FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University held its 36th-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.
Junior Shana Hammond (North Charleston, S.C.) was presented the Gail Summersett Outlaw Outstanding Cheerleader Award. A mass communications major, she completed her second year on the Patriot cheerleading squad.
Sophomore Dylan Owen (Chesterfield, S.C.) was presented the Conyers O’Bryan M.V.P. Award for baseball. Owen, a 5-11 right-handed pitcher, leads the Patriot staff with a 9-1 record and owns a 2.08 earned run average. He has completed six of his 12 starts and opponents are batting only .211 against him. He has compiled a Peach Belt Conference leading 93 strikeouts in only 86.1 innings, while helping lead the sixth-ranked Patriots to a 35-12 record, and a current second-place standing in the PBC. The 35 victories equal the team record for wins in a season. With three regular-season games and the PBC Tournament still remaining on the schedule, FMU is hoping to advance to the NCAA Division II national tournament for the third time in four years.
Senior George Walker (Goose Creek, S.C.) was presented the Howard Stokes M.V.P. Award for men’s basketball. Walker, a 6-3 forward, missed the entire 2004-05 year with an injury. He returned this past season to average 14.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. He shared the team lead in steals with 50 and also blocked 11 shots. He connected on 39.9 percent of his field goal attempts and shot 76.7 percent from the free throw line. The Patriots finished the year 12-16 and placed eighth during the PBC regular season. He earned his undergraduate degree in December.
Senior Danielle Moore (Owings Mills, Md.) was presented the Carroll Player Jr. M.V.P. Award for women’s basketball. Moore, a 6-0 swing player, led the Patriots in both scoring (16.9 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg) this past season. She recorded a team-leading 72 steals and blocked 38 shots, while playing a team-high 34.4 minutes per game. The All-Conference selection connected on 49.1 percent of her shots from the floor and 66.7 percent of her free throw attempts. The Patriots compiled a 13-16 record, but Moore helped lead the squad to the title game of the PBC Tournament. She was named to the All-Tournament Team while setting a new tournament scoring mark with 85 points in three games. She ended her career 13th on the team’s career scoring list (1,340 points) and sixth in career blocks (113).
Junior Patrick Hopewell (Malvern, Pa.) was presented the Alice Baker M.V.P. Award for men’s cross country. This past fall, Hopewell was the top FMU runner in six of seven meets, including three Top-10 finishes. He recorded a season-best 8,000-meter time of 28:29. He helped the Patriots to a sixth-place finish at the Peach Belt Conference Championship Meet with his 22nd-place showing. He also placed 85th at the NCAA Division II South Regional Meet, where the Patriots placed 18th in the team standings.
Freshman Kelly May (Bowling Green, Ohio)was presented the Most Valuable Player Award for women’s cross country. She was FMU’s top finisher in all seven meets during the 2005, including five top-four finishes. She earned All-Conference recognition by placing 10th at the PBC Championships, where she helped the Patriots finish ninth in the team standings. Her season-best 5,000-meter time was 20:05 at the Blue Hose Invitational. She later finished 48th at the South Regional Championships.
Senior Luke Hart (Blythewood, S.C.) was presented the Clifford Cormell M.V.P. Award for golf. Hart currently owns a 75.04 stroke average for the 2005-06 season, as the Francis Marion program has begun its transition from NCAA Division II membership to Division I. He has posted three top-seven finishes this year, while carding nine rounds of par or better scores. Francis Marion has a 63-61-5 mark and is preparing to play in the Division I Independent Golf Championships, April 28-30, in Windsor, Colo.
Senior Mike Greenaway (Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada) was presented the Jerry W. Wilson M.V.P. Award for men’s soccer for the second time. He previously earned the award as a sophomore in 2003. Greenaway, a 6-3 back, anchored the Patriot defense, while scoring three goals on 16 shots, including the match-winner against local-rival Coker College, and assisting on one goal. He was named to both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Southeast Region Team and the All-PBC squad for the third straight year, and was selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III Team for the College Division for the second time. He helped FMU to an 8-11-1 mark against a difficult schedule that included nine matches against nationally ranked opponents, and to an appearance in the Peach Belt Tournament semifinals.
Senior Kate Anderson (Loveland, Ohio) was presented the Most Valuable Player Award for women’s soccer. A 5-4 back, she played in all 15 matches this past season and helped anchor the Patriot defense, while the Patriots completed their first year of transitioning to NCAA Division I affiliation with a 5-9-1 record. Anderson was selected to the 2005 Division I Independent Women’s Soccer All-Academic Team. A four-year starter, she missed only one match during her career.
