Aggie Student-Athletes Honored At USTARS Awards Banquet

April 1, 2011

LOGAN, Utah - Utah State prides itself in the outstanding academic and athletic performances of their student-athletes, as well as their devotion and service to the community. On March 29, Utah State hosted an awards banquet to honor the athletes who went above and beyond in their most recent sports seasons. The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) organized and hosted the event.

Some awards included Best Individual Performance, Best Upset, Best Team Performance, and Best Newcomer. There was also an award for Best Athletic Trainer to recognize the trainers that helped student-athletes make it through the season.

Men's Basketball player Tai Wesley took Male Athlete of the Year, and Lauren Hansen of soccer, was selected Female Athlete of the Year. Nevin Lawson, football, and Chari Hawkins, track, won the awards for Male and Female Newcomers of the Year. Male Walk-on of the Year was awarded to Jake Doughty of football, and Female Walk-on of the Year went to Laurel Bodily of volleyball. Aggie student-athletes and staff voted to award Kerwynn Williams Best Individual Performance of the Year for his accomplishments in the football game vs. Nevada. Volleyball received the Best Team Performance of the Year Award for their performance against Hawaii at the WAC Tournament and football's victory over BYU took the title for Best Upset of the Year. Graduate Assistant Erin Variano was voted Trainer of the Year and Dalen Van Wagoner was recognized as Fan of the Year.

Emcees for the USTARS Awards Banquet were Bill Sproat, more famously known as "Wild Bill," and Jake Frisby. The Aggie super fan Sproat was on ESPN a number of times and could be found wearing outrageous costumes, such as a teapot, during basketball games.

Sproat was one of many special guests of the evening, including three celebrity judges. Karen Hamilton, the Administrative Assistant for Student-Athlete Services (SAS), Nnamdi Gwacham, Graduate Intern for SAS and former SAAC President, and Spencer Johnson, a Utah State graduate and former SAAC Vice-President. Gwacham said he understands how difficult and time-consuming the planning process can be, being a former SAAC member. "It was a great night with great student-athletes and great entertainment," said Gwacham.

The judges assessed performances during the talent portion of the event. Aggie athletes had an opportunity to showcase their non-athletic talents in short performances throughout the night. Performances included an African dance by members of the gymnastics team, fiddle playing and signing by volleyball's Paige Neves, an interpretive dance by members of the soccer team, and a song performed by Doug Fiefia, Football, and his band Profetik. Hamilton, Johnson, and Gwacham determined Neves the winner of the talent portion.

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