Raiders Choice Awards a huge success

Dendy, Dudley take home player of year honors

April 26, 2012 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Men’s golfer Brett Patterson and women’s basketball star Ebony Rowe were the big winners at the inaugural Raiders Choice Awards on Thursday night at Tucker Theatre. The year-end academy awards style show was televised live by Middle Tennessee Mass Communications students on MT TV 10 and directed by MTSU alumnus Garry Hood who has served as stage manager for nearly every major TV awards show the past 30 years.

Photos: Raiders' Choice Awards Gallery

Patterson and Rowe were both honored with the True Blue President’s Award, which is the highest honor bestowed upon a current MTSU student-athlete who epitomizes all that is good in intercollegiate athletics. Presented annually to one male and one female senior student-athlete, the President’s Award recognizes outstanding academic and athletic accomplishments, University/community service and leadership.

Patterson, who carries a 4.0 GPA and is a two-time All-SBC pick, became the first Blue Raider to compete in the U.S. Open Championship in 2011. Rowe adds a 3.8 GPA and was the second-leading scorer and top rebounder on the SBC Champion women’s basketball team

“What a great night to celebrate the accomplishments of our student-athletes both in the classroom and in their respective sport,” said Director of Athletics Chris Massaro. “This was a special night and I want to thank everyone involved.”

Academically, the Student-Athlete Enhancement Center awards went to Brandi Waller (volleyball) and Reggie Whatley (football). The highest team GPA award was won by the women’s soccer program.

In the individual categories, Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Laron Dendy was voted the Male Athlete of the Year while track standout Ann Dudley was honored as the Female Athlete of the Year

The Male and Female Newcomer of the Year awards went to Dendy and track and cross country’s Lucy Kapkiai, while baseball’s Trent Miller was voted as the Most Improved Player for the 2011-12 campaign.

Senior wide receiver Shane Blissard was honored with the Courage Award after suffering a serious injury during spring practice in 2011 and coming back to catch 16 passes and a touchdown for the Blue Raiders in 2011. Robbie Stewart, the head athletic trainer for football, was also given a special award for his quick thinking following Blissard’s injury.

Fans determined the winners of the Play of the Year, Performance of the Year, and the Game/Event of the Year by voting on GoBlueRaiders.com. The Play of the Year was wide receiver Anthony Amos’ touchdown grab with :11 seconds to play to give the Blue Raiders a win at home against Memphis. Junior Bruce Massey won the Performance of the Year award for his 20 points and 10 rebounds in the Blue Raiders’ NIT win at Tennessee. The Game/Event of the Year was the Blue Raiders’ men’s basketball win at Tennessee in March during the second round of the NIT.

The Director’s Cup Award was won by Men’s Basketball. This award was created to recognize the student-athletes who go above and beyond and who demonstrate an unselfish attitude toward their team, family, and community. The team who has earned the most points throughout the year in the following areas – academic achievement, community outreach, and personal development, take home this prestigious award.

Ashley Adams (volleyball), Dudley and Dendy were also recognized for earning All-American honors.

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