Guilford Honors Top Student-Athletes With Nereus English Award

Greensboro, N.C. — Four elite Guilford College student-athletes received the 2012 Nereus C. English ’26 Athletic Leadership Award Monday evening. This year’s English Award recipients are Morgan Andrews (Pittsboro, N.C./Chatham Central), Taylor Phillips (Diamond Springs, Calif./Union Mine), Josh Pittman (Archdale, N.C./Trinity) and Noah Ratner (Asheville, N.C./Asheville). Since Guilford first presented the honor in 1977, 187 students have received the English Award.

Named for one of Guilford’s most loyal alumni, the annual prize is the college’s highest honor for athletic ability and leadership. The school’s athletics staff members nominate and select the award winners, who display the highest ideals of athletic accomplishment, leadership and academic achievement.

Pittman, Phillips, Andrews, Ratner

Andrews is a four-year starting catcher and four-year captain for coach Dennis Shores’ Quakers’ softball team, but her accomplishments and contributions extend well beyond the diamond. Through 16 games this season she is hitting .386 with two homers and 13 RBI. Andrews is a career .335 hitter and ranks third in school history with 100 runs batted in (RBI). She holds the Guilford career standards for sacrifice flies (6) and fielding percentage (.985). The Quakers have a 90-47 record in her tenure and have made three straight trips to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament. She is a three-time dean’s list student and a three-time Academic All-ODAC pick. Andrews has been on Guilford’s Student-Athlete Honor Roll in each of her seven semesters and was named a 2009 All-America Scholar-Athlete by the National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association. She won Guilford’s 2011 Jack Jensen Ideal Student-Athlete Award, as well as the education studies department’s 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award. Andrews is a Bonner Scholar and resident advisor at Guilford as well an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. An aspiring teacher and coach, she is majoring in education studies and English.

Phillips completed her fourth and final season with coach Emily Gann’s volleyball team last fall. The three-year captain and four-year starter started her career as a setter and ranks fourth in school history with 1,538 assists. She moved to libero as a junior and stands second all-time at Guilford with 1,217 digs. A two-time honorable mention All-ODAC pick, Phillips garnered third-team all-league honors in 2011 after leading the conference with 4.69 digs per set. She also earned the volleyball team’s Most Valuable Player, Coaches’ and Rookie of the Year awards in her career. Phillips received Guilford’s Outstanding Sport Management Major of the Year Award last spring, but could not accept the award in person as she spent the semester studying in Ireland. Phillips has worked four years in Guilford’s sports information office and also served on the school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She also works in Guilford’s Physical Education Center and participates with the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Phillips is a sport management major with minors in business and communications.

Pittman recently concluded his third season as a guard on coach Tom Palombo’s basketball team. He has earned First Team All-ODAC recognition in both of the past two seasons, a feat accomplished by just four other Quakers. The shooting guard led Guilford’s scorers as a sophomore and junior and became Guilford’s 31st men’s basketball student to tally 1,000 career points this year. Pittman is one of 21 Quakers to reach the milestone in his third season and enters his senior campaign ranked 28th in school history with 1,047 points. He stands third all-time at Guilford with 173 three-pointers and is 12th in steals (104). The Quakers have a 63-22 record in Pittman’s tenure, including a 30-3 mark his freshman year that included an ODAC Tournament title and NCAA Division III Tournament semifinal berth. Pittman was named to the Guilford’s spring 2010 Student-Athlete Honor Roll and is a sport management major.

Ratner is the top-rated Division III golfer in the country, according to the latest rankings. He captured his school record-tying fourth medalist honor of the season last week at the TaylorMade-adidas Intercollegiate, which helped him garner his 10th career ODAC Golfer of the Week Award. Last December, Ratner was one of 82 contestants in the inaugural Patriot All-America Invitational, which featured top college golfers and was created to recognize fallen United States military servicemen and servicewomen. He earned the invite by virtue of his 2011 PING First Team All-America commendation. Ratner also received All-South Region and ODAC Player of the Year recognition as a sophomore. He recorded an ODAC-best 73.1 stroke average over 28 rounds, the seventh-best figure in school history, and placed 11th at the NCAA Division III Championships. As a freshman, he was named to the Division III PING All-Freshman Team and earned the ODAC’s Rookie of the Year Award. Ratner has a 73.54 stroke average in 70 career rounds, which stands second all-time at Guilford. Coach Corey Maggard’s Quakers have finished second and ninth at the NCAA Championships in Ratner’s first two seasons and won the 2011 ODAC title. A member of Guilford’s fall 2010 Student-Athlete Honor Roll, Ratner is a sport management major with a minor in business.

A native of Thomasville, N.C., Nereus C. English graduated from Guilford in 1926, but maintained close contact with the college after graduation. His loyalty and genuine interest in its students led to the creation of the English Endowment Fund and the Nereus C. and Mae Martin English Scholarship Fund in 1965. With his brother, the late T.R. English, he provided funding for Guilford’s English Hall dormitory in 1957. In 1962, Nereus English received the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Guilford College Alumni Association.