Sportsmanship, academic achievement and athletic excellence for the 2016-17 season were honored at the College of Southern Maryland’s annual athletic awards banquet held at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Center.
During the ceremony, coaches from CSM’s athletics department presented awards for accomplishments in baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball and volleyball.
The event began with the student captains of all the teams coming forward to thank CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried for his support for the college’s athletic programs, noting that it was Gottfried’s last athletic banquet before he retires at the end of June after 11 years at the college. “It’s not just about taking classes,” Gottfried said about the CSM experience. “It’s about pushing yourself. It’s about getting better than you are.”
Athletes of the Year
Three major awards were announced — Female Athlete of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year and Student Athlete Scholar of the Year.
Sophomore Chloe Day of Lexington Park, a pitcher for the Hawks softball team, was selected as the Female Athlete of the Year.
Day returned to CSM for her second season of college softball after earning Second Team All-Region XX in 2016. She quickly became one of the best pitchers in the history of CSM softball, said Head Coach Jim Cleary.
During the 2017 season, Day pitched 132 innings, had 158 strikeouts, allowing 15 walks and 39 earned runs. Within the NJCAA, she ranked 10th nationally in strikeouts per game at 8.34, 12th nationally with 158 strikeouts, 23rd nationally with 17 complete games, 34th nationally with 2.06 ERA and 48th nationally with 132.2 innings pitched.
However, she was not “just a pitcher,” Cleary said. Day took advantage of the opportunity to regularly bat in the lineup for the first time in her softball seasons. She finished third on the team with a .416 batting average and became a “clutch hitter” by delivering a hit the majority of times with runners in scoring position. She generated 27 RBIs on 32 hits, including seven doubles.
David Francis of Brooklyn, New York, a forward on the Hawks basketball team, was selected as Male Athlete of the Year. Francis was noted as a key player helping the men’s basketball team earn its first trip to the national championship this year.
“He came in and told me he was going to help put a banner on the wall, and he did just that,” said Head Coach Alan Hoyt. “He was a guy we relied on as the season went on.”
Francis was named Region XX Tournament MVP when the Hawks won the Region XX Division II Men’s Basketball Championship. He was named to Region XX Second Team and was a MD JUCO Honorable Mention.
Recipient of the Student Athlete Scholar of the Year Award was Corrine Fernald of Mechanicsville. Fernald, a sophomore who came to CSM from Chopticon High School, played shortstop/catcher for the Hawks softball team.
“Corrine has been a two-year co-captain and two-year starter for the CSM Softball Team,” Cleary said. “She is one of the most dedicated, hardest working, team-oriented players to ever wear the CSM Hawks softball uniform. However, with that being said, her main focus was on ‘student-athlete’ and her future plans. She has maintained a 3.90 GPA and earned 60 credits while at CSM. She was recognized with the 2015-2016 NJCAA Superior Academic Achievement Award for student-athletes with GPAs in the 3.8 to 3.99 range and the 2017 team Leadership Award. She plans to major in legal studies/pre-law and is transferring to UMBC in Fall 2017.”
Regional, Conference and Team Recognition
Numerous CSM athletes received recognition this year from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)-Region XX and Maryland Junior College (MDJUCO) Athletic Conference. In addition, each team announced individual awards.
For women’s soccer, Julia Lesko of La Plata and Alexis Porterfield of Accokeek were named First Team All-MDJUCO and First Team NJCAA-Region XX (Division 1). Kelly Bruce of Brandywine received honorable mention in NJCAA Region XX (Division1). Lesko was named offensive player of the year for the Hawks women’s soccer team and Bruce was named defensive player of the year.
“Last season went very well,” said Head Coach Barry McGrellis. “We were trying to bounce back from a down year and were lucky enough to have a core of returning sophomores ready to carry the team and a very talented freshman class. They gelled quickly and became a cohesive unit before the season even began and hit the ground running with five wins from their first six games.”
In men’s soccer, Jehoshua Otuya of Hollywood was named First Team All-MDJUCO and First Team NJCAA-Region XX (Division 1). William Parr of Huntingtown was honorable mention in NJCAA-Region XX (Division 1). Parr was named player of the year for the Hawks Men’s Soccer team and Andrew Dilodovico of Cobb Island was named Impact Player of the Year.
