Upstate Hands Out 73 Awards At Annual Pepsi Awards Banquet

April 27, 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - The USC Upstate Athletics Department held its annual Pepsi Athletics Awards Banquet Monday night at the Spartanburg Marriott at Renaissance Park, handing out 73 awards to highlight the 2008-09 athletic season.

Upstate is winding down its second year as members of NCAA Division I and the Atlantic Sun Conference. Monday night's awards ceremony honored those student-athletes and supporters who have made the transition to NCAA Division I play as smooth as possible.

Two student-athletes earned the prestigious Student-Athlete of the Year award for excellence in athletics, academics and community involvement. Both student-athletes earned tremendous accolades on and off the court and have represented the athletics department and the university at the highest level.

Men's Basketball player Bobby Davis, from Aiken, S.C., was named the Male Student-Athlete of the Year after turning in one of the top performances in men's basketball history. He became Upstate's first A-Sun All-Conference selection when he earned second team honors this year. He was the only player in the nation to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and field goal percentage and was named one of the top-3 "Top Performers" on ESPN.com seven times throughout the season. He averaged 14.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and was named to the all-tournament team at the Las Vegas Classic.

Women's tennis player Anna Novo, from Caracas, Venezuela, was named the Female Student-Athlete of the Year for the second straight year and becomes the first two-time winner of the award in the history of the Upstate athletics department. She led Upstate to a third-place finish in the A-Sun and was a first team all-conference selection. She broke Upstate's all-time singles, doubles and combined wins record and earned A-Sun Player of the Week honors three times.

In addition to the above awards, seven student-athletes received the Pinnacle Award given to those seniors who excelled at the highest of levels during their careers at Upstate. Receiving the Pinnacle Award were Gabor Boros (men's basketball), Baxter Culler (men's golf), Bobby Davis (men's basketball), Heidi Gibbs (softball), Daniela Lovera (women's tennis), Holly Mauldin (volleyball) and Anna Novo (women's tennis).

Men's tennis players Ramiro Blanco and Edgar Rodriguez and women's basketball player Kendra Wallace received the Outstanding Freshman Award. Davis received the Spartan of the Week Award for being the individual chosen the most times for the weekly award, earning the honor four times this year.

The men's tennis team was named the Team of the Year for their second-place finish in the A-Sun. The softball and men's soccer programs were recognized for their outstanding academic performance over the last year, while Gabor Boros was honored with the Academic Excellence Award for having the highest GPA among the student-athletes.

Dr. Joe Bowman received the Lifetime Service Award for his 39 years of service to the University and its athletics department. Widely considered the architect of the department, he has served as athletics director and head coach of the men's basketball, volleyball, men's golf, men's tennis and bowling programs. He oversaw the transition as Upstate moved from a two-year institution to a four-year university as members of the NAIA. He has served as assistant volleyball coach the last five years and is retiring at the end of the school year.

Rick Puncke, director of facilities management, and Charles Stavely, associate professor of math and computer science, received the Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award for their commitment and service to the University and for being a valuable asset to the athletics department.

Athletics Department Awards
Student-Athlete of the Year
(Combining athletic, academic excellence and community service)
Male - Bobby Davis, Men's Basketball
Female - Anna Novo, Women's Tennis
Team of the Year
Men's Tennis
Pinnacle Award
(Excellence in a career)
Gabor Boros - Men's Basketball
Baxter Culler - Men's Golf
Bobby Davis - Men's Basketball
Heidi Gibbs - Softball
Daniela Lovera - Women's Tennis
Holly Mauldin - Volleyball
Anna Novo - Women's Tennis
Lifetime Service Award
Dr. Joe Bowman
Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award
Rick Puncke
Charles Stavely
Team GPA Award
Male - Men's Soccer
Female - Softball
Academic Excellence Award
Gabor Boros - Men's Basketball
Leadership Award
Kim Brasil - Softball
Andy Brooks - Men's Golf
Morgan Bucciferro - Volleyball
Morgan Childers - Softball
Peter Davis - Men's Soccer
Heidi Gibbs - Softball
Perrish Goggins - Men's Track & Field, Cheerleading
Megan Healey - Volleyball
Mike Meissner - Men's Track & Field
Julie Miller - Women's Golf
Phillip Myers - Baseball
Marc Wartenberger - Men's Track & Field
Sportsmanship Award
Eric Guillen - Baseball
Dennis McCraney - Baseball
Anna Novo - Women's Tennis Cherale Powell - Women's Basketball
Zac Rich - Men's Basketball
Jack Roux - Men's Tennis
Kyle Simpson - Baseball
Courtney Tate - Softball
Steadman-Hawkins Sports Medicine Award
Chad McCoy - Men's Soccer
Outstanding Freshman Award
Male - Ramiro Blanco, Men's Tennis; Edgar Rodriguez, Men's Tennis
Female - Kendra Wallace, Women's Basketball
Spartan of the Week Award
Bobby Davis - Men's Basketball
Wilde Soccer Scholarship Recipient
Men's Soccer - Chris McCoy
Women's Soccer - Brittany Daughtry

Team Awards
Cheerleading
Most Improved - Danette Gaines
Spartan Award - Kendall St. John
Baseball - Will be announced after the season
Men's Basketball
Most Valuable Player - Bobby Davis
Women's Basketball
Coaches Award - Kendra Wallace
Most Improved Award - Kelly Westfield
Men's Cross Country
Most Valuable Player - James Jackson
Dedication Award - Brent Durden
Women's Cross Country
Most Valuable Player - Emily Tangwar
Dedication Award - Jemeli Sang
Men's Golf
Most Outstanding Player - Josh Gallman
Tam Player Award - Michael Lawrence
Legacy Builder - Baxter Culler
Women's Golf
Most Outstanding Player - Richelle Wedzik
Team Player Award - Johanna Ebenhag
Legacy Builder - Julie Miller
Men's Soccer
Coaches Award - Peter Davis, Matt Begley
Women's Soccer
Outstanding Player - Catherine Nolff
Softball
Most Valuable Player - Morgan Childers
Offensive Statistical Award - Kim Brasil
Men's Tennis
Most Valuable Player - Ramiro Blanco
Spartan Award - Ignacio Velez
Women's Tennis
Most Valuable Player - Anna Novo
Spartan Award - Anna Novo and Daniela Lovera
Men's Indoor Track & Field
Most Valuable Player - Perrish Goggins
Women's Indoor Track & Field
Most Valuable Player - Emily Tangwar
Men's Outdoor Track & Field
Most Valuable Player - Will be announced after the season
Dedication Award - Eric Chapman
Women's Outdoor Track & Field
Most Valuable Player - Will be announced after the season
Dedication Award - Erin Tyer
Volleyball
Most Valuable Player - Holly Mauldin
Spartan Award - Angie Varnum