April 23, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN — Blanche Alverson played like she left the room. Jonathon Mincy put on his head phones. It was not easy being the talent scouts for this year's AUSPY Awards, at least when the cameras were rolling and you had to play it for fun.
"What are we doing here?" Alverson asked after another tough-to-listen-to, though thoroughly-tongue-in-cheek singing performance.
Alyse Scott came to their rescue. The Auburn soccer player impressed Alverson and Mincy enough in the reenactment of the TV series "The Voice" to win a spot on the big stage.
Scott was part of the entertainment for the fourth AUSPYs, a Monday night when Auburn honored the top athletic and academic achievements of the year. Scott wasn't alone on stage. Current and former athletes displayed their talents for their fellow athletes.
Alverson, from basketball, and Mincy, from football, were the hosts.
There were all sorts of entertainment, like defensive end Dee Ford on the keyboard for Cinco Suave. There was applause for the equestrian team, which made it back from its national championship event, just in time to be recognized as the No. 1 team n the country. There were the top athletes, the top teams and the top academic performances.
Alverson was so honored with one of the school's first Passion Award, which "embodies every aspect of being a student-athlete." And, for good measure in Alverson's case, her resume' included being Miss Homecoming, being a two-time SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and starting her own community service program… all while graduating this May in biomedical sciences.
There were plenty of praise on the academic side, including a record 304 "Top Tigers," up from 249 a year ago, and so designated for having at least a 3.0 grade point average. Nineteen of this year's Top Tigers were a perfect 4.0.
The Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award went to football's Ashton Richardson, who was a finalist for a Rhoads Scholarship; and 12-time SEC Champion swimmer Kyle Owens. The Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year were equestrian All-American Indy Roper and soccer's Amy Howard, a president's award recipient in the College of Education.
The Female Athlete of the Year was Olivia Scott, who won a national title in the 100-yard butterfly at the NCAA Championships. The Male Athlete of the Year was SEC Swimmer of the Year Marcelo Chierighini.
The Cliff Hare Award, which goes to Auburn's top male student-athlete, was won by baseball's Cory Luckie. He graduated in 2012 and is in medical school at UAB.
The Leah Rawls Atkins Award, which goes to Auburn's top female student-athlete, was won by soccer's Katy Frierson. She graduated in 2011 and is playing professional soccer.
Joining Alverson as a Passion Award winner were 2010 and 2011 SEC high jump champion Maya Pressley and basketball player Josh Wallace.
Shon Coleman won the Inspiration Award for beating cancer and resuming his football career.
Four athletes were recognized as nominees for SEC awards. The H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athletes Post-Graduate nominees were Alverson and football's Ashton Richardson. The Brad C. Davis Community Award nominees were Amy Howard from soccer and Kyle Owens from swimming and diving.
Spencer Ferguson was honored with the Academic Achievement Award, which is awarded by the staff of counselors and learning specialists. Ferguson lost his athletic eligibility in 2010 while dealing with the loss of his mother. He returned to pass 17 hours in electrical engineering to regain his eligibility.
The Male Team of the Year was track and field. The Female Team of the Year was golf.
The Spirit Award, which goes to the team that attended the most sporting events, was the equestrian team.
The female rookie of the year was Bri Guy, who was the gymnastics team's high scorer in beam, floor and all-around. The male rookie of the year was All-SEC Freshman golfer Michael Johnson.
The best comeback of the year went to the men's golf team, which rallied at the NCAA regionals to win a spot in the NCAA Championships.
The highest female team GPA was tennis and the best male team GPA was cross country.
The Life Skills Community Service Award was won by football, gymnastics and equestrian.