In volleyball, Kiana Bopp of Chesapeake Beach was named First Team All-MDJUCO and All-Tournament Team for NJCAA-Region XX (Division 2). Taylor Hagen of Huntingtown was named First Team All-MDJUCO and All-Tournament Team for NJCAA-Region XX (Division 2). For team awards, Brandie Todd of Charlotte Hall won Defensive Specialist of the Year and Bopp won Most Valuable Player.
“The 2016 CSM volleyball program had a great rebuilding year, finishing the season with a 16-7 overall record and a 10-1 conference record, which resulted in CSM becoming co-MDJUCO champions with Hagerstown Community College,” said Head Coach Ashley Wolfe. “These ladies had to battle through practices, matches and tournaments with only eight players on the roster. Each athlete worked very hard and became more rounded players, tuning up skills they would not normally use on a full roster of 12 athletes. I am honored to have had the opportunity to coach these ladies.”
In cross-country, Destiny Smith of Port Arthur, Texas, won the team’s Leadership Award.
In men’s basketball, David Francis of Brooklyn, New York, was named Second Team NJCAA-Region XX (Division 2), MVP of the Region XX Tournament and honorable mention for All-MDJUCO. Anthony Williams of Waldorf was named to First Team NJCAA-Region XX (Division 2) and honorable mention for All-MDJUCO. Jordan Battle of Waldorf was awarded honorable mention in NJCAA-Region XX (Division 2). The team was the Region XX champions and competed in the national tournament in Dansville, Illinois. Francis was named Most Valuable Player and the Coaches Award went to Williams.
“These guys got fight,” said Hoyt, noting that the team started the season with a 0-5 record. But the team improved to the point they were the regional champions.
“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish … We played our best basketball when it mattered and proved that we can play with anyone in the country,” Hoyt said.
In women’s basketball, Akilah Stroman of White Plains was awarded honorable mention in NJCAA-Region XX (Division 2).
“We are looking forward to the 2017-2018 season as we have recruited a whole new team,” said Head Coach Ardell Jackson. “We are extremely excited as we have recruited good academic and well-rounded student athletes with great character to represent our program in a positive light, on and off the court and in the classrooms.”
In golf, both Ryan Stearns of Leonardtown and Mark Escanilla of Waldorf were named to Second Team All-MDJUCO. Escanilla was named Most Valuable Player, and Bryan Bowser won the Coach’s Award for Sportsmanship. Escanilla and Alex O’Neil both competed in the National Golf Tournament.
In baseball, Derek Taitano was named Most Outstanding Position Player. Trevor Burch was named Most Outstanding Pitcher.
The team “really came together at the end of the season,” said Head Coach
Aaron Michael. “After a slow start, we came together as a team and played inspired baseball down the stretch, with several big wins against quality opponents … The players were dedicated to improving every day.”
In softball, both Chloe Day of Great Mills and Alison McLane of Mechanicsville were named to First Team NJCAA-Region XX (Division 2) and First Team All-MDJUCO. Emily Gibson of Lusby was named to Second Team NJCAA-Region XX (Division 2) and Second Team All-MDJUCO. In team awards, McLane was named Offensive Player of the Year. Day won the Pitching Award. Amber Whelan won the ESPN Award, and Corinne Fernald won the Leadership Award.
“This is a great team,” Cleary said. “This is probably the best team I’ve ever coached. The girls bonded well together, thoroughly enjoyed playing and traveling as a team and were extremely coachable … We finished the season as the third seed going into the Region XX regional playoffs, where we defeated sixth-seeded Hagerstown to qualify for the final four regional playoffs at Frederick Community College.”
In women’s lacrosse, which was a club sport this year, Rylee Otten earned Offensive Most Valuable Player; Kayla Bobo Defensive Most Valuable Player; and Brittany Estell, Most Improved.
“It was quite a challenge,” said Head Coach Doug Otten of the season. “Over half the team had never touched a stick until January. We worked very hard … We could see improvement every time we stepped on the field. I am very proud of how our team came together both new and experience players to get better with each and every game.”
In men’s lacrosse, Kevin Holmes of North Beach was awarded honorable mention in All-MDJUCO. Holmes was also named Offensive Player of the Year, and Tanner Haynes was named Defensive Player of the Year. Richard D’Alessandro won the Fly First Award.
“This year was our best season in our program’s young history,” said Head Coach Steven Foote. “We plan to take this momentum into the summer and continue to build a solid program for the future.”
To follow CSM athletics during the 2016-17 academic year, visit Hawk Athletics at http://athletics.csmd.edu/landing/index. To view photos from the athletic banquet, visit http://csmphoto.zenfolio.com/2017athbanquet.