COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Thirteen student-athletes have been chosen as the outstanding representative of their teams at Tennessee Tech University and are the winners of the 21st annual President’s Awards, presented by the TTU Athletics Dept. Ten of the 13 are first-time winners.
Senior Molly Heady earned the award for a record fourth consecutive year in women’s basketball. In men's basketball, senior Dennis Ogbe is a repeat winner of the honor, while in men's cross country, senior John Greene added the 2014 honor to the award he won in 2012 before sitting out one season with an injury.
One member from each of Tech’s intercollegiate athletic programs was selected based on a combination of their career academic performance and athletic accomplishments. The indoor and outdoor women’s track teams are combined for one award.
The 2014 recipients include six seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and one freshman. The recipients also demonstrate the diversity of Tech’s student-athletes, hailing from three different states and two other countries. Eight are from Tennessee, two from Ohio and one from Hawaii. The other two winners come to the Golden Eagles from Germany and Spain.
The President’s Award was established in 1994.
In alphabetical order, the 2014 President’s Award winners
Dylan Bosheers (Baseball/Junior/Larenceburg, Tenn.) - Dylan Bosheers was simply one of the best players in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2014, becoming the first shortstop in Golden Eagle history to garner All-American status, earning Second Team recognition from Collegiate Baseball newspaper and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association as well as Fourth Team status from College Sports Madness. Thanks to an incredible .368 batting average, 66 runs, 86 hits, 11 home runs, and 56 RBI, as well as a .965 fielding percentage, Bosheers claimed a spot among the 10 semifinalists for the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award and was also named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy. He earned All-OVC First Team honors as the best shortstop in the Ohio Valley Conference and was also named to the OVC All-Tournament Team after batting .353 in four games while scoring four times and driving in a team-high seven runs on six hits. After starting all 59 games for the Golden Eagles and helping the squad tie the single-season record of 40 wins, Bosheers wrapped up the season ranked third in the nation with 66 runs scored and also finished sixth in Tech single-season history with 86 hits. In three years as a student-athlete, he has maintained a 3.32 GPA while being named to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll five times and the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll once.
Alberto Esteban (Tennis/Freshman/Madrid, Spain) – Alberto Esteban received the Johnny Donnelly Maverick Award for his determination and was named first-team all-OVC in his rookie season in 2014. A first-year player from Madrid, Spain, Esteban played in the No. 2 singles position for the Golden Eagles and at No. 1 in doubles alongside Alex Arovin. In singles action, Alberto went 7-7 during the fall tournament season, then produced an 8-7 record in the spring dual match schedule, including an impressive 6-2 mark in Ohio Valley Conference matches. In double play, he was 5-2 against the OVC and went 11-12 overall. Alberto wrapped up his first year on the Tech campus with a 3.90 GPA. He was on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll in each of his two semesters.
Maddi Everts (Golf/Sophomore/Ooltewah, Tenn.) – Maddi Everts was once again one of the better players in the Ohio Valley Conference, finishing in the top 20 in scoring average with a mark of 78.7 over 26 rounds in 2014. One year after leading the Tech squad in average as a freshman, she ranked just behind teammate Whitney Robertson for the team lead and helped the Golden Eagles to four top five finishes, including a fifth place showing at the OVC Championships. Everts finished in the top 15 in three events, shooting a 233 to tie for 11th in the OVC Championships. She has been named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll twice while maintaining a 2.84 GPA.
John Greene (Cross Country/Senior/Friendsville, Tenn.) – John Greene graduated last December with an engineering degree and a 3.1 GPA during his four-plus years at Tech. A stellar runner in his first three season for the Golden Eagles, he was forced to sit out the 2012 cross country season with an injury. Undaunted, he returned to the course in 2013 and led the team in every single meet. After being a contributor for two years, he had a breakout year in 2011 as a junior, lowering his career-best 8K time by nearly two minutes during the span of the year. He led the Golden Eagles in all seven races, posting new career-best times in six of the seven meets. Despite the setback in 2012, he proved to be a leader both on and off thecourse for the Golden Eagles following his redshirt year. He was first across the line for Tech in all six races in 2013, posting a career-best 8K time of 26:13 at the Charlotte Invitational, beating by four seconds his previous personal-best time.
