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Lander Athletics Holds 2022 Golden Claws

Recognized at the annual Golden Claw awards were, from left, Zeth Brower, M.V. Wells Award winner; Deegan Green, Boyce M. Grier Award winner; and Makaila Cange, Hodges Award winner.

The Lander Athletics Department held its annual banquet on Monday evening, April 25, at Finis Horne Arena. The event honored the University's student-athletes for their 2021-22 school year accomplishments. Student-athletes, administrators, coaches, and special guests attended the event, which featured a special awards ceremony with presentations, video features, and heavy hor d'oeuvres.

Deegan Green, a senior cheerleader from Landrum, S.C., received the Dr. Boyce M. Grier Award as the Lander student-athlete who best exemplifies sportsmanship, integrity, pride in the University, and a positive attitude. Green has been a four-year member of the cheer team and a student worker in the athletic department. As a student worker, Deegan was instrumental in the department's day-to-day administration and game-day operations.

Zeth Brower, a redshirt sophomore from Medford, Ore., received the M.V. Wells Award given annually to the Lander Male Athlete of the Year. Brower finished the season 18-0, becoming the program's first All-American and National Champion. Zeth was also named the South Atlantic Conference Carolinas Wrestler of the Year and the Super Region II Wrestler of the Year.

For the second straight year, Makaila Cange, a junior women's basketball player from Douglasville, Ga., received the Dr. Samuel C. Hodges Award as the Female Athlete of the Year. Cange averaged 19.0 points per game and 10.0 rebounds for the Bearcats this season. She led the Peach Belt Conference in four different statistical categories. She was also second in the country in field-goal percentage, eighth in offensive rebounds per game, and ninth in double-doubles. On January 12, she broke the program records for points in a game with 43 and field goals made with 16. She was named Peach Belt Player of the Year, All-American, and Academic All-American.

The men's golf team received the Bell/Williams Award, given annually to the team with the overall highest ranking based on team winning percentage, grade point average, and campus and community involvement. The award was established in 2007 to honor two long-serving University employees, Cheryl Bell, former women's tennis coach, and former Associate Athletic Director/SWA, and Betty Williams, former Faculty Athletic Representative.

Team Awards

Women's Soccer: Sarah Owen, MVP; Reagan Hunter, Academic Award; MacKenzie Yandle, Sportsmanship Award

Men's Soccer: Tom Marriott, MVP; Jonah Miller, Academic Award; Max Landau, Sportsmanship Award

Women's Cross Country: Aubree Francis, MVP; Mary O'Toole, Academic Award; Addison Vaughn, Sportsmanship Award

Men's Cross Country: Trent Powers, MVP and Academic Award; Tanner Mott, Sportsmanship Award

Volleyball : Christina Aguayo and Patricia Pantoja, co-MVP; Daria DeCarvalho Peixe, Academic Award; Ellyn Adams, Sportsmanship Award

Men's Basketball: Nigel Colvin, MVP; Sebastian Augustave, Academic Award; Jared Sherfield, Sportsmanship Award

Women's Basketball: Makaila Cange. MVP; Cierra Revelle, Academic Award and Sportsmanship Award

Women's Golf: Hannah Stephenson, MVP; Elizabeth Bradley, Academic Award; Caitlyn Cash, Sportsmanship Award

Men's Golf: Hugo Lari and Maxime Legros, co-MVP; Linus Jonsson, Academic Award and Sportsmanship Award

Women's Tennis: Emily Ineson, MVP and Academic Award; Maranda Adiar, Sportsmanship Award

Men's Tennis; Hugo Regner, MVP; Alexandre Crepy, Academic Award; Nicolas Chan, Sportsmanship Award

Softball: Shannon Antonini and Rebecca Boesen, co-MVP; Olivia Veidt, Academic Award and Sportsmanship Award

Baseball: Vinny DeRubeis, MVP; Bennet Nooe, Academic Award; Matthew Burgess, Sportsmanship Award

Cheer: Deegan Green, MVP; Mary Kiss, Academic Award; Adalis Bowser, Sportsmanship Award

Dance: Madelyn Montjoy, MVP; Maggie Schneider, Academic Award; Kirsten Poore, Sportsmanship Award

Men's Rugby: Austin Johnson, MVP; Cameron Smith, Academic Award; Hayden Bulwinkle, Sportsmanship Award

Women's Rugby: Jessica Burt, MVP; Julia Anhalt, Academic Award; Paige Wisebaker, Sportsmanship Award

Acrobatics and Tumbling: Sarah Calk, MVP; Elaina Carrell, Academic Award; Bailee Younce, Sportsmanship Award

Men's Lacrosse: Adam Mather, MVP; Logan Ellis, Academic Award; Noah Longest, Sportsmanship Award

Women's Lacrosse: Tiyonna Hall, MVP; Melissa Clapsaddle, Academic Award; Jade Pardee, Sportsmanship Award


Special Awards

Play of the Year: Max Landau - goal from half line in PBC QF vs. UNG on 11/6/21

Performance of the Year: Christina Aguayo - 23 kills vs. Carson Newman on 10/22/21

Best Celebration: Women's Lacrosse comeback 15-14 win vs. Belmont Abbey on 2/9/22

Male Freshman of the Year: Dominic Stanford - Men's Basketball

Female Freshman of the Year: Abbie Behe - Softball

Male Breakout Athlete of the Year:  Ethan Wilder - Baseball

Female Breakout Athlete of the Year: Tesa Simmons - Women's Soccer

Iron Bearcat Female: Bridget Tierney - Softball

Iron Bearcat Male: Cam Smith - Men's Rugby

Iron Bearcat Team: Men's Lacrosse