Story by Thomas Corhern
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — There were dominant performances for the Tennessee Tech men’s athletes this year.
But the 10 finalists for the Male Athlete of the Year award rewrote the definition of the word.
Baseball’s Tristan Archer shattered the Golden Eagle record book before getting selected in this year’s Major League Baseball entry draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. Junior Matthew Bishop led the Tech men’s cross country team, finishing in the team’s top spot in three meets this past year.
Men’s basketball senior Jud Dillard finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference in scoring, then made his mark on the career chart. Football senior Will Johnson rebounded from an injury season and put together a fantastic defensive effort on the field.
Senior quarterback Tre Lamb was the football team’s offensive MVP, despite missing the final four games of the season, and still put up some impressive marks. Junior baseball player Daniel Miles made an impact at the plate in just his first season with the team.
Men’s basketball junior Dennis Ogbe had a breakout season and led the OVC in field goal percentage. Highly touted wide receiver transfer Da’Rick Rogers set school records in his redemption year after getting dismissed from the University of Tennessee. Junior baseball player Zach Stephens led the Golden Eagle baseball team in seven offensive categories.
But none of them had as dominant of a season as Tech senior tennis player Syrym Abdukhalikov.
He just didn’t lose.
With that, Abdukhalikov was named the 2013 Tech Male Athlete of the Year, the first recipient of the award for the Golden Eagle men’s tennis program since the award’s inception in 1994.
In his two seasons of Ohio Valley Conference play, Abdukhalikov went 17-0 in the regular season as the No. 1 player in singles and doubles.
This past year, he only lost twice in the dual match season, falling to Malte Stropp 7-6, 8-6, 4-6, 3-6 from then-No. 10 ranked Mississippi State, then 2-6, 4-6 to Adrien Lengeard from UNC Asheville.
And that was it.
Read the complete story in the Cookeville Herald-Citizen by clicking here