2012-13 ACADEMIC TOP TIGERS
Baseball (17): Zach Blatt, Cameron Blinka, Trey Cochran-Gill, Colton Davis, Justin Hargett, Jon Luke Jacobs, Cory Luckie, Rocky McCord, Chris O'Neil, Kody Ortman, Kevin Patterson, Patrick Savage, Mitchell Self, Caleb Smith, Jarred Smith, Derek Varnadore, Chase Williamson
Equestrian (28): Anna Becker, Coryn Bergenty, Morgan Burns, Bailee Bussey, Mallory Campbell, Julianna Cook, Rachel Cooper, Jennifer Delman, Casey Fowler, Jillian Fuller, Kelsey George, Quincy Hayes, Ariel Herrin, Lydia Hinshaw, Lucy Igoe, Bailey Kleis, Christina Lin, Danielle Long, Maggie McAlary, Caitlin Moran, Christine Orrison, Lindsay Portela, Jessica Remy, Indy Roper, Stephanie Rucci, Melena Smith, Addison Snively, Jennifer Waxman
Football (23): Joel Bonomolo, Quan Bray, Chandler Brooks, Neil Caudle, Steven Clark, Jared Cooper, Adam Dyas, Tunde Fariyike, Trent Fisher, Brandon Fulse, Corey Grant, Barrett Kernon, Alex Kviklys, Chris Landrum, Dustin Norris, Ryan Preston, Spencer Pybus, Zach Rawden, Ashton Richardson, Barrett Trotter, Jermaine Whitehead, Taylor Williams, Patrick Young
Gymnastics (15): Lauren Brzostowski, Justine Foster, Bri Guy, Abbey Habict, Katie Hurley, Caryn Kadous, Kareen Kaveh, Laura Lane, Kylie Shields, Kendall Swartz, Kelsey Thomasson, Leah Vining, Megan Walker, Brittany Webster, Petrina Yokay
Men's Basketball (4): Doug Merrell, Bernard Morena, Dylan Spencer, Josh Wallace
Men's Golf (13): Rosson Anderson, Blayne Barber, Niclas Carlsson, Cory Gilmer, Michael Hebert, Michael Johnson, Kyle Kopsick, Will McCurdy, Jake Mondy, Blake Soni, John Stembridge, Dan Stringfellow, David Zickler
Men's Swimming and Diving (19): Kevin Behrens, James Disney-May, Stuart Ferguson, Chandler Gerlach, Adam Godzinski, Zane Groth, Eduardo Guimaraes, Peter Haas, Spencer Kerns, Adam Klein, T.J. Leon, Robert Looney, Chris Manning, Fraser McKean, Tommy McKee, Max Murphy, Kyle Owens, Sam Parker, John Santeiu
Men's Track and Field (28): Gerard Brown, Niklas Buhner, Matt Cooper, Jeff Cowden, Kelley Cutrell, Neil Danville, Michael Dekich, Andrew Dunkleberger, Stephen Fly, Enrique Gaitan, Kane Grimster, Jonathan Hardin, Hunter Hayes, Cameron Holt, Griffin Jaworski, Tyler Kennedy, Clifford Lee, Jason Miller, Samuel Mueller, Gehrig Nelson, Jace Owens, Joby Peake, Marcus Popenfoose, Clay Porter, Marcus Rowland, Jeff Sanders, Andrew Scott, Parker Shearer
Men's Tennis (4): Daniel Cochrane, Rafael Rondino, Alex Stamchev, Michael Wardell
Softball (8): Elizabeth Eisterhold, Morgan Estell, Amber Harrison, Brooke Lathan, Jenee Loree, Hilary Mavromat, Baylee Stephens, Liana Wuchte
Soccer (20): Tori Ball, Maddie Barnes, Ana Cate, Mary Coffed, Tatiana Coleman, Katy Frierson, Chelsea Gandy-Comer, Aimee Golightly, Heather Havron, Amy Howard, Julie King, Mary Nicholson, Addie Ragsdale, Jessica Rightmer, Morgan Samples, Kim Spence, Caitlin Torie, Sammy Towne, Lydia Townsend, Jessica Wolfe.
Volleyball (8): Katherine Culwell, Kelsey Dobbs, MacKenzy Harper, Camila Jeronsky, Brittney Rhude, Kathia Rud, Christina Solverson, Chelsea Wintzinger
Women's Basketball (2): Blanche Alverson, Courtney Strain
Women's Golf (6): Karlin Beck, Lakin Eddy, Diana Fernandez, Madison Overbey, Patricia Sanz, Victoria Trapani
Women's Swimming and Diving (18): Anna Aguero, Erica Belcher, Cinzia Calabretta, Katherine Daniels, Vennie Dantin, Abby Duncan, Megan Fonteno, Laura Johnson, Becca Jones, Haley Krakoski, Aimee Middleton, Lauren Norberg, Lindsey Norberg, Sarah Peterson, Hannah Riordan, Shanna Schuelein, Ariana Vanderpool-Wallace, Kelsey Winters
Women's Track and Field (28): Erika Akins, Catherine Allen, Stephanie Barnes, Lauren Barr, Samantha Berggren, Victoria Bernado, Elizabeth Briasco, Kathryn Campbell, Nicole Charley, Ashley Cruder, Dannielle Davis, Alissa Fisher, Siobhan Ford-Holland, Halle Green, Melanie Harris, Sally Kirklewski, Erica Kolakowski, Diana Levy, Danielle Lusk, Brittany Mattrella, Anna McCloskey, Tori Nwadiogbu, Latoya Parkinson, Maya Pressley, Alexandria Reaves, V'alonee Robinson, Kai Selvon, Ameenah Bey Shaw
Women's Tennis (8): Maria Arechavaleta, Olivia Bennett, Emily Flickinger, Jackie Kasler, Lauren Levant, Jen Pfeifler, Paulina Schippers, Taylor Schreimann
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