BOONE — Appalachian State University honored their student-athletes and the support staff that helped them thrive with the APPSPYs awards. Instead of a large banquet, this year’s awards were announced virtually during the course of April 27-28.
The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee organized the event, with football player Camerun Peoples and women’s basketball player Janay Sanders serving as the primary co-hosts. SAAC members voted on the various awards.
Football player Cole Garrison received the Brakefield Award. Established by legendary App State football coach Jim Brakefield and his wife, Eloise, this award is given to a graduating student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average among all student-athletes.
Golfer Timothius Tirto Tamardi received the Goodyear Family Athletic Scholarship. George and Anne Goodyear founded the scholarship in 1994 for a rising junior who has a minimum GPA of 2.0 and demonstrates strength of character in all that they do.
The Rick Edmundson Memorial Scholarship was presented to field hockey’s Ines Yofre. This scholarship is awarded annually to a rising junior or senior who has exhibited loyalty and dedication to App State. According to App State Athletics, candidates “give evidence of leadership potential and intelligence, exhibit sound and purposeful ambition, are vigorous and diligent in pursuit of duty and show compassion for others.”
A new honor, the Be The Change Award, went to football’s Elijah Diarrassouba. That award is presented to a student-athlete who advocates for change in App State’s community of student-athletes, including matters pertaining to social injustice, racial and gender inequality and promotion and acknowledgement of minorities on campus.
The Team Academic Excellence Award went to the women’s cross country team. Soccer player Kaitlyn Little won the Laps for Apps Award and Gabby Buruato of the softball team received the Gerald Adams All for App Award.
Cheerleader Ashley Giordano won the Julia Adams Scholarship, honoring her fourth-straight semester with a 4.0 GPA. Women’s tennis won the Mountaineer Moves Community Service Award.
The Best Season and Best Team Moment awards both went to men’s basketball, which won four games in four days at the Sun Belt Tournament to claim a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000.
The men’s basketball team added to their haul with head coach Dustin Kerns winning the university’s Coach of the Year award and guard Michael Almonacy being named Male Newcomer of the Year.
Women’s basketball’s Faith Alston was named Female Newcomer of the Year.
Categories covering every App State sport or multiple sports also included Best Individual Performance going to both wrestler Jonathan Millner, who became an All-American by finishing eighth in his weight class at the NCAA Championships, and softball player Baylee Morton, who had two home runs and five RBIs in a 12-7 win against Charlotte.
Field hockey’s Meghan Smart was named Female Student-Athlete of the Year, and football cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles was named Male Student-Athlete of the Year. Smart led the MAC in goals scored, and Jean-Charles was named a first-team All-American after leading the nation in pass breakups and being named the PFF Sun Belt Player of the Year.
Anthony Glass won Strength Coach of the Year, Athletic Trainer of the Year went to Rob Hamlet, Erika Foster was the winner of the Ron “Doc” Kanoy Award and Bill Post was voted Professor of the Year.
Jon Mitchell received the Jack Branch Award, and the football program’s Iron Unit award went to the linebackers, with Jourdan Heilig being named the Iron Mountaineer winner.