It was UTC’s version of the Academy Awards.
Complete with video highlights set to upbeat music and envelope-in-hand presenters stating ...
“and the winner is …” the Mocs athletic department put on a first-class, blue-carpet treatment for its UTC student-athletes Thursday night at the Chattanooga Choo Choo.
Even Hollywood and ESPN would have been envious of the inaugural “The Scrappys” banquet.
“This awards dinner is a special way to celebrate and honor all the great things that have been accomplished by the student-athletes and teams,” said banquet emcee and voice of the UTC Mocs Jim Reynolds.
Reynolds let it be known that the awards dinner was an idea developed by the student-athletes.
“Tonight is our student-athletes supporting each other,” said UTC athletics director Rick Hart.
From the best player, coach and team to the top professor and fan of the year to those who had made great comebacks athletically and in the classroom, the night earned a five-star rating.
“UTC is a wonderful place and our student-athletes make it that way,” stated Reynolds stated.
Scholar Athlete of the Year – Maria Juliana Loza – Women’s Golf
Maria Juliana Loza was the 2012 Dayle May Award winner as the senior woman with best cumulative grade point average in Mocs athletics. Her academic record as a Mechanical Engineering major includes all A's with a solitary B in English for the native of Bucaramanga, Colombia. She is a two-time NGCA Scholar All-American. Loza has earned every academic honor possible at UTC and in the Southern Conference. On the course, she has also excelled. The All-SoCon performer finished tied for eighth at the 2011 NCAA Central Regional, the first top 10 by a UTC golfer - male or female - in regional play, earning her All-Central Regional honors.
Nominees Included: Christina Teter (Volleyball), Stephan Jaeger (Men’s Golf), Joel Bradford (Football), Chris Berry (XC/T&F).
Male Student-Athlete of the Year – Ryan Consiglio - Football
Consiglio garnered first team All-Southern Conference honors as the captain of the No. 1 ranked defense in the Southern Conference. He led the league with 120 tackles, posting 10 or more seven times. Consiglio closed out his career earning the SoCon Defensive Player of the Week award after making 19 tackles against Wofford. He also had a 45-yard fumble return for a TD against Western Carolina. The Franklin, Tenn., native is set to graduate with a degree in Exercise Science in May.
Nominees Included: Chris Berry (XC/T&F), Roberto Vieira (Tennis), Jamaal Burroughs (Basketball).
Female Student-Athlete of the Year – Michelle Fuzzard - Softball
Fuzzard graduated in August 2011 with a degree in criminal justice. She was a six-time Dean's List honoree and has represented the athletics department on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Gender Equity Committee for the university. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native batted .400 and drove in a school- and league-record 75 RBI in being named the 2011 Southern Conference Player of the Year in 2011. Fuzzard was also recognized on the NFCA All-South Region Second Team. Nominees Included: Donna-Kay Henry (Soccer), Emma de Groot (Golf), Whitney Hood (Basketball).
Student Fan of the Year – Chad Seymour
A staple at basketball home games, Seymour is better known as the “Construction Worker” from the Mocs student section. He can be seen with his friends, “Spiderman” and “Ironman,” at nearly all home basketball games, as well as wrestling matches in Maclellan Gym. The sophomore Chemistry major is from Chattanooga.
Nominees Included: Aaron Brown, Nicholas Lucky, Casey Hyde.
Professor of the Year – Dr. Steve Underwood
Dr. Underwood is an Associate Professor of Health and Exercise Science Pedagogy K-12 at UTC. His research areas include motor learning in Physical Education and physical fitness and training. Most of the Mocs who aspire to be coaches go through at least one of Dr. Underwood’s classes during their academic careers.
Nominees Included: Dr. Leroy Fanning, Dr. Mike Jones, Dr. Gretchen Potts.
Fan of the Year – Pam Henry
In one of the closest contested categories, longtime fan Pam Henry took home The Scrappy. Henry, along with her husband, Sam, can be seen nearly all of the men’s and women’s basketball games, home and away. She is a staple at football games at Finley Stadium and is heavily involved in the UTC Mocs Club. Over the years, she has been honored by the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame and the UTC Mocs Club and has volunteered in both the Academic and Communications offices within the Athletics Department.
