Rocky Mount, N.C. - The North Carolina Wesleyan Department of Athletics hosted its 50th Annual Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 23rd, in Minges Auditorium of the Dunn Center. Coaches, staff and student-athletes came together to celebrate the accomplishments of both individuals and teams from the 2014-2015 season.
The night began with a video commemorating the 50th anniversary of the awards ceremony. The short film took the audience through five decades of Wesleyan athletics and honored the true founders of our Battling Bishops: Dr. Raymond "Moe" Bauer, Coach Don Scalf and Coach Jean Edge. The video ended with the 7th Annual Wesley Awards, which offered a lighthearted take on the athletics season. Dr. Bauer's son, Paul, proceeded to escort Coach Scalf to the stage amid a standing ovation to accept the 50-Year Wesley.
The evening then moved into the Department of Athletics' traditional awards. Among the athletes and teams honored, NCWC boasted 41 USA South All-Conference selections, four Players of the Year, two All-Americans, four USA South Championships and two NCAA Tournament berths. Highlighting the night’s winners were the honors given for Male and Female Student-Athlete of the Year, along with Male and Female Athlete of the Year.
Academically, senior Rebecca Staylor of women's soccer garnered Female Student-Athlete of the Year accolades, while senior Drew Wiltse of men's soccer took home Male Student-Athlete of the Year honors. Majoring in Pre-Law and Accounting/Business, respectively, both are current members of the President’s Honors List, as well as the USA South All-Academic Team.
The final awards of the night saw women's tennis sophomore Natalia Lopez named Female Athlete of the Year, while seniors Jacques Alston of football and Robert Kjellberg of men's tennis were tabbed Co-Male Athletes of the Year. All three were First Team All-Conference selections who earned USA South Player of the Year recognition this season.
After accepting his award, Kjellberg was asked to remain on stage for one final honor. The Sweden native, a three-time All-American and the most decorated athlete in the history of NCWC men's tennis, received a standing ovation from his peers when it was revealed that he has become just the 13th Battling Bishop in history to garner jersey retirement.
The evening then concluded with a viewing of the Department of Athletics Highlight Video.
Below is a complete list of all honorees.
FEMALE STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Rebecca Staylor, Women's Soccer
MALE STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Drew Wiltse, Men's Soccer
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Natalia Lopez, Women's Tennis
CO-MALE ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Jacques Alston, Football
Robert Kjellberg, Men's Tennis
Moe Bauer Sportsmanship Award: Albert Raynor
Scholar-Athlete Award: Dustin Midgett
Offensive Most Valuable Player: Jacques Alston
Defensive Most Valuable Player: James Wallace
Moe Bauer Sportsmanship Award: Ashley Dunn
Scholar-Athlete Award: Sarah Olsowski
Most Valuable Player: Rebecca Staylor
Moe Bauer Sportsmanship Award: Egor Kabalin
Scholar-Athlete Award: Drew Wiltse
Most Valuable Player: Drew Wiltse
Moe Bauer Sportsmanship Award: Evie Hunter
Scholar-Athlete Award: Whitney Graves
Most Valuable Player: Christina Huber
Moe Bauer Sportsmanship Award: Connor Wright
Scholar-Athlete Award: Connor Wright
Moe Bauer Sportsmanship Award: Jordan Cager
Scholar-Athlete Award: Shekinah Huggins
Most Valuable Player: Kenyata Harris
Moe Bauer Sportsmanship Award: Jesse Simpson
Scholar-Athlete Award: D.J. Weaver
Most Valuable Player: D.J. Weaver
Moe Bauer Sportsmanship Award: Will Graves
Scholar-Athlete Award: Macon Hammond
Most Valuable Player: Ciro Norzagaray
Moe Bauer Sportsmanship Award: Matthew May
Scholar-Athlete Award: Tommy Nakamura
Most Valuable Player: David White
Moe Bauer Sportsmanship Award: Abigail Leonard
Scholar-Athlete Award: Abigail Leonard
Most Valuable Player: Jasmine Edgren
Moe Bauer Sportsmanship Award: Valeria Berber
Co-Scholar-Athlete Awards: Rachel Hui & Fernanda Orona
Most Valuable Player: Natalia Lopez
Moe Bauer Sportsmanship Award: Sebastian Sikh
Scholar-Athlete Award: Mark Sokolov
Most Valuable Player: Robert Kjellberg