Benedict Holds Athletic Awards Banquet
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Benedict) – The Benedict College athletic department honored its student-athletes at its annual athletic awards banquet on Tuesday night.
Men’s basketball standout Brandon Morris and women’s basketball standout Destiny Betts received the John E. Brown Award, Benedict’s top student-athlete award. The award is named after the former legendary coach and athletic director, who spent 32 years serving Benedict College, where he coached football, baseball and basketball for the Tigers. This award is given to the most outstanding student-athlete.
Betts was named the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year by the SIAC, as well as the SIAC Tournament Most Valuable Player. She had a rare 30-30 game against Lynn, recording 32 rebounds, the sixth-highest single game total in NCAA Division II history.
Morris was named the Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year by the SIAC. He was also named an All-American after averaging 18 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
The Lucius F. Clark Award was presented to football standout George Myers Jr. The award is named after the former coach who resurrected the Benedict golf program and is given to any student-athlete who has shown outstanding character and has brought national exposure to the college and athletic program. The recipient also has provided leadership within their sport area, and has shown dedication to help other student-athletes grow.
Myers was named the MVP of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in football after rushing for more than 1,000 yards this season. He set the modern-era school record for yards rushing in a game with 235 yards against Central State. He was also named All-Region.
The winner of the Jimmy Green Memorial Inspiration Award was football player Kendrick Frazier.
The award is named in honor of one of Benedict’s outstanding football alumni and is presented to a student-athlete who has been confronted with life-altering experiences and has utilized perseverance, dedication, and determination to overcome the event. This award is presented in recognition of Mr. Green’s dedication and commitment to Benedict College.
Frazier was a highly-recruited player out of Denmark-Olar High School in 2009, but did not attend college immediately after the death of his mother. He later enrolled at Benedict and has become a successful student-athlete.
Benedict also presented the inaugural Dr. David H. Swinton Power For Good Award, presented to a student-athlete who demonstrates the qualities exemplified by Dr. Swinton, who is retiring this year after 23 years as the school’s President. The award recognizes a student-athlete who demonstrates leadership, hard word and determination, community service, and academic achievement. The first winner of the award is men’s cross country and track & field standout Dessie Demlew.
Demlew finished second overall at this year’s SIAC Cross Country Championship. He also won the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter races as the SIAC Track & Field Championship. He won the SAIC cross country race in 2014 and 2015 and has earned numerous conference, regional and national awards in cross country and track & field during his athletic career.Demlew also excels in the classroom, with a 3.6 GPA and was named Academic All-Region in 2016.
The department also recognized four student-athletes with a perfect 4.0 GPA, as well as 121 student-athletes with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
The Central Midlands Booster Club presented its special awards to baseball coach Selwyn Young, who reached his 200th career win this season and men’s and women’s tennis coach Gary Taylor.
The Benedict Individual of the Year Award went to Louise Smith.
The Athletic Department Outstanding Employee Award went to men’s and women’s tennis coach Gary Taylor, men’s and women’s cross country and track & field coach Frank Hyland, and women’s basketball coach James Rice.
Other award winners:
Ashley Mobley – Outstanding Team Leader
Shyquanne Strainge – Dedicated Senior
Chasity Thompson – All Around Valuable Cheerleader
Ariel Ashford – Most Dedicated Freshman
George Myers Jr. – Most Valuable Player, Offense
Charles Williams – Most Valuable Player, Defense
Phillip Brown – Best Freshman Player, Offense
Collins Tensley – Best Freshman Player, Defense
Okechi Ntiasagwe – Most Improved, Offense
Stephen Williams – Most Improved, Defense
Edward Kirkland – Most Improve, Defense
Trequan Shaw – Special Teams Award
Rajai Cousley – Most Valuable Player
Marqus Edwards – Most Improved
Joshua Calhoun – Best Newcomer
James Roman – Pitcher of the Year
Andrew McCoy – Defensive Player of the Year
David White Jr. – Most Valuable Player
Robert Troiano III – Utility Player of the Year
Brianna Billie – Offensive Player of the Year
Tandreanna Conyers – Defensive Player of the Year
Khayreyah Parrish – Most Valuable Player
Erika Dargan – Best All-Around
Shanessa Rees – Pitcher of the Year
Aaliyah Lawson – Co-Most Valuable Player
V’Aira Harris – Co-Most Valuable Player
Adrionna Washington – Newcomer of the Year
P’yuncka Kearse-Peeples – Most Improved
Umar Frost – Freshman of the Year
Quayshun Hawkins – Offensive Player of the Year
Kel Robin – Defensive Player of the Year
Christopher Spencer – Best All-Around
Brandon Morris – Most Valuable Player
Nathaniel Pinkney – Most Valuable Player
Juan Hernandez – Most Improved Player
Armando Flores – Freshman of the Year
Quentin Eloise – Best All-Around
Malek Selmen – Senior Award
Taj Ballantyne – Sportsmanship Award
Daniella Rios – Co-Most Valuable Player
Danyelle Copeland – Co-Most Valuable Player
Karla Flores – Best All-Around
Caroline Nguy – Best Newcomer
Adrienne Milow – Most Improved Player
Juliet Campbell – Sportsmanship Award
Viktoria Izakova – Spirit Award
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country
Jenella John – Running Tiger Award
Phoebe Johnson – Most Improved
Pauline Cobb – Coaches Award
Lea Tshikaya – Most Valuable Player
Haregot Gebreyesus – Running Tiger Award
Noah Prevard – Coaches Award
Stephan Richardson – Most Improved
Dessie Demlew – Most Valuable Player
Men’s and Women’s Track and Field
Jenella John – Track Athlete of the Year
Lea Tshikaya – Running Tiger Award
Phoebe Johnson – Most Improved Female Athlete
Brianna Frazier – Most Outstanding Female Athlete
Kaleb Daniels – Jumper of the Year
Dessie Demlew – Running Tiger Award
Marc Sutton – Field Athlete of the Year
Antonio Locklin Jr. – Most Outstanding Male Runner
MiKeisha Moore – Offensive Player of the Year
LeAnna Morrison – Newcomer of the Year
Destiny Betts – Defensive Player of the Year
Zairra Harris – Most Outstanding Player of the Year
Shirvel Luke – Most Valuable Player
Shanaissa White – Freshman of the Year
Juliet Campbell, Women’s Tennis
Juan Hernandez, men’s tennis
Gary Naylor, men’s basketball
Taylor Roberts, softball
3.0 GPA and above:
Dae’Shondra Stephens (also track & field)
Essence Stinnette (also cross country)
Women’s Cross Country
Pauline Cobb, also for track & field
Princess Hammett, also for track & field
Phoebe Johnson, also for track & field
Lea Tshikaya, also for track & field
Karel Ziketh, also for track & field
Arneshia Parrish, also for cheerleading
Murrell Martin Jr.
Reinaldo Santiago– Lozada
Robert Troiano III
Rodney Prichard Jr.
Men’s Cross Country
Oshane Burrell, also track & field
Dessie Demlew, also track & field
Haregot Gebreyesus, also track & field
Stephan Richardson, also track & field
Lennox Williams, also track & field
Elroy Maloyd Jr.