inning win over OAC-leading Ohio Northern. The victory was one of the biggest in team history.

Pat Carroll (Cincinnati/Purcell Marian) was named Senior of the Year. On the cross country course, he was All-OAC and All-Great Lakes Region, and was twice named the OAC Runner of the Week. He also was a member of Wilmington’s All-OAC distance medley relay team at the 2012 indoor conference track and field championship.

Freshman Jenna Parlette (Miamisburg) was named Rookie of the Year. Parlette was an All-OAC cross country performer. She also earned OAC Runner of the Week honors. On the track, she was an All-OAC performer in the 5,000-meter run at the 2012 conference indoor meet.

Chelcey Lyons (Springfield/Shawnee) was named the Comeback Athlete of the Year. The senior outside hitter battled back from injuries to lead the WC volleyball team to a 12-win season that included a conference win over John Carroll. Lyons was second on the team in kills and was among the team’s leaders in every key category.

Carroll and Creech received Record Breaker awards. Carroll smashed the team cross country record, set new indoor 3,000- and 5000-meter records and was part of the record-setting DMR team. Creech put her name in the WC record book for the fourth time with a new 500-yard freestyle mark.

Ron Combs was named Coach of the Year for his guidance of the women’s cross country squad to one of the best seasons in team history. The Quakers spent most of the season ranked in the Great Lakes Region’s Top 10 and finished third overall at the OAC Championship.

Math professor and Wilmington Faculty Athletic Representative Bill Kincaid was named Fan of the Year. Kincaid is a fixture at Wilmington sporting events with his consistent voice of support.

Heather Thomas was SAAC’s pick for Athletic Trainer of the Year. Thomas worked with the WC women’s soccer, women’s basketball and softball teams during the 2011-12 academic year.

Judy Doyle received the Lifetime Award. Doyle has been with Wilmington’s athletics department since 1985 and has been athletics business manager since 2000. Along the way, she has provided a positive touch to hundreds of lives.