The eighth annual Trinity Valley Community College Sports Banquet crowned eight athletes with top honors Tuesday at the Athens Country Club.
Trinity Valley Community College athletic director Jay Kinzer said this year's group is a special group of athletes with some amazing accomplishments.
"I could not be happier," Kinzer said. "The entire program all the way across the board is phenomenal with what they do each year. They set the bar so high and what impresses me the most is they represent themselves and our college tremendously."
Kinzer said after a remarkable year, it is time to keep working.
"It is a good place to be and we have to keep working hard," Kinzer said. "There is no down time for these guys."
The overall male and female Athletes of the Year are Cardinal basketball player Wendell Mitchell and volleyball player Diana Giordani.
Mitchell played a key role in the Cardinals making it to the Men's Basketball National Tournament this year in Hutchinson, Kansas. During his lone season at the Valley, Mitchell was named a National Junior College Athletic Association All-American first team member. He was also named the Most Valuable Player of Region XIV play.
Mitchell averaged 19.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. He has signed a letter-of-intent with Texas A&M University, after transferring to TVCC this year from Baylor University.
Giordani was a libero for the Lady Cardinals volleyball team. She was an NJCAA All-American this past season and was twice named Region XIV Libero of the Year. She has signed a letter-of-intent with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
The Unsung Hero award was presented to Lady Cardinal volleyball player CeTara Carter. The description of the award is a person who is the glue that holds a group, family or team together. A person that leads by their actions, both on and off the playing surface.
They are unselfish, not always the star or has the best statistics but understands their role and gives 100-percent at whatever that role is. They are determined, self-motivated, disciplined and has a strong commitment to core values.
The leadership award was given to Mercedes Brooks. The leadership award is given to athletes who are considered a true leader who has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.
He or she does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his or her actions and the integrity of his intent.
The Cardinal Award was presented to football player Matt Martin. The award is given to a sophomore that has been an outstanding all-around performer as a student, an athlete and a leader while at TVCC.
They are a positive influence and bring energy to the students, staff, instructors and administration they come across on a daily basis on our campus. All the while, performing at a high level on the playing surface, and in the classroom.
The Rock Award, which is given to the ultimate team player was given to softball player Kimberly Abundis.
The description for the award states that the athlete is respectful and loyal to both their teammates and coaching staff and is always willing to do what is asked of them with a smile on their face. In essence, this student-athlete is solid as a rock and you can count on them at all times.
The Dynamic Duo award was given to softball players Ryah Kaniho and Mele Pasikala.
The students choice award was given to an outstanding professor/instructor as selected by the student-athletes. The instructor is Vickie Geisel.
Here is the all-time history of the TVCC Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards:
OF THE YEAR
2011 – Everett Daniels (football).
2012 – D.D. Scarver (basketball).
2013 – Quincy Russell (football).
2014 – Ryan Polite (football).
2015 – Dedrick Basile (basketball).
2016 – Jerod Evans (football).
2017 – Da'Quan Patton (football).
2018 – Wendell Mitchell (basketball).
OF THE YEAR
2011 – Jasmine Scott (volleyball, basketball).
2012 – Jenea Barrett (basketball).
2013 – Shannon Smith (basketball).
2014 – Adut Bulgak (basketball).
2015 – Jazmine Spears (basketball).
2016 – Maya Singleton (basketball).
2017 – Naomi Davenport (basketball).
2018 - Diana Giordani (volleyball).
(Story courtesy Joe Elerson/Athens Review)