Mustang Sports Weekly: SMU takes time to celebrate the celebrated
By Brooke Williamson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Transforming the usually loud and sweat filled Moody Coliseum to a draped room scattered with round tables covered in linens and fine foods; the athletes also traded their uniforms and practice gear for slacks, skirts and dress shoes.
Many times throughout the year we, as spectators, get so wrapped up in the achievements of our favorite sports teams that we forget that the athletes are fighting battles of their own.
Sunday night, the SMU Athletic Department took time out from their busy schedules of recruiting, interviewing, and preparing for next year, to honor and recognize the student-athletes that bring to life all that is, SMU Athletics.
The individual awards given to the most deserving student-athletes, accented with speeches by Athletic Director Steve Orsini and President R. Gerald Turner highlighted the evening.
In Turner’s speech, he acknowledged some of the year’s most impressive accomplishments but concluded saying, as he smiled, “the best way to spend our last year in Conference-USA —is to win everything.”
The Women’s Cross Country team and the football’s Chris Banjo were big award winners throughout the night. Banjo won three separate awards as women’s cross-country took home awards for holding the highest team GPA, while their own Silje Fjortoft took home Female Student-Athlete of the Year and the Presidential Award of Excellence.
Other notable winners were men’s soccer player Diogo De Almeida, Male Student-Athlete of the Year, football’s Kelvin Beacham and swimming’s Denisa Smolenova receiving the male and female character awards and volleyball, which was praised for the most improved GPA.
The event was the perfect way to show the athletes how much their hard work is appreciated. Orsini said it quite perfectly when recapping the year, “this year was a lot of fun…I spell fun, W.I.N.”
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