With another athletic season winding down, Hiram College took an evening to celebrate the efforts and achievements of the Terrier student-athletes with the 2017-18 Terry Awards.
This year marked the third-annual Terry Awards, which were held in Hayden Auditorium on Monday evening at 8 p.m.
A total of 22-award winners were honored throughout the evening as both the student-athletes, as well as the coaches and athletic administration, handed out separate awards.
The Terry team awards were nominated and voted on by the Hiram athletic programs. Each team was allowed to submit one nominee for any of the 12 awards. The nominees were then voted on by the programs to determine a winner. Some of the winners of the team awards are listed below:
Female Rookie of the Year – Freshman softball standout Kaitlyn Hager was named the Female Rookie of the Year during the evening's festivities. Hager currently leads the North Coast Athletic Conference in batting average (.473), while collecting 44 hits. She has posted 16 extra-base hits and 14 RBIs in her first year, while leading the league with a .558 on-base percentage.
Other nominees included: Hannah Ward (Women's Soccer), Kiara Franks (Volleyball), Madison Branch (Women's Basketball) and Kathi Kline (Women's Golf).
Male Rookie of the Year – First-year men's basketball standout Jalen Kirksey was named the Male Rookie of the Year after taking everyone's breath away with thunderous breakaway dunks throughout the season. Kirksey started 25 games as a freshman, shooting .519 from the field while averaging 10.9 points per game. In addition, he led the North Coast Athletic Conference in steals.
Other nominees included: Tahj Lorthridge (Football), Alex Andrzejewski (Men's Volleyball), Brady Gunther (Swimming & Diving), Vince Suso (Baseball), and Horace Johnson (Men's Lacrosse).
Comeback of the Year – The Terrier men's lacrosse team was honored with the Comeback of the Year honor thanks to their 17-16 victory over Wabash University. In the game, Hiram trailed by five in the fourth quarter, before tallying six-straight goals to steal the victory. All-NCAC honoree Nick Rollason tallied the game winner with just 39 seconds to play. You can read the story on the game at this link: http://www.hiramterriers.com/sports/mlax/2017-18/releases/20180407r9e6s1
Terrier Spirit Award – This award was given for the first time in 2017-18, and was awarded to a faculty or staff member, or campus community member, that best embodied the spirit of Hiram Athletics. This season, Sammy Adams was awarded with the honor. Adams works in Hiram's campus safety office and serves as the official photographer for all of Hiram's 16 intercollegiate sports.
Some of the other award winners voted on by student-athletes included:
Best Motivational Player – Alex Andrzejewski (Men's Volleyball)
Team Clown – Marcel Rice (Men's Basketball)
Top Student Trainer – Colton Kinderknecht
Team Philanthropy Award – Men's Basketball
Most Spirited Team – Men's Volleyball
Unsung Hero – Austin Blatt (Men's Basketball)
Along with the student-athlete awards, the Terry's also celebrated the Athletic Department Awards, which are also given annually. These awards were nominated by coaches and voted on by coaches and administration only.
The Pam Smith Woman of the Year and Don Hunsinger Man of the Year awards were given to the graduating senior student-athletes who exemplify leadership, scholarship and athletic ability. Those athletes will also be Hiram's nominees for the NCAC Man and Woman of the Year.
Terrier women's volleyball senior Jessica Fontana was named Hiram's Pam Smith Woman of the Year. One of just two seniors on the Terrier volleyball roster, Fontana helped lead Hiram back to the North Coast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament, where the team earned a first-round victory over Wooster. She ranked first on the roster with a .292 hitting percentage, which was also good for third in the North Coast Athletic Conference. Fontana finished the season with 202 kills and a team-best 67 blocks.
In the classroom, Fontana sports a 3.93 GPA in communications and is a member of the Lambda Pi Eta Communications National Honor Society. She has been twice named to the North Coast Athletic Conference academic honor roll. In the community, Fontana has spent time volunteering with Brooks House Assisted Living, and also spent time as a camp counselor at Camp Sue Osborne, a camp for children and young adults with special needs.
Along with that award, Fontana was also named the Myrtis E. Herndon Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Other nominees for both awards included Emily Syrjala (Women's Soccer) and Rachel Metcalf (Women's Lacrosse).
Men's basketball senior standout Kevlin Jones was named the Don Hunsinger Man of the Year.
A First-Team All-NCAC selection in 2017-18, Jones had another dominate year as a senior. The Terrier big man was the lone player in the NCAC to average a double-double for the second-consecutive season. He finished the year ranked eighth in scoring (15.6) and first in rebounding (10.7), while helping Hiram earn the fourth-overall seed in the NCAC Championship Tournament. Jones shot .611 on the season (good for third in the conference), helping him break the Terrier record for career field-goal percentage (.617).
He was just one of three players in school history to amass 1,000 points and 800 rebounds. Along with his athletic numbers, Jones pulled down a 3.0 GPA while majoring in business. In the community, Jones has been active with the men's basketball team, volunteering with both Hattie Larlham and Empower sports.
Other nominees for the Hunsinger Man of the Year award were Mike Skizenta (Football) and Jory Gomes (Swimming & Diving). Gomes was named the Bill Hollinger Scholar Athlete of the Year after pulling down a 3.76 GPA while serving as the team captain of the swim team during the 2017-18 season.
The remaining awards that were given included the Charles A. Henry award (outstanding junior student-athlete); the Hellen M. Petrosky Award (outstanding female athlete); the Donald Campbell award (outstanding male athlete); and the Herbert C. Matthews award (for overcoming adversity).
Women's soccer junior Sophie Bell was awarded with the Charles A. Henry distinction, after posting four points in 17 games for the Terriers, while holding down a 3.85 GPA in biomedical humanities.
Jones was tabbed as the Campbell Award winner, while women's basketball senior Allison Vannoy earned the Petrosky Award. Vannoy became the first Terrier in program history to amass 400 career assists while leading the NCAC in helpers per game. She scored 11 points per game, which led the Terriers.
The Herbert C. Matthews award was given to senior Sam Conway of the Terrier football team. Playing all four years for Hiram as both a place kicker and punter, Conway battled through diabetes through his entire career. Despite that, Conway converted on 15 field goals and 66 extra points in his four seasons, and served as both the starting kicker and punter during his senior campaign.
The entire evening was hosted by junior Reeve Bowling (swimming) and sophomore Jess Caspio (volleyball). Photo galleries for the event can be found, below.