Thigpen,Whitford,Samms Headline Wolves Year End Awards

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Macon, GA - The Wesleyan College Athletic Department hosted its annual awards banquet on Tuesday evening, honoring its athletes for their outstanding play and dedication to the Wolves athletics programs for the 2016-2017 school year.

Senior Justice Thigpen took home the highest honor of the night as the 2017 Wesleyan College Athlete of the Year. A transfer from Ellsworth Community College, she made a substantial impact on the Wolves basketball program in her two years with the team. This season, the captain averaged just over 38 minutes per game, as well as 10.3 points per game, 5.3 assists per game, and 8.4 rebounds per game despite being one of the smaller athletes on the court at any given time. In conference play, she led the USA South in minutes played per game, total minutes played, and free throws attempted, and also ranked second in steals and third in assists. Off the court, Thigpen maintains the second highest GPA on the basketball team, second only to her sister, Taylor. She is a Lane Center Servant Leader, a Black Student Alliance Ambassador,  a member of the Pre-Med Society, a Tri-Beta, a Who’s Who American Scholar, a Provost Scholar, and a member of the Dean’s list.  She will also be named to the USA South Academic All-Conference team this spring.

For the second year in a row, the Multi-Sport Athlete of the Year Award was presented to Alyssa Whitford. The senior from Savannah, GA, was a member of the soccer, volleyball and basketball teams this year. Having played both soccer and volleyball in past seasons, she decided to juggle both sports at the same time this fall and somehow managed to pull it off without missing much playing time for either team. Playing two sports in the same season is something very few people could manage given the time constraints of two practices a day and two full slates of games, not to mention the time required to be a student, but Whitford did it and was a critical asset to both teams.

Playing both forward and goalkeeper for the Wolves on the pitch, she competed in all 16 soccer matches this season, scoring one goal and dishing out one assist. On the hardwood, she played in 12 volleyball matches, serving as both an attacker and setter. She finished the year with 10 kills, nine assists, 35 digs, and five service aces. In her fourth and final season as a member of the Wolves basketball team, she played in all 24 games, averaging 19 minutes of action per outing. She finished the season averaging  4.4 points and 1.3 rebounds per game from the guard position.

The Spirit of the Wolf Award went to senior Ashaunti Samms. A member of the Wesleyan Equestrian team, she has performed at the highest level in her sport all while being one of the biggest supporters and cheerleaders for Wesleyan athletics across the board. As a team captain, she has been a leader to her teammates on both the hunt seat and the western teams. Her never-ending enthusiasm for her teammates’ success is infectious and uplifting. She has been influential in team bonding outside of horse show weekends, helping to organize and lead goal setting sessions, team bonding experiences, and field trips off campus for equestrian events. Along with her team spirit, she supports Wesleyan athletics overall. She was a regular fan at basketball games and volleyball matches and was always one of the loudest in the stands. 

Senior Caroline Thompson was awarded with the 2017 Scholar Athlete of the Year Award, having maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average over her entire four year collegiate academic career. An education major in the classroom and captain of the equestrian
teams in the field, she has a passion for working with children and plans to work in elementary education when she graduates in December. A loyal and dedicated friend and teammate, she has been a great addition to the equestrian center and education department.

With an impressive overall team grade point average of 3.55, the tennis team is the winner of the 2017 Team GPA Award, taking the honor back from the equestrian team, who had won the award three out of the previous four years. 


In addition to the department-wide awards, each coach took a few moments to honor their players with individual awards. 

MVP: Malae Fiaseu
Most Improved Player: Sarah “SJ” Carter
Heart and Hustle: Hannah Straut 
MVP: Mylee Bowman
Impact Player: Cat Pribbenow
Heart and Hustle: Whitney Flanter
Most Valuable Player: Justice Thigpen
Heart and Hustle: Alexis “Lex” Russell
Unsung Hero: Quenshawn “Q” Brandon
Heart and Determination:  Nicole Wilson 
Hustle Award:  Tiffani Linville 
Versatility Award:  Claire Crawford
Most Improved Player: Emilie Leveille 
Unsung Hero: Laura Harness
Coach's Award: Rebecca Cheng
Sportsmanship Award: Catherenne Hogeland
Most Improved: Ashaunti Samms 
Coach's Award: Caroline Thompson