Guervil, McCullough named Tusculum Athletes of the Year

Widchard Guervil (track & field) and Annie McCullough (tennis) were named the 2017-18 Tusculum Athletes of the Year (photo by Kendrick Grant)
Widchard Guervil (track & field) and Annie McCullough (tennis) were named the 2017-18 Tusculum Athletes of the Year (photo by Kendrick Grant)

PHOTO ALBUM

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Widchard Guervil and Annie McCullough were named the male and female athletes of the year at "An Evening with the Pioneers" Tuesday night at Pioneer Arena.  Over 600 student-athletes, coaches and guests were in attendance at the event, which honors Tusculum's student-athletes for both on the field and off the field success.

Guerevil, a freshman from Fort Myers, Florida, led the Pioneers to a sixth place finish at the South Atlantic Conference Indoor Championships as he won the 60-meter dash and qualified for nationals where he ran in the NCAA 60-meter final and finished fourth to earn All-American honors.  In the outdoor season, his time in the 100 meters is currently fourth on the NCAA Division II performance list. 

McCullough led the Pioneers enjoyed one of the best seasons in program history as Tusculum posted a 21-3 overall record and finished runner-up in the SAC standings.  The Belfast, Ireland sophomore earned All-Conference first team honors in both singles and doubles and finished with a 16-0 record in singles including undefeated in league play.  She went 17-5 in doubles with her twin sister Caitlin who were ranked as high as fifth in the nation. Annie was also listed as high as 21st in NCAA Division II singles.

Tennis coach Adam Jackson is this year's recipient of the Art Argauer Coach of the Year Award earning the award for the second time in the last three seasons.  Jackson led the Tusculum tennis teams to a combined 36-11 record as both programs advanced to the SAC Semifinals.  The Tusculum women finished with a 21-3 overall record and earned the program its 10th NCAA Tournament berth where the Pioneers advanced to the second round of the NCAA postseason for only the second time in school history.

Long-time baseball coach Doug Jones, who announced he would be stepping down after 21 seasons and over 700 wins, was honored by Tusculum president Dr. James Hurley, who presented him with his framed No. 9 jersey in recognition of this legendary career.

December graduate Alex Grady is this year's recipient of the Walter T. Dette, Jr. Memorial Spirit Award. The Dette Award is presented to the graduating senior who has excelled in several areas while attending Tusculum.

Five Tusculum upperclassmen boast a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point averages and are recipients of the Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Award, which is given to the top male and female student-athletes for academic achievement.

On the men's side, junior men's tennis player Fabian Paier earns this honor for a second straight year. Paier was also the recipient of last month's SAC Elite 20 Award for Men's Tennis, earning that honor in back-to-back seasons.

Junior women's soccer defender Calie Thornber (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada) earns the award for a third straight year and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® team for a third straight season.  Joining Thornber are teammate Emma MacDonald (Whitby, Ontario, Canada) and junior outfielder Morgan Mahaffey (Belmont, N.C.) who both earn this honor for a second year in a row.

Academic achievement was also recognized with the Male and Female Freshman of the Year Academic Awards as three rookies were honored including: Hayden Fobare (women's cross country), Tori West (softball) and Jackson Cauthen (football).

The Paxton-Combs Fan of the Year Awards are named in honor of former Tusculum staff members and long-time Pioneer fans Mary Helen Paxton and Joyce Combs.  The recipient of this year's award is Bobbie Clarkston, Tusculum's athletic academic coordinator.  The student recipient of the Fan of the Year Award goes women's soccer junior Ellie Tomassoni.

The Play of the Year Award was Carlie Thornber's goal in a penalty kick shootout as Tusculum advanced past Lenoir-Rhyne to the South Atlantic Conference women's soccer championship semifinal.

The Comeback Player of the Year Award was presented to baseball pitcher Andrew Willis.  The Knoxville, Tennessee junior was hit in the face by a batted ball in a game in February. He would miss almost two months of the season before bouncing back and earned a win in relief with seven strikeouts over regionally-ranked Wingate in the SAC Baseball Tournament.

2017-18 Tusculum Athletic Award Recipients
Female Athlete of the Year: Annie McCullough (Women's Tennis)
Male Athlete of the Year: Widchard Guervil (Men's Track & Field)
Art Argauer Coach of the Year: Adam Jackson (M/W Tennis)
Walter T. Dette Spirit Award: Alex Grady (Athletic Communications Assistant)

Team Most Valuable Players
Athletic Training (Nathan McCoy Memorial Award): Taylor Berryhill
Cheerleading (Most Spirited): Jayelyn Shoemaker
Women's Cross Country: Alissa Furches
Men's Cross Country: Will Cronin
Football: Martez Thompkins
Men's Soccer: Clement Dagorn
Women's Soccer: Carlie Thornber
Volleyball: Melissa Mazur
Women's Basketball: Sydney Wilson
Men's Basketball: Donovan Donaldson
Softball: Emma Casey
Baseball: Daulton Martin
Women's Golf: Katie Tomassoni
Men's Golf: David Whinery
Men's Tennis: Gabriel Yaguar
Women's Tennis: Annie McCullough
Men's Lacrosse: Nate Wade
Women's Lacrosse: Christen Craig
Men's Track & Field: Widchard Guervil
Women's Track & Field: Annie McCullough

Freshman of the Year Academic Award (Male): Jackson Cauthen (Football)
Freshman of the Year Academic Award (Female): Hayden Fobare (Women's Cross Country)
Freshman of the Year Academic Award (Female): Tori West (Softball)
Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Award (Male): Fabian Paier (Men's Tennis)
Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Award (Female): Emma MacDonald (Women's Soccer)
Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Award (Female): Carlie Thornber (Women's Soccer)
Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Award (Female): Morgan Mahaffey (Softball)

Paxton-Combs Fan of the Year Award: Bobbie Clarkston
Paxton-Combs Student Fan of the Year Award: Ellie Tomassoni

Play of the Year: Winning PK shootout vs Lenoir-Rhyne to advance in SAC Women's Soccer Tournament
Comeback Player of the Year: Andrew Willis (Baseball)
Freshman of the Year: Widchard Guervil (Track & Field)