Friday, September 3, 2010

Shenandoah University Athletics Announces Major Award Winners

WINCHESTER, Va. - As part of its welcome to the student-athletes competing in 2010-11, the Shenandoah University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced its major award winners from 2009-10 Thursday evening.

Eight awards: Coach of the Year for men's and women's sports, Male and Female Athlete of the Year, Male and Female Student-Athlete of the Year and Male and Female Rookie of the Year - were handed out prior to the taking of the "Big Picture" in Shingleton Gymnasium.

Additionally, a school record 94 student-athletes were honored for their inclusion on the USA South All-Academic team.

Seniors Brandi Sobanko (cross country/track) and Greg Van Sickler (baseball) were named as the department's female and male Athletes of the Year with Van Sickler also picking up male Student-Athlete of the Year honors.

Senior Paola Aguilar (field hockey/lacrosse) is the female Student-Athlete of the Year.

The final awards for student-athletes, male and female Rookie of the Year, were grabbed by Keaton Neeb (baseball) and Amber Womack (soccer), respectively.

Two new awards: Coach of the Year for men's sports and Coach of the Year for women's sports, were also presented.

Kevin Anderson, who led the baseball team to a No. 6 national finish, was the CoY for men's sports and cross country coach Andy Marrocco was tabbed for the CoY-women's.

Sobanko was a first team All-USA South Conference selection in cross country on the strength of her finish at the conference championships, and then duplicated that feat in both indoor and outdoor track.

Indoors, she combined with three others to win the Distance Medley Relay and be named first team All-MAC before she winning the pentathlon at the Outdoor MAC Championships in May.

Sobanko was also an All-USA South and All-MAC Academic team honoree.

Van Sickler became the first SU student-athlete to earn both playing and academic All-America honors in the same season in 2009-10.

A two-time ABCA All-America, Van Sickler was a first team selection at utility after winning eight games on the mound and hitting .412 with a school-record 27 doubles at the plate.

In the classroom, Van Sickler has a 3.54 GPA as a business administration student and he was named to ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America third team in May.

Aguilar is a four-year starter for the women's field hockey and lacrosse teams who led the field hockey team in scoring last fall and was a first team All-USA South lacrosse honoree in the spring as a defender.

She has a 3.64 GPA as a Political Science/Business major, was selected to the USA South, MAC and IWLCA All-Academic teams as well as being named Academic All-State by the Virginia State Sports Information Directors (VaSID).
In April, she earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District second team honors.

Neeb helped the SU baseball team to its second straight NCAA South Region title and its first-ever USA South title by hitting .310 on the year with two home runs and 22 RBI.

He was particularly strong in the Fayetteville Regional tournament, hitting an even .500 (8 for 16) to earn a spot on the All-Tournament team.

Womack was named as a Rookie of the Year by both the USA South women's soccer coaches and VaSIDA as she helped her team to 10 overall and five conference victories with a team-leading 12 goals and 10 assists for 34 points.

She was named as the league Rookie of the Week on two occasions.

Anderson was named as the ABCA South Region and VaSID Coach of the Year for the second straight year as his Hornets won a school-record-tying 38 games and were ranked nationally all season long.

Fourteen of his players earned some type of honor last season with two: Van Sickler and Kevin Brashears, earning first team All-America honors from two publications.

Marrocco, who coaches six teams at the university, was tabbed for Coach of the Year - women's sports after leading the women's cross country team to a second place finish at the conference championships and a No. 10 South Region ranking.

The 2010 squad, which returns its top seven runners from 2009, is currently ranked No. 7 in the South.

The "Big Picture" is an annual event in which a photograph is taken of all student-athletes slated to compete in the upcoming school year. The current picture hangs in the lobby of Shingleton Gymnasium with the previous year pictures displayed in Aikens Athletic Center.

The student-athlete major award winners were selected via a vote of the department's head coaches, full-time administrative staff and head athletics trainer. The coaches of the year were selected from a vote of the department's head coaches.

To be eligible for student-athlete of the year, a student-athlete must meet the same criteria as those for ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America.

 Official Athletic Site of the Shenandoah University Hornets

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