Nominees Included: Ted Ailing, Derick Martin, Fumiko Samejima.
Freshman of the Year – Nick Soto – Wrestling
Soto was the 2012 Southern Conference Champion at 133 pounds. The true freshman from Spring Hill, Fla., was ranked as high as No. 12 in the nation last season, posting a 25-8 overall record. He advanced to the NCAA Championships in his first season with the Mocs and posted a 4.0 grade-point-average in the fall.
Nominees Included: Terrell Robinson (Football), Melissa Green (Volleyball), Benni Weilguni (Men’s Golf).
Behind the Scenes Award – Kyle Askew and Arland Jenkins – McKenzie Arena Staff
This award is given to a member of the Mocs community for their tireless efforts in supporting UTC Athletics. For over 30 years, Kyle and Arland have been a major part of Mocs Athletics. They represent the entire McKenzie Arena staff that work countless hours and events in support of nearly every Mocs program.
Nominees Included: Joe Baugham (Trainer), The Adcox & Robinette Family, Tim Davis (Football Manager).
Best Comeback, Athletically – Michelle Fuzzard – Softball
After a knee injury ended her 2010 campaign, Michelle Fuzzard rebounded in 2011 and helped the Lady Mocs to their 13th Southern Conference regular season championship and was named SoCon Player of the Year. She finished the regular season with a school- and league-record 75 RBI, while batting .400 as Chattanooga advanced to the final of the Tuscaloosa Regional, the furthest the program has reached in eight prior NCAA Tournament appearances.
Nominees Included: Dean Pavlou (Wrestling), Jackson Tresnan (Men’s Tennis), Gunner Miller (Football).
Best Comeback, Academically – Amanda Sumner – Track & Field
After getting behind in her class work last year, Sumner quickly rebounded to make the Dean’s List in the Fall. The sophomore from Bristol, Conn., has a 3.41 g.p.a. and earned all-conference honors at the SoCon Indoor Track and Field Championships with a third place finish in the 5000M.
Nominees Included: Marlon Anthony (Football), Nick Davison (Football)
Individual Performance of the Year – Terrell Robinson (115 yds rushing & 140 yds passing at Elon)
2011 SoCon Freshman of the Year Terrell Robinson had one of the best individual performances in school history in just his second start on Oct. 22 at Elon. Against the Phoenix, Robinson ran for a game-high 115 yards on 14 carries. He also completed 11 of 13 passes for 140 yards and 3 TDs. He was the first Moc with 100 yards rushing and passing since Tony Meredino in 1978.
Nominees Included: Stephen Jaeger (Winning Golfweek Conference Challenge), Lucas Cotter (Set a school record winning the SoCon Indoor 3000M), Brandon Wright (Defeat of No. 15 Kyle Blevins of Appalachian State to win the SoCon 165 title), Keegan Bell (Triple-Double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against the College of Charleston).
Victory of the Year – Wrestling’s 22-15 Win Over No. 12 Stanford
Junior Niko Brown pinned Stanford’s Alex Yen at 197 to clinch Chattanooga’s first win over a ranked team since 2007. Nearly 800 fans packed Maclellan Gym on Nov. 20 to watch the Mocs control the action against the 12th-ranked Cardinal. UTC’s last win over a ranked team came against No. 9 Ohio State (19-16) on Nov. 10, 2007.
Nominees Included: Soccer’s 3-0 Win at Western Carolina on Oct. 14, 2011; Men’s Tennis 4-3 SoCon Tournament Win Over Georgia Southern on April 20, 2011; Women’s Tennis 4-3 Road Win at Georgia Southern on April 2, 2011.
