JONESBORO, Ark. (4/30/18) – The Arkansas State Athletics Department hosted its 6th Annual "The stAte Awards" Monday night at First National Bank Arena, celebrating the Red Wolves' academic success, athletic achievements and community service while also presenting senior rings and announcing its major award winners for the 2017-18 year.
Senior women's bowling All-American and NTCA Division I Player of the Year Jordan Richard and senior track and field star Jaylen Bacon were named the recipients of the Terry Gwin Award. A four-time All-American, Bacon received the honor for the second consecutive year. The award is named after former football player Terry Gwin and based on leadership, citizenship, scholarship and athletic performance.
The Scott and Kay Dawson Award went to senior women's soccer player Alexis Philippe and Casey Vaughn, a junior on the baseball team. The criteria for the award includes, but is not limited to, excellence in service, attitude, integrity, loyalty, character and leadership.
Philippe served on the Sun Belt Conference Leadership team as both a junior and senior and has been involved in many community service projects while helping the Red Wolves advance to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament each of the last two seasons. Vaughn has also been heavily involved in community service while posting a .295 batting average this season in conference play for the Red Wolves.
The Dr. Tim and Terri Langford Award, the highest academic honor within A-State Athletics and presented for excelling academically while demonstrating a commitment to academic integrity, Arkansas State University and the community was issued to four-time football All-Sun Belt Conference selection Blaise Taylor. The senior standout was the 2018 Arthur Ashe Jr. Male Sports Scholar of the Year and a finalist this past season for the Wuerrfel Trophy and William V. Campbell Trophy, among many other accolades.
The H.T. "Pug" Winters Degree Completion Award went to senior women's golfer Sarah Childers, while senior baseball player Tanner Kirby was issued the Tom and Anna Belle Akers Family Degree Completion Award and senior football player Dijon Paschal won the Billie Gene Davidson Degree Completion Award.
The Red Wolves 2017-18 female Freshman of the Year winner was 2017 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and all-conference pick Sarah Sodoma. The male Freshman of the Year was Carter Shell, the 2018 Sun Belt Conference Indoor Track & Field Freshman and Newcomer of the Year.
The event began with music and a social function when student-athletes visited with those in attendance and posed for photos. They also enjoyed a buffet dinner before the program began with introductory remarks by A-State radio play-by-play announcer Matt Stolz, who served as master of ceremonies.
Following a brief welcome and recognition of distinguished guests, including members of the Arkansas State University administration and Board of Trustees, Stolz discussed many of the Red Wolves' accomplishments before introducing Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir.
In addition to Mohajir, 2018 Sun Belt Conference Indoor Track & Field Coach of the Year Jim Patchell and senior track & field student-athlete Roelf Pienaar both addressed the crowd. As part of the event, Vicki Stripling was presented with a "Student-Athlete Service Award," and the evening continued with a Team GPA Award issued to the volleyball and men's golf teams.
An Athletics Director's Honor Roll recognition ensued, as well as a recognition of the A-State Spirit squads showing the athletic department's appreciation for their dedicated involvement with A-State Athletics.
Not only were the student-athletes presented their All-Sun Belt Conference trophies for this year, there was an NCAA Championship recognition for the women's bowling team and individual track and field participants.