MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - The Georgia College & State University department of athletics held its Annual Athletic Awards Banquet tonight (April 27) recognizing the efforts of over 200 student-athletes this school year.
The banquet was also highlighted with the announcement of the year-end awards, including Senior Male and Female Athlete of the Year, among others. Tennis' Erick Siqueira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and softball's Mandy Chandler (Covington, Ga.) took in the year's top awards.
Chandler has been nothing short of dominant in the circle for four seasons. A Daktronics Second Team All-American in 2008, Chandler has earned all-region and all-conference honors in three seasons, adding all-conference again this year. She owns the Peach Belt Conference's (PBC) career records in strikeouts with 1,191, and in victories with 96, as well as every favorable pitching category in Georgia College history.
She also added the single-season PBC strikeout record this year with 401, good for 11th in NCAA history. Chandler has been steadily climbing the NCAA Career Strikeout list, and stands at eighth. The righty owns the single-game strikeout record in Division II history with 23, coming in the NCAA Regional Championship against Lenoir Rhyne as a freshman. Chandler was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American as well in 2008.
Siqueira has been arguably the best men's tennis player in Georgia College history. A two-time All-American hoping to add his third this season, he was the PBC Player of the Year in 2008. An All-Peach Belt selection six times over in his four-year career,
Siqueira has twice been named the ITA's Player to Watch for the Southeast Region. His career record in spring competition is 66-16 in singles and 67-23 in doubles action. Siqueira and Justin Pickham (Armidale, Australia) were one win shy of an ITA Division II title in doubles this Fall, their first semester as a team. Maybe the truest test of Siqueira's skill, he has earned three All-PBC doubles honors in his career, each with a different partner.
The recipient of the Bill Childers Award was GCSU professor Dr. Ginger Carter Miller. A long-time fan of Bobcat athletics, Dr. Carter Miller works with the public relations classes at Georgia College as part of the school of mass communication. Her classes have helped promote the Annual Athletic Auction as well as the basketball slate this season and have been an integral part of the public relations success for Bobcat athletics. The Childers Award honors those outside the athletic department that contribute the most to the success of its programs.
Baseball's Ryan Tabor (Lawrenceville, Ga.) picked up the Comeback Player Award, given by Paul Higgs, GCSU's head athletic trainer. Tabor rehabbed his Tommy John surgery, and has worked hard after missing the 2008 year to become one of the Bobcats' more valuable relievers.
Derek Johns (Waynesville, Ga.) and Niclas Johansson (Skanor, Sweden) were chosen for the John Kurtz and Dr. J. Michael Peeler Awards, respectively. Given to the "Most Valuable Person" on the baseball team, the John Kurtz Award has been handed out since 1994.
Again given to the Most Valuable Person on the golf squad, the Dr. J. Michael Peeler Award goes to Johansson. The two-time All-American features a sub-71 stroke average and a 3.35 GPA in management.
Visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports.