Asbury Athletics Hosts Eagle Awards Ceremony – Asbury University
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Asbury Athletics Hosts Eagle Awards Ceremony

May 2, 2019

The 2019 Eagle Awards ceremony presented by the Asbury University Athletic Department was held on May 1 at the Andrew S. Miller Center for Communication Arts. The annual ceremony, highlighting individual and team accomplishments, saw a variety of award winners. View a photo gallery and full list of winners below! 

The Eagle Award

In 1992, the “Eagle Award” was introduced as a way of annually recognizing the individual, organization, company or group who has shown continued and visible support for the Athletic Department. It is given with careful consideration to those who are dedicated to the development of character and excellence in young men and women through athletics.

Nathan Brown ’98 (Old World Timber)

Frank B. and Lucille Fryman Endowed Scholarship

Noah Welch (Soccer). Welch is the Winburn Middle School Head Soccer Coach through Lexington Sports Outreach. He is a two-time team captain who tallied four game-winning goals this season.

Sarah Smith, (Lacrosse). Smith is the secretary for the Student Governance Branch of the Asbury Student Congress (ASC), a teaching assistant for the Forensic Science Lab and research assistant for the John DeCuir Collection. On the field, Smith is one of the top goal scorers for the program and has the highest shot percentage.

The Stuart Smith Award

The Stuart Smith Award is given to the student-athlete who best demonstrates hard work and Christian leadership.

Colton Back (Baseball). Back has improved as a student in the classroom. Since coming to Asbury, Back has had his life changed for the better and has a new focus in life. He leads in a way that would honor Jesus and understands the privilege and responsibility of being a servant-leader.

Kamry Wells (Softball). Wells is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has served as the VBS Coordinator for her hometown church. She is an active participant in mission trips to Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. She is consistent in her dedication to her teammates and the softball program at Asbury.

The Rita Pritchett Award for Academic Excellence

Each year the senior student-athlete(s) with the highest cumulative GPA are recognized with the Rita Pritchett Award for Academic Excellence. The award was started by Dr. Pritchett when she served as Asbury’s athletic director. In 2001, the award was given in her namesake in honor of her outstanding contribution to athletics at Asbury and her commitment to academic excellence.

The men’s recipient is Clif Conley (Basketball). 

The women’s recipient is Shauna McKain (Softball). 

Molly Harlin Servant Leadership Award

Russell Abner. Abner is the Men’s Basketball associate head coach and handles the majority of the recruiting for the program. Due to his full-time job, there are countless games that he drives to himself because he can’t join the team bus. He is an avid supporter of Asbury Athletics and delights in everyone’s success.

Eric Liddell Scholarship

Joe Williams (Baseball). Williams is a volunteer at West Jessamine Middle School, teaching students to value themselves and treat others with respect. A team captain for the program, Williams started a Bible study for his teammates on Sunday nights. On the field, he has assisted in the development of the pitching staff.

Cecil C. Zweifel Endowed Scholarship for Athletes

Ronan Passman (Swimming). A transfer from Stephen F. Austin University, who took a year off from competitive swimming, Passman earned NAIA All-American honors in four events at the NAIA National Championships and was a member in the 200 Medley Relay and 400 Medley Relay that broke Asbury school records.

Kaitlyn Maricle (Soccer). A pre-nursing major, Maricle played a key role in goal saves and shut-outs during the 2018 season. She is responsible for a key play that resulted in the women’s soccer team winning the RSC Championship.

Gamble/Walker Outstanding Senior Athlete Award

Trenton Thompson (Basketball). Thompson is the first ever NAIA First-Team All-American for the men’s basketball program. He was the 2018 RSC Athlete of the Year and scored over 2,400 points in his Asbury career. Thompson is an education major and leads a “tea time” Bible study for his teammates.

Claire Goodrum (Swimming). A psychology major, Goodrum is a University record holder in three events. She is a two-time team captain who was the 2016 AAC Athlete of the Year for Swimming/Diving, a nine-time AAC Champion and a four-time NAIA All-American.

Men’s Comeback Player of the Year

Josh Blancet (Baseball). Blancet returned to the field after having hand surgery that limited his play to 10 games in the 2017-2018 season. He is currently batting .306 and has an on-base percentage of .438. The baseball team recently earned a spot to play in the RSC Tournament, which begins this week.

Women’s Comeback Player of the Year

Ally Moore (Softball). Moore returned to play after missing the entire 2017-2018 season. She has had a total of eight surgeries since October 2016. Since returning, Moore has started in 15 games and has pitched in 101 innings. She has limited opposing batters to a .285 batting average and threw 53 strikeouts.

Men’s Newcomer of the Year

Alex Wu (Swimming). Wu was the NAIA National Champion in the 200 Butterfly and runner-up in the 100 Butterfly. Wu was the men’s AAC Athlete of the Year for Swimming/Diving, winning all three of his individual events. He broke two AAC Meet Records and was part of four Asbury school records and one University pool record.

Women’s Newcomer of the Year

Bethany Fye (Volleyball). Playing in 25 matches, Fye was third on the team in overall kills, in kills/set and second on the team in blocks. She assisted her team to a 20-14 record and qualified for the RSC Tournament.

Men’s Team of the Year

Swimming. Tying the highest team finish in program history at NAIA Nationals, the men placed eighth overall and had nine NAIA All-American swims. Alex Wu was the NAIA National Champion in the 200 Butterfly and Runner-Up in the 100 Butterfly. At the AAC Championships, the men had five Conference Champions and the men’s AAC Athlete of the Year for Swimming/Diving. In the classroom, the men had two NAIA Scholar-Athletes.  

Women’s Team of the Year

Soccer. With an overall record of 11-8-1, the women’s soccer team won the RSC Championship for the second year and qualified for the NAIA National Tournament for the second year in the row. In the classroom, three women were named NAIA Scholar-Athletes and 14 were named RSC Scholar-Athletes.

Men’s Player of the Year

Trenton Thompson (Basketball). Earning RSC First-Team All-Conference and NAIA Second-Team All-American, Thompson was Top 15 in the NAIA in points scored and blocks. Thompson earned the first ever nomination from the Asbury Men’s Basketball program to play in the NAIA All-Star Game, tallying 14 points, six rebounds, two steals and one assist, as he helped the NAIA West All-Star team to victory.

Women’s Player of the Year

Carley Pyles (Soccer). A starting goalkeeper, Pyles recorded 73 saves and allowed only 26 goals in the season. During penalty kicks, Pyles made the save in the RSC Championship to send the women’s soccer team to the NAIA National Tournament by winning the RSC title.