Play of the Year – Dontay Hampton’s Game-Winner vs. Appalachian State on Jan. 7, 2012
With the score tied at 63, Hampton grabbed the rebound with seven seconds to play. He sprinted up court weaving through two defenders and drove to the basket. He was challenged at the hoop, but fought his was in with a layup that fell through with less than a second to play. ASU’s full-court heave was well off the mark, giving the Mocs an exhilarating 65-63 come-from-behind win.
Nominees Included: Drazen Zlovaric’s Dunk vs. Elon (Feb. 9) that made the ESPN SportsCenter Top-10; D.J. Key’s school-record 85-yard INT return for a TD against Western Carolina on Oct. 15, 2011; Becca Smith’s game-winning PK in OT against Stetson on Sept. 9, 2011; Dan Waddell’s last-second takedown against Campbell’s Nick Rex to win the SoCon 157 pound title; Lucas Cotter passing the field with 100 meters left to win the SoCon Indoor 3000M title and set a school record.
Coach of the Year – Frank Reed - Softball
Head coach Frank Reed received his fourth-straight, and fifth overall, SoCon Coach of the Year honor and notched his 800th career win in 2011. The Lady Mocs set numerous team offensive records including home runs (58), RBI (368), runs scored (391), total bases (805), slugging pct. (.521) and on-base pct. (.423). Chattanooga won its 13th regular season and 11th tournament title as it advanced to the finals of the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional. Reed had a program-record five student-athletes selected to the NFCA All-Region team.
Nominees Included: Heath Eslinger (Wrestling), Russ Huesman (Football), Colette Murray (Women’s Golf).
Team of the Year – Women’s Golf
The Chattanooga Mocs women's golf team finished 2011 the way it started, as the SoCon's top team. The ladies won their second straight league title and captured the first individual SoCon win in the program's history as Emma de Groot bested teammate Jordan Britt by three strokes. UTC won the event by 30 shots over runner-up College of Charleston. It was the fourth team win of the year tying a school record. Just as impressive as the on-course accomplishments, the team ranked No. 13 among NCAA Division I universities with a 3.649 cumulative grade point average. It boasted four NGCA Scholar All-Americans in Maria Juliana Loza, Jordan Britt, Yushira Budhram and Marion Duvernay.
Nominees Included: Softball, Wrestling.
Powerhouse Awards (Strength & Conditioning)
Men's Basketball - Ricky Taylor
Women's Basketball - Kylie Lambert
Football - Shane Heatherly
Men's Golf - Stephan Jaeger
Soccer - Taylor Shelby
Softball - Sara Poteat
Men's Tennis - Jackson Tresnan
Women's Tennis - Charlotte Bossy
Volleyball - Christina Teter
Wrestling - Kevin Malone
Men's Track & Field - Blake Olson
Men's Cross Country - Drew Austell
Women's Track & Field - Gabby Cader
Women's Cross Country - Tara Gietema-Berry
Women's Golf - Sophie Weilguni
All-Academic Honors – Top Student-Athlete From Each Team
Men's Basketball - Ricky Taylor
Women's Basketball - Kayla Christopher
Football - Adam Miller
Men's Golf - Stephan Jaeger
Soccer - Danielle Barr
Softball - Kandice Irwin
Men's Tennis - Jackson Tresnan
Women's Tennis - Shaina Singh
Volleyball - Christina Teter
Wrestling - Dean Pavlou
Cross Country/Track - Sara White-Woerner
Women's Golf – Maria Juliana Loza
Men's Basketball - Taking Care of Business Award (Court & Classroom) - Dontay Hampton
Women's Basketball – MVP - Whitney Hood
Football – MVP - Ryan Consiglio
Men's Golf – MVP - Stephen Jaeger
Soccer - Hardest Worker - Taylor Shelby
Softball - Inspiration Award - Della Harrison
Men's Tennis - Super Fan - Fumiko Samajima
Women's Tennis - Best Sleeping Pose - Alexa Flynn
Volleyball - Most Missed - Ellie Kuhn
Wrestling - Fighting Spirit Award - Kelly Felix
Cross Country/Track & Field – MVP - Chris Berry
Women's Golf - Best All Around - Emma de Groot