Molly Heady (Basketball/Senior/Monterey,
Tenn.) – Molly
Heady became the first Tennessee Tech student-athlete to take
home the President's Award four times, winning the honor thanks to
a tireless work ethic. She maintained a 3.69 GPA while starting
every game in 2013-14 and playing a team-high 32.2 minutes per
game. One of the most accurate 3-point shooters in Tech history,
she finished her senior campaign draining 45.3 percent from behind
the arc to lead the OVC. She also tallied 988 career points, just
missing out on joining the 1,000-point club. An eight-time member
of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll, Heady also has been named to
the OVC Commissioner's Honor roll three times and received the OVC
Medal of Honor once. She has served as a leader for the TTU chapter
of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was also a finalist
Derryberry Award, the most prestigious honor presented to a
Tennessee Tech University student.
Ellie Iaciofano (Soccer/Senior/Loveland, Ohio) – A two-sport athlete in soccer and basketball, Ellie Iaciofano capped off an extraordinary four-year career on the pitch with an impressive 2013 campaign for the Golden Eagles. A team captain for the third consecutive season, the Loveland, Ohio native served as the biggest offensive threat for TTU, leading the team with four goals, four assists, and 12 points to climb the all-time Tech career ranks in a slew of major offensive categories. Iaciofano moved into a tie for sixth place on the all-time career list with 15 scores, tied for fifth with 11 assists, and tied for fifth with 41 points. She served as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) president after residing on the committee for the third consecutive year. In the classroom, Iaciofano accumulated a 3.62 GPA, being named to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll six times and finding a place on the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll twice.
Marty Jones (Football/Junior/Cincinnati, Ohio) –
After sitting out two full seasons due to injuries, Marty
Jones was all business once he got back on the field in 2013,
ranking second on the team and fourth in the OVC in total tackles
with 98 on his way to second-team all-OVC honors. He accepted the
Tony Stone Bumble Bee DB Award and was named Most Valuable
Defensive Player for the Golden Eagles. He had a team-best 47 solo
tackles, and also tied for the team lead with two interceptions.
Also listed on his personal tally sheet for 2013, Marty had five
tackles-for-loss, forced to fumbles, recovered a fumble, and broke
up three passes. He posted double-figure tackles in four games,
topped by a career-high 16 stops in Tech's one-point win over
Indiana Stata. He also made 14 against UT Martin. He has now piled
up 243 career tackles and eight career interceptions. Marty
graduated with a degree in marketing, and is now working on his
master's degree. He owns a 3.42 GPA.
Meghan O'Donoghue (Cross Country/Senior/Talbott, Tenn.)
– Meghan O'Donoghue added two prestigious honors
to her resume at the close of her Golden Eagle running career, in
addition to accepting her degree as a May graduate. She was
selected co-winner of the Derryberry Award for her moral and
academic integrity, campus involvement, good citizenship,
leadership qualities and physical vigor, and she was named CoSIDA
Academic All-District first-team. She graduated with honors,
maintaining a 4.0 GPA in French and political science. During the
2013 cross country season, she ran a season-best 5K time of
20:37.88 at the Vanderbilt Invitational, and ran in 25 of Tech's 27
cross country meets during her four-year career, including all 20
during her final three years. She was recipient of the team’s
Most Dedicated Runner Award. In track, she has competed in the
3,000m, 5,000m and 10,000m races, hitting personal records in three
races. She served as the secretary of the Tennessee Tech
student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC), was a senator for
TTU’s SGA and was awarded the OVC Academic Medal of Honor
four times and made the dean’s list and OVC
Commissioner’s Honor Roll from 2010 to 2014. She has also
served as a French tutor and WIN program tutor. Meghan was also a
member of the executive council of TTU’s Newman Catholic
Campus Ministries and served as treasurer from 2012 to 2014.
