FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University held its 30th-annual Athletic Banquet, Monday, April 24, in the university’s Edward S. Ervin III Dining Hall. Most valuable player awards were given in 14 sports. An outstanding cheerleader award and a student-athlete award were also presented.
Freshman Rachel Arant (Rock Hill, S.C.) was presented the Gail Summersett Outlaw Outstanding Cheerleader Award.
Sophomore Fletcher Kemp (Matthews, N.C.) was presented the Conyers O’Bryan M.V.P. Award for baseball. Kemp, a 6-3 right-handed pitcher, led a young Patriot pitching staff with a 6-4 record. He pitched a team-high 89 innings, struck out a school-record 94 batters while walking only 34, and recorded a 4.04 earned run average. He also led the team with 12 starts and six complete games. His season-ending victory Saturday gave the Patriots a final 23-20 record and a probable fifth-place finish in the Peach Belt Athletic Conference standings.
Junior Will Tucker (Pinehurst, N.C.) was presented the Howard Stokes M.V.P. Award for men’s basketball. Tucker, a 6-5 guard-forward, was named to the second-team All-Peach Belt squad, while ranking second in the PBAC in scoring (17.1 points per game), first in free throw percentage (86.2%), and second in three-point field goal percentage (47.3%). He led the Patriot squad in rebounds (4.3 per game), assists (60), and minutes played (35.0 per game), while connecting on 44.9 percent of his total field goal attempts, and recording 30 steals in 26 games as the Patriots posted a 9-17 record. Midway through the season, he became the 17th Patriot to surpass 1,000 career points.
Senior Jennifer Brabson (Knoxville, Tenn.) was presented the Carroll Player Jr. M.V.P. Award for women’s basketball for the second straight year. Brabson, a 5-8 guard-forward, led the Peach Belt in scoring (18.8 ppg) and was second in free throw percentage (school-record 85.8%). She also averaged 5.7 rebounds per game, and recorded 44 assists and 50 steals in 32 contests. She connected on 42.5 percent of her field goal attempts, including 33.3 percent from beyond the three-point arc. She ended her career owning 11 school records and six PBAC marks. She is the conference’s all-time scoring leader with 2,217 points, a figure that also places her 18th on the all-time NCAA Division II scoring list. She is the only player in the storied 27-year history of the Patriot program to amass 2,000 points, 700 rebounds, 200 assists, and 200 steals. Brabson is a two-time All-American, three-time All-Region selection, one of only two cagers to garner PBAC All-Conference honors four times. This past season, Brabson helped lead the Patriots to a 25-8 record, the North Division championship of the PBAC, and the program’s third straight appearance in the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen.
Junior Matt Biviano (Little Mountain, S.C.) was presented the Most Valuable Player Award for men’s cross country. Biviano led FMU to an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Division II Southeastern Regional Championship Meet last fall with his 37th-place showing. During the 1999 season, he posted four top-10 finishes, including a 10th-place showing at the Winthrop University Invitational, where he recorded his 8,000-meter personal-best time of 27:53. He also helped lead the Patriot men to an eighth-place finish at the PBAC Championship Meet.
Senior Beth Muncey (Akron, Ohio) was presented the Most Valuable Player Award for women’s cross country. Muncey was FMU’s first or second finisher in all nine events last fall, and recorded four top-10 finishes. She placed 20th at the PBAC Championship Meet and 47th at the Southeastern Regional Championships, as FMU finished fifth and 18th respectively in the team standings at those two events. She previously earned M.V.P. awards for cross country in 1996 as a freshman and for track and field in 1998 as a sophomore.
Junior Agustin Estefanell (Montevideo, Uruguay) was presented the Clifford Cormell M.V.P. Award for golf for the second straight year. He is second on the squad among regular players with a 74.74 stroke average, and has played 21.5 rounds, missing only one tournament. He has posted five top-10 finishes, including a second-place showing at Catawba College’s Richard Rendleman Invitational. He also earned All-Conference honors. The nationally-ranked FMU squad placed second at this past weekend’s PBAC Championship Tournament and will participate in the NCAA Division II South Region Tournament, May 1-3, in Winter Park, Fla.