Senior Jamie Wiggins (Marion, S.C.) was presented the Bobbie Davis M.V.P. Award for women’s softball. A 5-4 right-handed hitter catcher, Wiggins is the lone senior on this year’s squad. She provided leadership for the squad despite battling an injury early in the season. She batted .210 with three home runs and 13 runs batted in. She also committed only two errors from behind the plate while handling the Patriot pitching staff. The Patriots were knocked out of the PBC Tournament this past weekend with a 27-16 record. FMU is waiting for the May 7 announcement of the NCAA Division II national tournament field to see if the squad will receive the program’s first-ever invitation.
Senior Kevin Taylor (Benoni, South Africa) was presented the Lorin Mason M.V.P. Award for men’s tennis for the second consecutive year. Playing at the No. 1 singles position, he is ranked fifth among Division II singles players with a 19-4 record, and recently earned PBC “Player o the Year” honors. He was also an All-Conference selection in doubles competition and ranks sixth nationally with a 14-4 mark at the No. 1 slot. Taylor has helped lead the eighth-ranked Patriots to an 18-2 record, tying the school mark for victories in a season. FMU is awaiting this week’s announcement of the NCAA national tournament field. Taylor won the ITA Mid-Atlantic region singles title last fall and finished third at the ITA National Small College Championships.
Junior Magda Jezovicova (Cesky Tesin, Czech Republic) was presented the Gladys Hite M.V.P. Award for women’s tennis. Despite being hampered by injuries she tallied an 11-3 singles record at the No. 4 slot, and 17-2 mark at No. 2 doubles. She helped the young Patriot squad (no seniors) to a program-best 19-5 record that included 10-match losing streak to close out the regular season. FMU is awaiting this week’s announcement of the NCAA national tournament field.
Junior Nick Washington (Cassatt, S.C.) was presented the Jerry and Jean Lee M.V.P. Award for men’s track and field. Among his accomplishments on the track this spring, he was the South Carolina state champion in the long jump and placed third in the long jump at both the UNCP Invitational and the recent Carolinas Intercollegiate Championships. His jump of 6.75 meters at the latter event was only .05 meters off his personal best. FMU placed 12th in the team standings at the Carolinas meet.
Sophomore Codi Knoch (Wapakoneta, Ohio)was presented the Most Valuable Player Award for women’s track and field for the second time. Knoch placed third in the 3,000-meters and fifth in the 1,500-meters at the recent Carolinas Track and Field Championship Meet. FMU finished ninth in the women’s team standings. Earlier in the spring, she finished third in the 5,000-meters at the South Carolina State Championships. She also competed on the Patriot cross country team.
Senior Jessica Bartlett (Richmond, Va.) was presented the Joseph B. Durant M.V.P. Award for women’s volleyball. A 6-0 outside hitter, she appeared in all 40 matches this season and led the Patriot hitters with a .289 hitting percentage, fourth-best in the PBC. She was 10th in the conference with 2.82 kills per game, and also averaged 0.52 blocks, 0.38 digs, and 0.30 assists per game. She recorded double-figure kills in 19 of the 40 matches, and hit above .300 in 15 matches, including six above .450. She ended her career with 1,248 career kills. She was selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Volleyball Team for the College Division (second team). Bartlett also earned All-Region and All-Conference honors for her play on the court. She helped Francis Marion to a 29-11 record and an appearance in the NCAA Division II national tournament. The Patriots won the PBC Tournament after placing second during the conference’s regular season. The Patriots’ 29 victories is the fourth-highest win total in team history.
Junior women’s soccer player Morgan Harwood (Hornell, N.Y.) was presented the Debra Lee Orander Swamp Fox Academic Award. Harwood is a three-year letterwinner on the soccer field, and was a part-time starter this past fall as the program began its transition to Division I membership. A biology major, she has a perfect 4.00 grade point average. She is a member of Beta Beta Beta and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies and the FMU Ecology Club. She has been named to President's List all five of her semesters, has been selected to FMU's Swamp Fox Honor Roll three times and to the Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll twice.
Of the 10 FMU athletic teams that keep win-loss records (excluding the cross country and track and field squads that compete in multi-team events), six registered winning records this past year, and three appeared in national poll rankings.