Sportsmanship, academic achievement and athletic excellence for the 2015-16 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.
Sophomore Diana Cruz of Lexington Park was selected as the Female Athlete of the Year. A two-year starter at catcher for the CSM softball team and a 2016 co-captain, Cruz has been a dedicated team leader, said Head Coach Jim Cleary. “She has been one of the strongest defensive catchers in the history of CSM softball, improved her batting average by 85 points this season (3rd on the team at .355) and had just one throwing error from behind the plate. Her effort and commitment to the softball program is only matched by her commitment to education and community,” said Cleary.
Cruz maintained a 3.5 grade point average and graduated with an associate degree in engineering. Following graduation, Cruz will report to Naval Station Great Lakes for basic training to begin her career in the U.S. Navy.
Freshman Jacob Benish of Owings was named Male Athlete of the Year.
“As the head golf coach at CSM it was an honor to have presented the award to Jacob, a remarkable young player with a great work ethic and an endless amount of talent,” said Robbie Early. Benish qualified for National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament by winning the Low Medalist Honors at the Region XX Championship. “Jacob is taking general studies in his first year to get a feel for college studies. I am looking forward to his return for his sophomore year,” said Early.
Recipient of the Student Athlete Scholar of the Year Award was sophomore Alejandro Smith of Prince Frederick.
“AJ was one of the most balanced student-athletes I have had the pleasure of coaching,” said Head Cross-country Coach Chris Tuttle. “The same work ethic and leadership he brought to the practice field was also demonstrated in the classroom. For AJ it wasn't how he could handle [being a student and an athlete]-it was how he was going to excel in both. He always had a plan and executed it well.” Smith earned a 4.0 grade point average at CSM and is transferring to the University of Maryland College Park to compete for the Terps' cross-country team.
CSM athletes who received recognition from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XX and Maryland Junior College (MDJUCO) Athletic Conference included:
For baseball, freshman Zachary Wehausen of Welcome earned All-MDJUCO Golden Glove.
For men's basketball, freshman Devin Allen of Waldorf earned NJCAA All-Region XX Second Team and MDJUCO Honorable Mention; freshman Mike Pegram of Clinton earned MDJUCO Honorable Mention; and sophomore Donovan Robinson of Waldorf earned MDJUCO Honorable Mention.
For women's basketball, freshman Akilah Stroman of White Plains earned MDJUCO Honorable Mention.
For men's cross-country, sophomore Patrick Jones of Waldorf earned NJCAA Region XX Athlete of the Year for Atlantic Region and All-MDJUCO First Team; and sophomore Jacob Mwanthie of Waldorf earned All-MDJUCO First Team.
For golf, freshman Jacob Benish of Owings earned NJCAA Region XX Low Medalist competing at Nationals and All-MDJUCO First Team; and freshman Mark Escanilla of Waldorf earned All-MDJUCO Second Team.
For men's lacrosse, sophomore Patrick Smith of Waldorf earned NJCAA All-Region XX Honorable Mention and All-MDJUCO Honorable Mention.
For women's lacrosse, sophomore Brittany Blackistone of Chesapeake Beach earned NJCAA All-Region Second Team and All-MDJUCO Attack Second Team; freshman Mackenzie Garrison of Hughesville earned NJCAA All-Region XX Honorable Mention and All-MDJUCO Honorable Mention; and freshman Jordan Sullivan of Chesapeake Beach earned NJCAA All-Region XX First Team and All-MDJUCO Midfield First Team.
For men's soccer, freshman Michael Dome-Bemwin of Essex, England, earned NJCAA All-Region XX First Team and All-Tournament Team, and All-MDJUCO First Team; freshman Dilan Bingham of Waldorf earned NJCAA All-Region XX First Team and All-MDJUCO Second Team; freshman Jehoshua Otuya of Hollywood earned NJCAA All-Region XX Second Team; and freshman William Parr of Huntingtown earned NJCAA All-Region XX Second Team.
For women's soccer, freshman Danielle Bowling of Faulkner earned NJCAA All-Region XX Tournament Team; freshman Julia Lesko of La Plata earned NJCAA All-Region XX First Team and All-MDJUCO Second Team; freshman Alexis Poterfield of Accokeek earned All-MDJUCO Second Team; sophomore Cheslie Reeves of Waldorf earned NJCAA All-Region XX Tournament Team; and sophomore Rachel Yatty of La Plata earned NJCAA All-Region XX Honorable Mention and All-MDJUCO Second Team.
For softball, sophomore Kaitlyn Cave of Charlotte Hall earned All-MDJUCO Second Team; freshman Alexis Clark of Bryans Road earned NJCAA All-Region XX Second Team and All-MDJUCO Second Team; Cruz earned NJCAA All-Region XX Second Team and All-MDJUCO Second Team; and freshman Lori Sturgill of Waldorf earned NJCAA All-Region XX First Team and All-MDJUCO First Team.
To follow CSM athletics during the 2016-17 academic year, visit the new website for Hawk Athletics at http://athletics.csmd.edu/landing/index.
To view photos from the Athletic Banquet, visit http://csmphoto.zenfolio.com/2016athbanquet.