Williamsburg, KY – The UC athletic teams took a break from their schedules to come together and honor the achievements of the 2016-2017 season at the inaugural PATS Awards Show Monday night in the O. Wayne Rollins Center. Cumberlands handed out 18 awards recognizing both individual and team performances along with the student-athletes work in and out of the classroom and in the community.
Women's wrestling senior Sarah Allen (SR/Huber Heights, OH) received the Patriot Award, giving to the best all-around student-athlete with academic, athletic, and community service accomplishments. Allen is a four time All-American that has also been an essential part of the local women's wrestling community. She has mentored young Whitley County wrestlers and has also helped Whitley County High School with home tournaments, cleaning, and painting their facility. Her teammate Jessika Rottier (SO/Little Suamico, WI) won the Female Individual Performance of the Year Award after going 5-0 and winning a national title at the 170 lbs. weight class at the WCWA National Championships.
Women's lacrosse midfielder and freshman Samantha Tullar (FR/Randolph Center, VT) was one of the big winners of the night after earning both Newcomer of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year honors. Tullar has been an essential part of UC's success this season and has helped the Patriots to an 11-5 record and the third-seed in the AAC tournament. She is currently the NAIA leader in goals, points, goals per game, and points per game, while ranking second in the NAIA in draw controls.
Athletic department secretary Lana West was honored with the inaugural UC Lifetime Achievement Award. West has spent the last 25 years correlated with the UC athletic department or the Mid-South Conference and works with every program on campus.
The archery, baseball, men's basketball, and women's soccer teams each picked up two awards on the evening. Senior pitcher Noah Gapp (SR/St. Albert, Alberta) was named the Male Athlete of the Year, while Head Coach Brad Shelton earned Male Coach of the Year Honors. Gapp is 9-2 on the season with a 1.20 ERA and eight complete games and 93 strikeouts. Gapp is ranked in the top five in the NAIA in wins, innings pitched, and ERA. Shelton has guided the baseball team to a 36-11 record, including 12-3 in the MSC and three conference sweeps.
The men's basketball team earned the UC Patriot Proud Performance Award and was named the Male Team of the Year. The Patriot Proud Performance Award was for their 34 point over then second-ranked Georgetown in the NAIA Game of the Week. It was the largest margin of victory in series history between the two schools. The men's basketball team was named the Male Team of the Year after going 22-9 overall and advance to the NAIA tournament for the fifth straight year.
Women's Soccer sophomore Jody LeMaster (SO/Stuart, FL)'s game-winning goal against West Virginia Tech was named the Play of the Year, while sophomore Christie Funk (SO/Palm City, FL) earned Comeback Player of the Year. The UC Archery team earned a pair of awards for their performance at the Indoor National Championships. The team won the Team Performance of the Year Award, while Aaron Cook (SR/Stanford, KY) earned Individual Male Performance of the Year for winning two national titles.
After leading the women's golf team to the Mid-South Conference regular season title in his first season at the helm, Head Coach Taylor Riggs was named the Female Coach of the Year. The women's golf team also took home the Team Academic Award.
The three time MSC champion women's swimming and diving team took home Female Team of the Year honors. They captured their third straight MSC title earlier this year and had a six place finish at NAIA Nationals. The Women's Basketball team earned the Team Champion of Character Award.
The awards were voted on by the head coaches of each team along with two representatives from each of the Patriots 27 teams.
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Play of the Year – Jody LeMaster, Women's Soccer
Women's Individual Performance of the Year – Jessika Rottier, Women's Wrestling
Male Individual Performance of the Year – Aaron Cook, Archery
Fan of the Year – Jonathan Ramey
Team Performance of the Year – Archery
UC Patriot Proud Performance – Men's Basketball
Newcomer of the Year – Samantha Tullar, Women's Lacrosse
Comeback Player of the Year – Christie Funk, Women's Soccer
Team Academic Award – Women's Golf
Female Coach of the Year – Taylor Riggs, Women's Golf
Male Coach of the Year – Brad Shelton, Baseball
Female Athlete of the Year – Samantha Tullar, Women's Lacrosse
Male Athlete of the Year – Noah Gapp, Baseball
Female Team of the Year – Swimming
Male Team of the Year – Basketball
Team Champion of Character – Women's Basketball
UC Lifetime Achievement Awards – Lana West
The Patriot Award – Sarah Allen, Women's Wrestling