J.J. Sanders, Hailey Leonard Named Florida Tech’s Athletes of the Year At Athletics Banquet

By  //  April 27, 2016

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Held At Clemente Center

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Tuesday night at the Clemente Center, softball’s Hailey Leonard and football’s J.J. Sanders were named Florida Tech’s Athletes of the Year at the university’s Athletics Banquet, presented by Carrabba’s Italian Grill of Palm Bay. (Image by Amanda Stratford Photography)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Tuesday night at the Clemente Center, softball’s Hailey Leonard and football’s J.J. Sanders were named Florida Tech’s Athletes of the Year at the university’s Athletics Banquet, presented by Carrabba’s Italian Grill of Palm Bay.

Throughout Tuesday’s lavish affair, FIT President and CEO Anthony J. Catanese and Athletics Director Bill Jurgens handed out a vast array of awards to recognize all the excellent achievements reached by FIT’s 22 sports teams.

Trey Collins

Trey Collins

Rachel Pence

Rachel Pence

Earning Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year was Trey Collins of the men’s soccer team, while softball’s Rachel Pence received the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year laurel.

The Andy Seminick Sportsmanship Award went to football’s Chris Stapleton. Volleyball player Payton Bayless and women’s lacrosse’s Arielle Gunderson split the Martha Work Sportsmanship Award.

The Athletic Director’s Leadership Award was claimed by Isaac Spence of the men’s basketball team.

The men’s cross country team was awarded the Male Team GPA Award for posting the highest cumulative GPA among FIT’s men’s sports through the fall 2015 semester at 3.57. The women’s tennis team had the highest cumulative GPA among FIT’s women’s sports through the fall 2015 semester at 3.63.

In addition to the overall awards that were presented for Athlete of the Year, a member of each team was recognized as being an Athlete of the Year for their sport.

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Corbin Jackson

Corbin Jackson

Earning the honor from the men’s sports were Brian Bacarella (men’s lacrosse), Nir Barnea (men’s swimming), Terence Brookins (men’s track & field), Aria Canadell (men’s tennis), Trey Collins (men’s soccer), Kevin Coyle (men’s rowing), Corbin Jackson (men’s basketball), Tucker Melles (men’s cross country), Daniel Szpik (baseball), Gaelen Trew (men’s golf) and Nate Voris (cheerleading).

Receiving female Athlete of the Year on behalf of their sport were Kerstin Axelsson (women’s cross country), Tiesha Flagler (women’s basketball), Aurelia Gervasi (women’s rowing), Alea Hamm (volleyball), Julia Kantor (women’s soccer), Brittany LaPadula (women’s golf), Allie Modica (women’s lacrosse), Dar Raz (women’s swimming), Alexis Santiago (women’s track & field) and Lauren Stuckey (women’s tennis).

Manny Abad

Manny Abad

Reid Neil

Reid Neil

A member of each team was also presented with a Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. Earning the honor from the men’s sports were Manny Abad (Football), Alex Carlson (men’s lacrosse), Nate Hodge (men’s rowing), Nick Lenssen (men’s cross country), Reid Neil (baseball), Ivan Shapovalov (men’s tennis), Daniel Schultz (men’s track & field), Brandon Shelley (men’s golf), Isaac Spence (men’s basketball) and Oz Wasserman (men’s swimming).

Receiving Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year on behalf of their sport were Payton Bayless (volleyball), Lola Barbour (cheerleading), Lauren Bolhuis (women’s soccer), Felicia Leftinger (women’s golf), Samantha Martinez (women’s rowing), Allie Modica (women’s lacrosse), Julie McCarthy (women’s basketball), Shelby Pearce (women’s swimming), Meritt Rabson (women’s tennis), Amanda Sava (women’s cross country) and Alyson Vezina (women’s track & field).

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The women’s soccer team won the 2015-16 Panther Cup, which is a points-based competition among 22 of FIT’s varsity teams. (FIT Image)

The women’s soccer team won the 2015-16 Panther Cup, which is a points-based competition among 22 of FIT’s varsity teams.

It is designed to give each team the opportunity to be recognized for its academic and athletic performances, personal and career development, community involvement and support for one another throughout the year.

The women’s soccer team totaled the most points among FIT teams in the following categories: athletes supporting other athletes at competitions, career and personal development, community service and their involvement with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

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Awards were also presented to 103 Panther seniors and certificates were given for the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.

In total, 248 Panthers were named to the honor roll for achieving a 3.2 cumulative GPA through the fall 2015 semester, up from 215 a year ago.


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