Dennis Ogbe (Basketball/Senior/Munich, Germany) – In four years as a Golden Eagle, Dennis Ogbe established a reputation as a tireless worker both on and off the court. Sporting a 3.87 GPA in electrical engineering, he earned numerous academic accolades including earning a spot on this year's Capital One Academic All-America Division I Men's Basketball Team. He has been named Academic All-District twice in his time at Tech and was honored as a 2012-13 OVC Scholar Athlete earlier this year. The forward was named to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll all eight semesters of a four-year stint as a Golden Eagle, landed on the OVC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll each of the past three years, earned the OVC Medal of Honor twice, and was named to the Dean’s List five times. He also served as a member of Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical engineering honors society, and Tau Beta Pi, the overall engineering honors society. Named a Senior Class Award candidate before the 2013-14 season, the Munich, Germany native led the Golden Eagles in rebounding this season, averaging nearly six rebounds per game. He also finished second on the team in scoring with 10.6 points per contest. For the year he finished fifth in the OVC with a field goal percentage of .610. Ogbe finished with the second highest career field goal percentage in the history of the program after shooting 61.2 percent over his four years.
Angi Sakamoto (Softball/Junior/Waipahu, Hawaii) – An offensive force to be reckoned with all season long, Angi Sakamoto compiled a stellar 2014 campaign on the diamond. The Waipahu, Hawaii native was one of two Golden Eagles to be named to the All-OVC Second Team, finishing second on the club with a .294 batting average, while leading Tech with eight home runs and 38 RBI, both of which put her in the top five in the OVC. Sakamoto also showed off her wheels for TTU, setting the bar with 12 stolen bases out of 13 attempts. It would be hard pressed to find a better clutch performance when the lights were brightest, as Sakamoto hit .364 with a team-leading two home runs and seven RBI in the OVC Tournament en route to taking home All-Tournament honors. In the classroom, she has maintained a 3.43 GPA and has been named to the Athletic Director's Honor Rolls six of her semesters at Tech. She has also found a spot on the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll two times.
Courtney Smith (Volleyball/Junior/Knoxville, Tenn.) – Courtney Smith produced another fantastic season as the libero for the Golden Eagle volleyball team, ranking in the top 10 in the OVC in digs per set with a mark of 4.32. She totaled double-digit efforts in digs in 19 matches in 2014, including a season-high 30 against Murray State. Smith collected a season-best three service aces twice during the season, notching them in back-to-back matches against Kennesaw State and Coastal Carolina. A junior, she has played in 83 of a possible 84 career matches, notching 1,100 digs in her three years as a Golden Eagle. Off the court, Smith has maintained a 3.27 GPA, earning a spot on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll five times and the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll once.
Mitch Thomas (Golf/Sophomore/Knoxville, Tenn.) – In just his second year as member of the Tennessee Tech men’s golf team, Mitch Thomas made strides towards becoming the best the Ohio Valley Conference has to offer. The youngster led the Golden Eagles and ranked fifth in the league in scoring average this season with a mark of 73.1. This season alone, the youngster earned adidas® OVC Male Golfer of the Week, two All-Tournament nods, and a total of two top five and four top 10 finishes. Thomas became the first Tech men's golfer to collect All-OVC recognition since 2008 when John Fox was named to the First Team (no longer named, OVC uses just one overall all-conference team) and Barrett Steakley was named to the Second Team. In two short years, he has been a member of the Athletic Director's Honor all four semester and the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll once while earning a 3.43 GPA.
Peri Winborne (Track & Field/Senior/Knoxville, Tenn.) – Peri Winborne was a team leader on the Golden Eagle cross country, indoor track and outdoor track squads over the past four years, heading up a solid group of distance runners and being selected team captain. After putting up numbers among the all-time best in program history during her freshman season, she was slowed slightly by an injury that hampered her as a sophomore. She worked her way back over the next two years, and proved to be back among the team's top runners the past two years. Over four years, she ran in 24 cross country meets. In the track seasons, she logged races at 3,000- and 5,000-meters indoors, and added the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the grueling 10,000-meter race during the outdoor seasons. She graduated in May with a 3.78 GPA and a degree in secondary education with an emphasis in history.