Falcons honor six student-athletes with annual awards

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Six of the top student-athletes at the University of Montevallo were honored with the department’s annual awards for the 2011-2012 season.

Montevallo recognizes the top performances each year with the Outstanding Male and Female Athlete of the Year Awards. The male receives the Neal Shirley Award, while the female receives the Margaret Blalock Award. The top scholar-athletes in each gender also receive an award. The male receives the John Bennett Walters Award and the female receives the Jan Eagles Award.

The President’s Award is presented to the team with the highest grade-point average among Montevallo athletic teams. One student-athlete in each gender is honored with the Sportsmanship Award as the athlete that best exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship, fair play and teamwork, while representing Montevallo in a positive manner. The student-athlete who best signifies the spirit, participation and support of all Montevallo athletic programs is selected for the DeWayne Peevy Spirit Award.

Senior Antoine Davis, a Washington, D.C. native, and junior Haley Evans, a Fairhope native, were named the male and female Athletes of the Year, respectively.

Davis was given the Neal Shirley Award after leading the men’s basketball team to the 2011-2012 NCAA Division II National Championship game. Davis was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District Team and was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Peach Belt Conference.

Davis was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Peach Belt Conference Tournament and was named to the All-Tournament Team at both the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Tournament and the NCAA Elite Eight. He averaged 14 points per game and 5.3 assists per game during his senior season. Davis missed 13 games due to a broken leg midway through the season, but he was able to rehab his way back into the lineup and help lead the team to its first national championship game appearance.

Evans, a member of the women’s cross country team, took home the Margaret Blalock Award after leading the team to its first Peach Belt Conference Title and first trip to the NCAA Division II National Championship race.

Evans was the Peach Belt Conference’s Individual Champion, winning the championship race by more than 30 seconds while breaking the Montevallo record for a 6K race. Evans was named First Team All-Conference and All-Region. She holds the Montevallo records for both 5K and 6K while ranking among the top-10 in 5K twice and 6K four times.

Evans was also named to the Peach Belt Conference All-Academic Team and was given a USTFCCCA Academic Award. She led the Falcons to a second-place finish at the NCAA Division II Southeast Region race and then a 24th-place finish at the NCAA Division II Championship race.

The John Bennett Walters Award and the Jan Eagles Award for the top scholar-athletes went to senior men’s soccer player Vance Curro, a Spain Park High School graduate, and senior volleyball setter Anna Garrison, respectively.

Curro ended his career at Montevallo with a 3.69 GPA in business. Curro was a four-year member of the Montevallo men’s soccer team and led the Falcons to NCAA Division II Tournament appearances in 2008, 2010 and 2011. He played in 18 of Montevallo’s 20 games this past season and was named to the Peach Belt Conference All-Academic Team.

Garrison, a LaVergne, Tenn., native,  is a four-year member of the volleyball team. She compiled a 3.97 GPA in communication studies. Garrison was named a First Team Academic All-American this past season while leading the Falcons to their third-straight Peach Belt Conference Tournament appearance. She finished her career with the second-most assists in Montevallo’s NCAA Division II history with 4,363 assists.

Senior baseball player Duston Daugherty, a Hoover High School graduate, and Garrison were the recipients of the Sportsmanship Award. Daugherty is a four-year member of the Montevallo baseball team, while Garrison is a four-year member of the volleyball team.

Freshman men’s cross country runner Zackery Walsh, a Hewitt-Trussville High School graduate, was given the DeWayne Peevy Spirit Award.

Walsh is in just his first year at Montevallo, but he has already become a avid supporter of all the teams on the Montevallo campus. He could be found in the stands for volleyball, soccer and basketball games this season, sometimes covered in purple and gold paint. Walsh was also spotted at the tennis courts, as well as the baseball diamond, supporting his fellow student-athletes. On the cross country trail, he holds the Montevallo record for an 8K and ranks among the top-10 times in school history four times.

The President’s Award was given to the volleyball team, which collectively posted a 3.5 GPA during the fall semester.