SFA Honors Athletes at Champions Dinner
May 2, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin athletics department honored its student-athletes at the annual Champions Dinner Thursday evening in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Grand Ballroom. Due to the overall success of the department, SFA is once again in the hunt for the Southland Conference Commissioner's Cup - an honor given to the league's most successful athletics department.
In addition to the individual honors that were handed out Thursday, SFA also honored its five Southland Conference championship teams, which include women's cross country, soccer, men's and women's indoor track and field and men's basketball. The Ladyjack cross country team claimed its seventh league title, led by senior Lauren Smith who won the race and was named SLC Athlete of the Year for a second consecutive season. The Ladyjack soccer team wrapped up its most successful campaign in program history by finishing 17-4-0 (.810), and a perfect 8-0-0 record in league play. The Ladyjacks also advanced to the NCAA Championships where they dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 decision at No. 15 Texas A&M. The SFA men's and women's track and field teams swept the indoor titles for the first time since 2005. The Ladyjacks scored 173 points to dominate the competition, while the Lumberjacks rallied in the final three events to score 124 points to edge out Sam Houston State. It marked the fifth consecutive indoor title for the Ladyjacks. The SFA men's basketball team wrapped up one of the greatest runs in program history posting a 27-5 record and winning their third SLC title, while advancing to the NIT.
The Champions Dinner is highlighted every year by the announcement of the Ralph Todd and June Irwin Athlete of the Year Awards. The 2013 announcement was an historical one because for the first time in its 61-year history the Ralph Todd Award was given to two athletes - Taylor Smith and Hunter Dozier. History was also made on the women's side as senior midfielder Kylie Louw became the first female athlete to receive the June Irwin Award for third consecutive season.
Smith guided the Lumberjack basketball team on a historical run through the 2012-13 season. The 'Jacks won their third Southland title in a year that saw road wins over Tulsa and Oklahoma, and a trip to the NIT. He led the nation in field-goal percentage, and was the team's top scorer and rebounder while setting new SFA single-season and career marks in blocked shots. Smith finished the year being named SLC Player and Defensive Player of the Year.
Lumberjack shortstop Hunter Dozier has placed himself in the spotlight as one of the top young players in the nation. A preseason All-America selection, Dozier has lived up to the billing by leading the conference in batting average, home runs, doubles, total bases, slugging percentage and on-base percentage - ranking in the nation's top 10 in each category. He also has been named to the Brooks Wallace Award Watch List, and award given annually to the nation's top shortstop.
The first three-time recipient of the June Irwin Award in school history, Louw wrapped up her collegiate career in dominating fashion. She guided the Ladyjacks to another Southland title, and their first trip to the NCAA Championships since 2007. A three-time SLC Player of the Year, Louw set new SFA career marks in points and assists, and new season and single-game records for assists. The 2012 London Olympian closed out her career by earning second-team NSCAA All-America honors.
Two-time All-America selection Cordell Roberson was the recipient of the 2013 Dick Wright Award. Roberson finished his career by rewriting the school and conference record books. A three-time first-team All-SLC selection, Roberson leaves SFA as the program's all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions. He also set a new conference record for career TD catches. Roberson closed out his collegiate career by being named a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, an award given annually to the FCS Player of the Year.
A standout in cross country and track and field, Adam Saloom was the winner of the Bob Shelton Award. Saloom has been one of the program's top distance runners during his career. A six-time All-SLC selection, Saloom won the 2011 SLC steeplechase title, and followed that up by being named to the 2012 USTFCA All-Academic team.
Another member of the SFA cross country and track and field teams, senior Randi Plentl took home the Steve McCarty Award Thursday evening. She has helped the Ladyjack track and field team become the most dominant program in the conference, while maintaining a high-level of success in the classroom. She has been a key figure in 10 SLC Championship teams during her career, and holds the school's record in the steeplechase. She finished her cross country career by being named the 2012 SLC Female Student-Athlete of the Year.
Murray Shaw Academic Awards Baseball - Jordon Lenaburg Men's Golf - Cody Wing Women's Golf - Sara Jones Men's Basketball - Jacob Parker Women's Basketball - Brittney Matthew Soccer - Megan Dunnigan & Morgan Glick Softball - Elizabeth Arana Tennis - Laura Servise Women's Track & Field/Cross Country - Jessica Cunningham Men's Track & Field/Cross Country - Joshua Taylor Football - Joe Minden Volleyball - Sabrina Burns Bowling - Amanda Boethel & Sierra Gibbons