Senior Mike Cruikshank (Bradenton, Fla.) was presented the Jerry W. Wilson M.V.P. Award for men’s soccer. Cruikshank, a 6-1 goalkeeper, anchored a Patriot defense that helped the program to its finest season ever with a 17-3-1 record, the PBAC Tournament title, and a number 20 national ranking. The Patriots narrowly missed earning their first-ever NCAA tournament invitation. Cruikshank ranked 17th nationally in Division II with a 0.89 goals against average (17 goals in 19 matches), while setting FMU season (7) and career (14.5) records for shutouts. He recorded 63 saves and a .788 save percentage, while earning All-Conference and All-Region recognition. He was also named the most valuable player of the Peach Belt Tournament.
Senior Rose Joyce (Roswell, Ga.) was presented the Jerry W. Wilson M.V.P. Award for women’s soccer. A 5-9 defender, Joyce has anchored the FMU field defense for the past four years. In 1999, she scored one goal and registered three assists as FMU posted a 13-4 record, the 19th-highest winning percentage in Division II last fall. The Patriots spent a portion of the 1999 season in the Top-25 poll. An All-Region selection as a junior in 1998, Joyce started every match (71) during her four years and scored 11 career goals with five assists as the Patriots won 54 matches with two ties.
Senior Tara Quinton (St. Petersburg, Fla.) was presented the Bobbie Davis M.V.P. Award for women’s softball. A 5-7 catcher, Quinton was the only senior on a 2000 Patriot squad that posted the fourth-highest win total in team history (35-23 record). She batted .329 with five home runs and 28 runs batted in. She scored 19 runs and led the team with 14 doubles and a .533 slugging percentage. Behind the plate, she posted a .988 fielding percentage and successfully threw out 16 of 47 base runners attempting to steal. She was named to the All-Tournament Team at the South Atlantic Invitational.
Junior Glynn Hulley (Port Alfred, South Africa) was presented the Lorin Mason M.V.P. Award for men’s tennis for the second consecutive year. Playing most of the season at the number three singles position he registered a 14-4 record, and combined with Lewellyn King at number two doubles to post an 18-1 mark. The young (no seniors) Patriot team equaled the program’s season record for victories with an 18-3 mark, is currently ranked sixth in the nation, and is expecting to receive its sixth consecutive invitation to the NCAA Division II national tournament later this month. FMU placed second during the PBAC regular season and third during the recent Peach Belt Tournament.
Senior Jill Stephens (Harare, Zimbabwe) was presented the Gladys Hite M.V.P. Award for women’s tennis and the Patriots Brigade Academic Award. Stephens recorded a 10-7 record at number two singles, and playing with Kristen Kern, posted a 9-9 mark at number two doubles. The only senior on the FMU squad, she helped lead the Patriots to a 9-10 record and a sixth-place finish at the recent Peach Belt Tournament. Off the playing court, she owns a 3.982 grade point average and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Pi Gamma Mu honor societies. She is also a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. Last year, she was named to the ITA Scholar-Athlete All-America Team, and is a three-time selection to the PBAC Presidential Honor Roll.
Sophomore Charles Carter (Ninety Six, S.C.) was awarded the Most Valuable Player Award for men’s track and field. Carter won the high jump and placed second at this past weekend’s Carolinas Track and Field Championships in Pembroke, N.C. During the 2000 season, he equaled the school record in the high jump (6’9”) and established a new mark in the long jump (23’4¾”).
Junior Rebecca Coffman (Spartanburg, S.C.) was presented the Most Valuable Player award for women’s track and field. She bettered the school record in the 1500 meters several times during the season, including a 5:09.3 mark in a meet at Coastal Carolina University several weeks ago. She finished third in the 1500-meters at this past weekend’s Carolinas Track and Field Championships. She also competed in the 800 meters.
Senior Crystal Poskey (Clarkston, Wash.) was presented the Most Valuable Player Award for women’s volleyball for the second time in three years. A 5-8 setter, Poskey was second in the PBAC in assists per game (10.99) and fourth in service aces per game (0.45). She was third on the Patriot team in digs (308) and fourth in total blocks (46). In 115 individual games this season, she amassed 1,264 assists, and finished her career only 16 assists shy of 5000. A three-time All-Conference performer, she also amassed 1,133 career digs and 170 service aces in 427 career games.
Of the ten FMU athletic teams that keep won-loss records (excluding the cross country and track and field squads that compete in multi-team events), eight registered winning records this past year, and five have appeared in national poll rankings.