• BEST IN STATE—Senior Courtney Schoen Lewis was named Best PR Student in Utah. Story

USU honors its athletes, teams of the year at USTARS dinner

April 22nd, 2012 Posted in Sports

Story & Photos by Rebecca Holliday

LOGAN—More than 150 USU student-athletes, trainers and staff gathered at the annual USTARS Awards Banquet, hosted by the Utah State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) on behalf of the Athletics Department so student-athletes can recognize their fellow Aggies’ athletic achievements.

Seven USU athletes were honored with individual awards for their yearlong performances—Male and Female Walk-On Athletes of the Year, Male and Female Newcomers of the Year, Best Individual Performance of the Year, and Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

The Newcomer of the Year award goes to freshman or transfer student-athletes who bring more to their teams than any other new players. Gymnast Sarah Landes and freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton were selected as the Male and Female Newcomers of the Year.

Keeton said it was a good feeling to win the award. “It was cool to see so many people supported me even though I got hurt,” said Keeton, who was injured in November in a game against Hawaii, and was out for the rest of the season.

Basketball stand-out Preston Medlin took the award for Best Individual Performance of the Year for his efforts during a February game against Idaho in which the sophomore guard scored a career-high 32 points, including 27 during the second half. Medlin led Utah State to a come-from-behind 67-50 win at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum that night.

Women’s soccer star Molli Merrill was named USU Female Athlete of the Year, and football linebacker Bobby Wagner was recognized as Male Athlete of the Year.

Track team member Tyler Killpack and volleyballer Ashlan Rogers were chosen as the year’s top walk-on athletes. The Walk-On awards go to student-athletes who receive no financial assistance.

Angela Martinez was named Fan of the Year, and Hannah Jaussen, a second-year graduate student in the Athletic training program, was awarded Trainer of the Year. Fellow graduate assistant Josh Johnson accepted the award for Jaussen, who was unable to attend. “All the graduate assistants work really hard to keep athletes healthy and they all deserve credit,” said Johnson.

Jaussen later said she was excited to have been chosen. “Its always good when it’s coming from the athletes, so it’s good to know they appreciate it,” she said. Jaussen was assigned to the soccer team in the fall and to football this spring, but what set her apart was her involvement with other teams, stepping in to work with the women’s basketball team when their trainer was out, and assisting both the men’s and women’s tennis teams.

The banquet was also an opportunity for student-athletes to show off some of their other talents.  Members of the volleyball, gymnastics, softball, and football teams all stepped up to entertain their fellow Aggies. The football team’s “Human Centipals” dance routine took the prize for best entertainment, causing bursts of laughter from the crowd.

Team performances also were recognized: The women’s track team won the prize for best team for their results at the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Championship. Soccer took the prize for having the best overall season, and the football team won the best upset award for their 35-31 victory over Hawaii, which ended Hawaii’s nine-game home winning streak.

Aggie running back Kerwin Williams was an emcee for the banquet, and he remembered the game at Hawaii in November. “Watching the team surpass all odds was great,” he said.

It was Williams’ first time as an emcee, but he says it was a good experience. “Seeing all the student-athletes being themselves on stage and excited to accept their awards was a really good thing,” he said.

Williams helped plan the event as a member of SAAC, along with representatives from each of the other teams. “You feel like you’re involved with decision-making with the Athletics program,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing for anyone to be involved with.”

Awards were chosen and nominees voted on by student-athletes and Athletics Department staff.  SAAC organized the event with the help of academic/life skill coordinator Amber Rae Childers. “SAAC’s hard work, dedication and planning allowed their fellow student-athletes to enjoy an evening of fellowship and recognition of their athletic accomplishments,” she said.

—Rebecca Holliday is a member of the USU women’s gymnastics team



Tags: , , , , , ,

  1. 1 Trackback(s)

  2. Apr 26, 2012: USU honors its athletes, teams of the year at USTARS dinner « rebecca holliday

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.