Spanning the North County globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is Cal State San Marcos Department of Athletics hosted its 8th-annual Student-Athlete Awards…
Cal State San Marcos Department of Athletics hosted its 8th-annual Student-Athlete Awards Banquet recently at the University Student Union Grand Ballroom. The event recognized the accomplishments of CSUSM student-athletes in their field of competition, in the classroom and in the community.
Student-athletes and guests were welcomed into the building on a blue carpet leading into the ceremony.
Director of Athletics Jennifer Milo kicked off the event by addressing the 350-plus person crowd and pointing out the accolades and feats of the 2016-17 competitive season that included 63 percent of CSUSM’s 300-plus student-athletes achieving a 3.0 GPA or higher in the Fall of 2016. She also highlighted the fact that CSUSM is in its final year of its three-year transition into full NCAA Division II member status and it is time to set a new vision, with the mantra of #WeHaveArrived no longer applicable for CSUSM Athletics, it is now all about #BleedBlue.
Midway through the ceremony, active U.S. Marine and men’s basketball player Stefawn Payne was awarded the Cougar Character award. Seth Smith, the Voice of the Cougars, sat down in a one-on-one Q&A with Payne on stage. Payne talked about his eight deployments in his 13 years and what a normal day is like, balancing his education, military, basketball and family commitments.
In addition, 33 student-athletes received exclusive sashes to wear during their graduation ceremony in May.
8th Annual CSUSM Award Winners
Newcomers of the Year: Joe Boyd, Men’s Basketball & Maddy Newcombe, Volleyball
Finalists: Gabriela Arizaga, Softball; Jaime Jacob, Women’s Golf
Performance of the Year: Ethan Alvano, Men’s Basketball & Line-Change by Baseball Team
Finalists: Samantha Flores, Volleyball; Justin Tesar, Men’s Soccer
Cougar Character Award: Stefawn Payne, Men’s Basketball
Academic Achievement Award: Cristen Lane, Cross Country/Track & Field
Volunteer of the Year: Daniel Fria, Men’s Basketball Volunteer Coach
Coach of the Year: Bobby Renneisen, Women’s Soccer
Women’s Teams’ Student-Athlete of the Year: Erica Dory, Women’s Soccer
Finalists: Samantha Flores, Volleyball; Jaime Jacob, Golf; Ashley Jenkins, Basketball; Natalie Rodriguez, Cross Country and Track & Field;
Men’s Teams’ Student-Athlete of the Year: Andrew Stalboerger, Men’s Soccer
Finalists: Ethan Alvano, Basketball; Vahagan Isayan, Cross Country; Ryan Maize, Track & Field; Tyler Place, Baseball; Jake Williams, Golf;
Cougar Cup: Women’s Soccer
Finalists: Baseball; Volleyball.