UTC's Scrappys III Awards Dinner

Friday, April 11, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

It was time to put on your Sunday best, take a few bows and be proud and thankful for the successes of another year of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics.

 

It’s Scrappys III … UTC’s answer to The Oscars.

 

Talented student-athletes, along with successful coaches and support staff coming together to celebrate another year of success on the courts, fields, gyms and courses along with impressive high marks in the classroom.

 

“Tonight is about memories … a celebration of great moments in your college careers,” said UTC athletics director David Blackburn.

 

Two hundred and fifty patrons gathered Thursday night at The Chattanoogan Hotel to honor UTC coaches and student-athletes.

 

Men's and women’s basketball had multiple winners with three each.

 

Men’s basketball’s head coach Will Wade was selected as Coach of the Year, senior Z Mason was voted Male Athlete of the Year and Ronrico White received the Comeback of the Year Award.

 

The Southern Conference champion women’s hoops teams took home Team of the Year honors, along with Rookie of the Year (Chelsey Shumpert) and Female Athlete of the Year (Taylor Hall).

 

2012 Southern Conference women’s golf champion Jordan Britt was awarded the Brenda Lawson & Associates Scholar-Athlete of the Year award with a 3.54 GPA as a Nursing major and two-time WGCA All-American Scholar recipient.

 

Rookie of the Year – Chelsey Shumpert (Women’s Basketball)
Chelsey Shumpert started 26 games at point guard for the Southern Conference Champion women’s basketball team.  She led the team with 34 three-pointers and was third in scoring at 6.9 points per game.  After the season, Shumpert earned a spot on the Southern Conference All-Freshman team. 
Nominees Included:  Dawson Peck (Wrestling), Greg Pryor (Men’s Basketball), Emily McLennan (Women’s Golf). 

 

Victory of the Year – Football’s SoCon Title Clinching Win Over No. 15 Wofford (Nov. 9, 2013)
The 23rd ranked Mocs took out No. 15 Wofford 20-10 on November 9.  That gave Chattanooga eight wins on the year and clinched a share of the SoCon Title for the first time since 1984.  Over 12,000 fans flocked to Finley Stadium to see UTC outrush Wofford’s triple option attack and give the Mocs an eight-win season for the first time since 1980.  

Nominees Included:
  Wrestling’s win at No. 15 Stanford, Volleyball’s 3-0 upset win over Samford, Women’s Tennis defeating nationally-ranked Elon, Women’s Golf winning the SoCon Championship, Teghan Henderson winning the SoCon Cross Coutry Championship by 27 seconds. 

 

Comeback of the Year – Ronrico White (Men’s Basketball)
Ronrico White Missed the first nine games with an injury.  His return to the lineup helped spark a 10-game winning streak that set the stage for a second place finish in the SoCon race.  White was third on the team with 10.8 points per game and second in the SoCon with a 2 to 1 assist to turnover ratio.  
Nominees Included:  Kiaana Howard (Track & Field/Cross Country), Faith Dupree (Women’s Basketball) returning to the lineup after missing six games with an ankle injury, The football team’s second half comeback win over The Citadel.    

 

Individual Performance of the Year – Teghan Henderson
Henderson finished 20th at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.  She is the third Cross Country All-American in school history and the first Chattanooga sophomore to finish in the Top-20 at the NCAA Division I Championships.

Nominees Included:  Z. Mason’s (Men’s Basketball) 24 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks in a 63-44 win over Appalachian State, Taylor Hall’s (Women’s Basketball) 25 points, 11 rebounds and four steals in a 72-60 win at Georgia Southern, Agathe Sauzon’s Medalist Performance at the Women’s Golf Championships, Nick Soto’s (Wrestling) 15-8 win over Stanford’s No. 1 ranked Ryan Mango. 

 

Behind the Scenes Award – Lisa Tarr
Lisa Tarr is finishing up her third year as the Coordinator of Student Support Services for Mocs Athletics.  Specifically, she handles the daily academic needs of the Mocs Football program, and serves in a leadership role in the Academic Office of Chattanooga Athletics.
Nominees Included:  Greg Goldin (Assistant Director of Athletic Performance), Laura Herron (Senior Associate A.D./SWA), Dale Rutemeyer (Volunteer UTC Athletics Photographer), Jenni Martin (Marketing Graduate Assistant).

 

Professor of the Year – Dr. Jamie Harvey
Dr. Jamie Harvey is an Assistant Professor in the Health & Human Performance Department.  An alum of UTC, her teaching focuses on Pedagogy and Exercise Leadership.  Over the years, she has worked with hundreds of student-athletes who have gone through UTC’s HHP program.
Nominees Included:  Julie Bingham (Chemistry), Dr. Joanie Sompayrac (Business), Dr. Mohammad Ahmadi (Business).

 

Play of the Year – Nakevion Leslie takes it to the house to beat App State
Nakevion Leslie’s 28-yard interception return for a touchdown lifted Chattanooga to a 35-28 win at Appalachian State on November 2. The triumph propelled the Mocs into first-place in the Southern Conference and gave the team its first win in Boone since 1983.

Nominees Included:
  Gee McGhee’s 70-foot first half buzzer-beater against Elon. Volleyball’s one-minute rally against Samford. Greg Pryor’s game-winning charge taken against Wofford. Agathe Sauzon’s SoCon Championship birdie putt on first playoff hole.

