Georgetown College recently held its 8th Annual GC Awards, a time to honor, celebrate and recognize a year's worth of athletic success and accomplishments.
It has been another banner season for the Tigers, winning a fifth national title, along with countless other team honors. Most of the GC Awards are centered upon honoring athletes for various things with several final awards for team accomplishments.
The evening starts with the Rookie of the Year, an honor for first-year letter winners who made great contributions to their team's success. Among several notable statistical contributions, Sandy Young might most be remembered for the RBI single that finished a 15-inning affair in the Mid-South Conference tournament for softball. She also had a batting average about .300 and was high on the team in homeruns hit. She scored 18 runs and had 14 RBI.
The men's winner took a redshirt this past season and the chance to practice and learn was apparent as he stepped into a leadership role throughout the men's basketball season. Deondre McWhorter was second on the team in shooting percentage, .586, while averaging 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He was an inside force that complimented Vic Moses and Montavious Marc, helping the Tigers to the national title.
Proving how unselfish so many of our Tiger athletes are, this next honor had a tie for both the men's and women's category. On the men's side, football's Logan Osborne and men's basketball's Allan Thomas received the Team Player Award, given to the athlete that puts the team before personal desires and goals. Both proved to be able to lead or help teammates succeed. Osborne was the third leading rusher, as well as one of the main blockers for the other running backs, while Thomas finished third in scoring and second in rebound.
Softball's Madelyn Brown and women's basketball's Devon Golden were the recipients on the women's side. Both have played a multitude of positions since coming to Georgetown. Wherever their coach has a hole and needs to have a solid player in is generally where Golden or Brown play. Golden came as a point guard and by the time she graduated was a post player. Brown played catcher, first and in her final season moved to short stop.
Performance of the Year goes to two individuals that have an outstanding performance in a game, match or race. This year's female winner set a new Georgetown College mark by being the first woman to have a triple-double. Kourtney Tyra scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 11 assists as the Tigers beat University of Rio Grande at Davis-Reid Alumni Gym on Jan. 10.
Football's Rob Madon and his performance at Lindsey Wilson College earned him the men's award. The senior had eight catches for 110 yards with three touchdowns to help break the game wide open. He opened the game with a pair of touchdown receptions and then after a Blue Raider touchdown to open the second half, hauled in his third score of the night as the Tigers never looked back.
Play of the Year goes to a set of individuals that make one play that can change the game, match or meet. The men's winner was not hard to find as men's basketball's Monty Wilson's three-point shot with less than a second to go in the semifinals punched the Tigers ticket to the finals and eventually a national title. The junior calmly took the pass at the top of the key and drained the shot heard round the NAIA.
Women's soccer's Sarah Hencke hit a shot that hopefully will spur more confidence in the coming seasons against one of the perennial powers. In the MSC tournament against Lindsey Wilson College, the freshman scored the Tigers first goal against the Blue Raiders since 2009. After an early deficit, GC did not go away and Hencke's shot made it interesting for a while before LWC pulled out the win in the semifinals.
The Comeback Award is given to the student-athlete who returns from an injury to make a significant contribution. Women's basketball's Devanny King suffered a stress fracture two games into the season, but returned to be the fourth leading scorer, third leading rebounder and one of the main starters for a Tiger team that advance to the second round of the national tournament.
Men's basketball's Vic Moses was sidelined an entire year with a torn Achilles, but returned this year to lead the team in scoring. He became only the 10th Tiger to ever scored 2,000-plus points in a career. He grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds in the opening round of the national tournament, where he went on to record double figures in points and rebounds all five games. Following winning the national championship, he was named NAIA Player of the Year.
The Courage Award is given out to individuals who triumph over trying situations with positive responses that inspire a team. Track and field's Keith Arutoff tore a ligament in his arm just weeks before the season started. It happened to be his throwing arm for hammer, discuss and shot put. Despite the pain, he wore a brace and continued to compete all season. His highlight was winning both hammer and discuss in the meet at Lindsey Wilson.
Women's basketball's Andrea Howard broke a bone in her shooting hand early in the season. She battled back from that to be a leader on the floor. Her performance in the first round helped to get Georgetown into the second round, but in the process she re-broke her hand. With less than 24 hours to turn around, the junior decided to tape it and play through it for the remainder of the season. She scored six points in the final game.
Athlete of the Year is given to the male and female athlete that makes the greatest contributions to their respective teams. Volleyball's Rachel Eubanks had a team-high 436 kills in her sophomore season and finished as a third team All-American. Volleyball advanced back to the national tournament and into the quarterfinals for the first time in two seasons.
Football's Chris Gohman has been one of the leading receivers the past several years for the Tigers. Despite missing a few games due to a knee injury, he had a team-high seven touchdown catches and led the team in receiving yards and total receptions. He earned AFCA NAIA All-American status as well.
Mr. and Ms. Georgetown is given to an individual that goes behind the sport played and shows real passion for everything Georgetown College. Football's Zach Sowder was a key player for the Tiger offense, leading in total yards per game and second in total points scored. He is an active member in Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and is involved in Campus Ministries.
This year there was a Co-Miss Georgetown with softball's Mallory Johnson and track and field's Danielle Buford. Buford is also a member of the step team, gospel choir and is often found at many campus events cheering on her Tigers. Johnson is a member of the Kappa Delta sorority and can also be found at numerous campus functions to cheer and support her fellow Tigers.
This year the Team Community Service Award went to softball for their various camps and outings for Special Olympics.
The Team Academic Award goes to the team with the highest GPA. Men's cross country, the fifth largest men's team, ran away with the award this year, while women's golf narrowly edged out two competitors by a few thousandths of a point.
Coach of the Year goes to a set of coaches that have done an exceptional job this past year. Women's tennis, while receiving votes, was facing an uphill battle. Jessica Cunningham coached her team to several upsets of ranked opponents and even forced full matches against fellow Mid-South Conference teams inside the Top 20. The Tigers finished fourth in the regular season.
It comes as no surprise that the NAIA Coach of the Year is also GC's men's winner. Chris Briggs guided the basketball team to its second national title ever and first since 1998. He was the youngest coach to do so and also youngest to earn coach of the year honors.
Team of the Year is always the final award of the night. Our national title winning men's basketball team took home the honor. Georgetown finished 28-8 with five wins in Kansas City to bring home the school's fifth title and second in men's basketball. The Tigers trailed much of the semifinal game, but led when it matter as the clock expired.
Volleyball took home the honor for the women's teams. The Tigers were 36-6, won the regular season conference title and advance to the quarterfinals of the national tournament for the first time since 2009.