ATLANTA -- Georgia State Athletics celebrated the 2017-18 year with the Golden Panther Awards, the annual year-ending athletics recognition banquet organized and produced by the student-athletes themselves.

 

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from each sport, selected the award categories and winners. SAAC members Brenna Skalski of the softball team and Sarah Renner of the court volleyball program served as the emcees for the event, which was held Monday evening in the Georgia State Student Center and attended by more than 450 student-athletes, coaches, staff, supporters and Hall of Fame guests.

 

The evening began with recognition of the Georgia State Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017-18 that was originally announced at the Homecoming football game last fall.

 

This year’s event also included the National Football Foundation (NFF) Faculty Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments®, at which Faculty Athletics Representative George Pierce was recognized.

 

Then it was time to recognize student-athletes for academic and athletic achievement.

 

SUSAN REEVES SPIRIT AWARDS

Cheer/Spirit: Paris Porter

Band: Bryson Reese

 

TEAM GRADE POINT AVERAGE AWARDS:

Women: Cross Country, 3.98 team GPA

Men: Golf, 3.85 team GPA

 

ACADEMIC MVPs

Women's Basketball: Jada Lewis, 3.97

Women's Cross Country: Morgan Laushey, 4.17

Women's Golf: Yasemin Sari, 4.01

Beach Volleyball: Amie Held, 4.11

Women's Soccer: Kylie Ruffule, 4.23

Softball - Brenna Skalski, 4.12

Women's Tennis: Ilona Golynker, 4.14

Women's Track and Field: Alexus Shaw, 3.94

Court Volleyball: Morgan Hash, 4.17

Baseball: Rhett Harper, 4.15

Men's Basketball: Nile Felton, 3.62

Football: Jacob Nesmith, 3.95; Deshaun Faltz, 3.95

Men's Golf: Max Herrmann, 4.15; Alex Hermmann, 4.15

Men's Soccer: Javen Palmer, 3.98

Men's Tennis: Bailey Showers, 4.03

 

TEAM MVPs

Women's Basketball: Madison Newby

Women's Cross Country: Lotte Meyberg

Women's Golf: Chloe Howard

Beach Volleyball: Allie Elson

Women's Soccer: Monique Hundley

Softball: Ivie Drake

Women's Tennis: Kristin Rehse

Women's Track and Field: Rashell Reid

Court Volleyball: Crystal Lee

 

Baseball: Hunter Gaddis

Men's Basketball: D’Marcus Simonds

Football: Conner Manning

Men's Golf: Severin Soller

Men's Soccer: Rashid Alarape

Men's Tennis: Sebastian Acuna

 

FRESHMEN OF THE YEAR

Women’s Top Three Nominees:

Court Volleyball: Jha'Meisheia Griffin - WINNER

Cross Country: Lotte Meyberg

Track and Field: Jada Watson

Men’s Top Three Nominees:

Football: Dontae Wilson

Basketball: Kane Williams

Tennis: Kevin Huynh – WINNER

 

SENIOR CITIZEN AWARDS

Recognizing a male and female senior who have excelled both on and off the field or court, but have also been very influential throughout their time here at Georgia State and has been involved in other campus events or organizations as well as athletics.

 

Women’s Top Nominees:

Soccer: Kylie Ruffule

Softball: Brenna Skalski - WINNER

Men’s Top Three Nominees:

Football: Julien Laurent

Baseball: Justin Jones - WINNER

Tennis: Andrei Andrukhou

 

GREATEST VICTORY AWARD

Top Three Nominees:

Football: 27-17 victory over Western Kentucky in the AutoNation Cure Bowl for the first bowl victory in school history

Men’s Basketball: Winning the Sun Belt Conference title vs. UT Arlington to earn NCAA Tournament berth

Men’s Soccer: 2-1 overtime win over No. 2 Wake Forest

 

Winner: Men’s Basketball’s Sun Belt Championship

 

STUDENT-ATHLETE INSPIRATION AWARD Given to a student-athlete that has gone over and beyond to insure that Georgia State student-athletes understand the commitment it takes to be successful in the classroom and in their sport. This individual represents the Department of Athletics Culture of Success through Academic Achievement, Competitive Greatness, Ethical Behavior, Social Responsibility, and Community Engagement.

 

Recipient: Crystal Lee, Court Volleyball

 

PANTHER CUP AWARD For the men’s or women’s team that shows its commitment to all areas: athletics, academics, community and civic service, and in general, supporting Georgia State University to make it a better place for all of us.

 

Nominees: Softball, Track and Field, Court Volleyball

 

Winner: Softball

 

OTHER AWARDS

Athletic Trainer Award: Hannah Johnson

Administrator Award: Brad Horton and Jessica Summey

Coach of the Year Award:  Beth Van Fleet, Court Volleyball

Academic Hero Award: William Lake

Maria Urbina Award: Scott Sarratt