On Sunday, May 8th, at the annual Athletic Association Awards Picnic, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) announced the 2010-2011 SAAC Awards recipients. The 2010-2011 academic year marks the tenth year of recognizing student-athletes who make an impact in their sport and the overall well-being and success of the athletic program. The committee compiles the nominations and selects a recipient for Rookie of the Year, Senior Athlete of the Year, and the Phoenix Award.
The Phoenix Award
Junior, Maggie Sipps (Philadelphia, PA/ Little Flower) was elected to receive the 2011 Phoenix Award. The college’s mascot, the Phoenix, is a mythological creature honored by many cultures. It is commonly known as a mythical bird fabled to live more than 500 years. At the end of its life, it is ignited by the sun and fans the flames with its own wings, turning itself to ashes, only to emerge and rise form the ashes with renewed spirit and life. The ignition and rebirth symbolizes and honors the recipient of the Phoenix Award as the athlete who has ignited the fire for her team, persevered through difficulties and found strength in herself and others. The recipient is an athlete who was the spark, and the motivation for their team and who encouraged them to continue seeking their burning desire for athletic excellence.
Sipps is a three sport athlete at Wilson College, as member of the field hockey, basketball, and softball teams and has proven herself and a fierce competitor and loyal teammate. On both the field and court, Maggie has a way of providing a spark and creating positive energy that makes everyone around her work harder. During the year, Sipps contributed to the success of each of her teams. On the field hockey field, Sipps recorded 4 goals and 2 assists. On the basketball court, she was the team’s defensive spark, totaling 31 steals for the season. At short stop, Sipps had a fielding percentage of .824 and batting average of .371 with 41 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.
Rookie of the Year
Freshmen, Vanessa Whitfield (Chambersburg, PA/ Chambersburg) was named Wilson’s Rookie of the Year. The award is given to a first-year athlete who made significant contributions to her team during the year; in addition, the athlete must have excelled individually.
Whitfield is a two sport athlete, as a member of the basketball and lacrosse teams. Her selection as Rookie of the Year had much to do with her impact on the basketball team this year. Whitfield led the Phoenix this season with 328 points (14.9 per game), 252 rebounds (11.45 per game), 32 steals, and 11 double doubles. She was also named North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) and Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Southern Player of the Week during the season.
Senior of the Year
Alania Hofer (Dunncannon, PA/ Susquenita) was named the Senior of the Year.
This award is given to a senior athlete who has made significant contributions to her team during her entire athletic career and contributed significant to the performance of her team.
Hofer is a member of the soccer and basketball teams and has positively impacted both programs. Acting as a captain on both teams, Hofer has proven herself as a true leader in Wilson College athletics, leading by example, showing her heart and determination, and positively encouraging her teammates. In addition, she is an active member in numerous clubs and organizations, extending her leadership abilities throughout the campus.
On the basketball court, Hofer totaled 225 points (10.2 per game) and 203 rebounds (8.1 per game) this season. During her career at Wilson, Hofer recorded 970 total points and 882 rebounds.
Coach of the Year
This award is a new addition this year and was presented to head softball coach, Brett Cline for his excellence in recruiting and dedication to the athletes and team. Under his leadership the softball team finished the season with an overall record of 22-13. The team won the NEAC South Division Championship and was the first Wilson College team to qualify for an ECAC post-season championship tournament.
“The softball team’s success is a reflection of the time, energy and hard work Brett puts into the program,” says Athletic Director, Lori Frey, “It is my honor to present him with this award for all that he has done for the team, the program and the department.”
4 Year Letter Winners
In order to be a “letter winner” in a sport, and athlete must compete in 75% of the competitions. According to athletic director, Lori Frey, “To accomplish that for 4 consecutive years requires dedication, discipline, luck and injury free bodies.” The following people have been fortunate enough to possess all those qualities.
Beth Bush- Soccer and Gymnastics
Megan Dennis- Field Hockey and Basketball
Samantha Vance- Gymnastics
Monique Pare- Gymnastics
Victoria Wilcox- Field Hockey
Liesel Troshak- Field Hockey
Alaina Hofer- Basketball