Savannah State held its annual Student-Athlete Banquet on April 10 in Tiger Arena. Coaches, student-athletes and teams were honored for their accomplishments through the 2016-17 academic year.
For the second year in a row, David Handler and Charmia Graham served as master and mistress of ceremony. Handler is a member of the football squad while Graham plays on the Lady Tigers basketball team.
The evening included a video presentation, academic award presentations as well as special presentations by the SSU Community Booster Club, SSU alumnus and Georgia State Representative Mickey Stephens and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Executive Board.
Individual award were also given out during the banquet.
Earning superlative awards were: Volleyball: Dominique Ingram (Rookie of the Year), Alee Quint (Coaches Award) and Caitlynn Masoe (Most Valuable Player). Tennis: Sandy Lochu (Most Valuable Player). Cheerleading: Dathan Gooden (Outstanding Leadership
Award) and Megan Washington (Outstanding Achievement Award) Women’s Cross Country: Miara Elmore (Most Outstanding Performer) Women’s Track and Field: Faith Spears (Field Event Award) and Tyneisha Quarterman (Sprints Award) Men’s Cross Country: Sahlu Atakilti (Most Outstanding Performer) Men’s Track and Field: Abbas Abbkar (Distance Award), LaRon James (Field Event Award) and Nigel Brown (Sprints Award) Women’s Basketball: Jeremica Edwards (Coaches Award), Taylor-Ashley Shaw (Coaches Award), Lauren “Gaby” Moss (Best Newcomer), Tiyonda Davis (Defensive Player of the Year) and Kenyata Hendrix (Most Valuable Player) Men’s Basketball: Dexter McClanahan (Coaches Award), Casey Wells (SSU Single Game Record for 3-pointers) and Troyce Manassa (Most Valuable Player) Football: John Barron (Special Teams Most Valuable Player), Marquis Smith (Defensive Most Valuable Player) and Arshon Spaulding, Jr. (Offensive Most Valuable Player)
Some of the highlights from the current year include: the football team defeating Bethune-Cookman, 16-10, in a overtime thriller. The Tigers finished the season with the most conference wins since entering the MEAC; the volleyball team won two matches over MEAC rival South Carolina State; the men’s cross country team won the 8k at the Bulldog Duels hosted by South Carolina State; Rachele Orme of the women’s golf team won the Gulf Shores Intercollegiate; the cheerleading team won the Level 4 Division, Open 4 category at Cheersport Nationals making history as the first HBCU ever to hold such a title; the men’s golf team won the FAMU Spring Invitational and the Morehouse Invitational. SSU golfer Adam Walden has won three tournaments this season; the baseball team won its season opener, 6-4, over Fairleigh Dickinson. The team went on to sweep the series then win three of its next four home games; the men’s basketball team upset PAC-12 opponent Oregon State, 93-90, in Corvallis, Oregon. The Tigers led the nation in three pointers made, three pointers per game, and finished the season in the top six in scoring; the women’s basketball team won 12 games and advanced to the quarterfinals at the MEAC Championship. Tiyonda Davis was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Week six times during the season; the men’s and women’s track & field teams recorded 11 wins at the Tiger Orange and Blue meet. LaRon James became MEAC Indoor Champion in the long jump with a jump of 7.45 meters; Ashleigh Dennis of the softball team was named MEAC Softball Rookie of the Week; and Sandy Lochu of the women’s tennis team won three matches in MEAC play. Lochu recently defeated the MEAC 2016 Player of the Year.