 

Fan of the Year – David and Carol Gibbs
The Gibbs are 30-year season ticket holders, but it is the extra things they do as Mocs fans that set them apart. David is known for meeting teams in the middle of the night at McKenzie Arena as they return from road trips win or lose. David and Carol have both been honored with the Harold Wilkes Award from the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame.

Nominees Included:
  David Martin, Erik Gray, Bud Hennebaul.

 

Coach of the Year – Will Wade (Men’s Basketball)
Coach Wade guided the Mocs to an 18-15 overall record and second place in the SoCon race at 12-4. He is the first Moc to earn SoCon Coach of the Year honors since Mack McCarthy in 1993. He was also a finalist for the Lou Henson Award given annually to the top “Mid-Major” coach in the country and the Joe B. Hall Award given to the top first-year head coach.  

Nominees Included:
  Jim Foster (Women’s Basketball), Russ Huesman (Football), Mark Guhne (Men’s Golf), Colette Murray (Women’s Golf), Heath Eslinger (Wrestling).

 

Male Student-Athlete of the Year – Z. Mason (Men’s Basketball)
Z. Mason capped an outstanding senior season with first team All-Southern Conference recognition along with the league’s Defensive Player of the Year honor. He led the team with 18.2 points per game and led the conference with 9.7 rebounds per contest along with a school record 92 blocks.
Nominees Included: Lucas Cotter (Cross Country), Davis Tull (Football), Jacob Huesman (Football), Corey Mock (Wrestling).

 

Female Student-Athlete of the Year – Taylor Hall (Women’s Basketball)
Taylor Hall had one of the most amazing seasons in Southern Conference history. She is the first student-athlete to earn Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Tourney MVP honors in the same season. She led the Mocs in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals guiding the SoCon Champs to their 12th NCAA Tournament appearance while tying the school record with 29 wins.

Nominees Included:
Taylor Deason (Softball), Teghan Henderson (Cross Country), Agathe Sauzon (Women’s Golf).

 

Brenda Lawson & Associates Scholar-Athlete of the Year – Jordan Britt (Women’s Golf)
Jordan Britt is a two-time WGCA All-American Scholar and a multiple Academic All-SoCon performer. The Chattanooga native has a 3.54 GPA as a Nursing major. The 2012 SoCon Champion was also honored with the 2014 Scrappy Moore Award from the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame.

Nominees Included:
Lucas Cotter (Cross Country), Davis Tull (Football), Taylor Mangrum (Soccer), Jenna Nurik (Women’s Tennis).

 

Powerade Team of the Year – Women’s Basketball
The Chattanooga Mocs women’s basketball team had one of the most successful seasons in school history. UTC won its 18th Southern Conference Regular Season title and 15th tournament trophy in 2014. The Mocs also advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 12th time. Chattanooga tied a school record with 29 wins and Hall of Fame Head Coach Jim Foster made headlines nationwide with his 800th career victory. UTC owns the nation’s longest home-court winning streak at 39 games and the squad has captured 34 consecutive SoCon regular season contests.
Nominees Included: Men’s Cross Country (Nation’s Highest GPA), SoCon Champion Men’s Golf Team, SoCon Champion Wrestling Team, SoCon Champion Women’s Golf Team, SoCon Champion Football Team.

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


Chattanooga Women Shock No.4 Tennessee, 67-63

Before the season started some people across the country called Chattanooga women’s basketball coach Jim Foster crazy for scheduling three top 10 teams – Notre Dame (national runner-up) Stanford and Tennessee - before Christmas. After Wednesday night’s UTC shocking 67-63 home win against No.4 Tennessee before 4,160, those same folks might believe coach Foster is crazy like ... (click for more)

Lady Mocs Withstand Comeback To Beat Lady Vols, 67-63

Jim Foster has won more of his share of big games in his 37 years coaching women’s college basketball, first at Vanderbilt and then at Ohio State. He can now say he’s done the same at Chattanooga after his Lady Mocs handed the Tennessee Lady Vols their first loss of the season Wednesday night at McKenzie Arena in front of 4,160 bi-partisan fans. It may have been UTC’s ... (click for more)

10-Year-Old Boy Seriously Injured In Attack By Pit Bull At His Home In Sale Creek

A 10-year-old boy suffered serious injuries when he was attacked by a pit bull on Thanksgiving Day morning. At approximately 10:12 a.m. deputies were called to 175 Daugherty Ferry Road regarding a report of a dog attack on a child. On arrival the Sale Creek Fire Department found the child on the front porch of the residence.  The child’s father said his son came ... (click for more)

Alecia Driggins Faces Multiple Charges After Robbery And Hit-And-Run In East Ridge

East Ridge Police arrived on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at the East Ridge Flea Market at 6725 Ringgold Road in response to a reported pedestrian struck and hit and run incident. Once on the scene, police determined that the incident was actually a robbery. The victim advised police that a white woman claiming to be a police officer grabbed her purse and attempted to flee ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A ‘Black Friday’ Poem

On this, “Black Friday,” when frantic shopping and crowded aisles cause some nerves to wear thin, please allow me to share a poem a friend sent me not long ago called “Shoes in Church.” Perhaps it will be fitting: SHOES IN CHURCH I showered and shaved. I adjusted my tie. I got there and sat In a pew just in time. Bowing my head in prayer, as I closed my eyes. I saw ... (click for more)