The Southeast Missouri Department of Athletics hosted the Fourth Annual Student-Athlete Awards Ceremony by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee - otherwise known as SAAC by SAAC - Wednesday evening at Academic Hall Auditorium.
SAAC by SAAC is the annual end-of-the-year awards show run by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a group of student-athlete leaders appointed from each Redhawk sports program. Awards nominees are selected by the SAAC committee, and a vote of student-athletes and athletic department coaches and staff selects the winners.
The theme for the evening was the Roaring 20’s, and student-athletes were dressed to the nines as they entered Academic Hall on the red carpet. The hour-long awards show was emceed by soccer student-athlete Kendra Lierz and track & field student-athlete Kameron Long, and the event featured several videos and skits, and the announcement of this year’s winners.
Senior gymnast Ashley Thomas took home the Jerry Westbrook Rowdy Redhawk Award, which is awarded to a student-athlete or friend of Redhawk Athletics who has gone above and beyond over the past year in support of student-athletes.
In an annual tribute to the life of the late Meg Herndon, a soccer student-athlete who passed away after a scooter accident in 2012, the Impossible is Nothing Award was given to women’s basketball senior Olivia Hackmann for her perseverance and spirit in the face of adversity during her Redhawk career.
Director of Athletics Brady Barke awarded his Leadership Award to track & field and cross country senior, and SAAC president, Megan Parks. Megan had represented Southeast and the Ohio Valley Conference earlier this year at the National SAAC Conference.
Headlining this year’s award winners were Male Athlete of the Year Award winner - men’s basketball senior Antonius Cleveland, and the Female Athlete of the Year Award winner - women’s basketball senior Bri Mitchell. The final award of the night went to the Redhawk Tennis team was voted on by their peers as the Team of the Year – as they advanced to the OVC Tournament for the first time since 2007.
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