Greensboro College Pride Athletics Closes Out 2016-2017 Season With Pride Fest & Awards Ceremony

Pride Athletics Closes Out 2016-2017 Season With Pride Fest & Awards Ceremony
Courtesy of Wes Gullett, Greensboro College Sports Information Director

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Greensboro College Department of Athletics wrapped its 2016-2017 athletic season April 30 with its third annual Pride Fest and red-carpet awards ceremony in the evening.

The day started out on Pride Field with teams competing against each other in friendly, bracket-style events, including ultimate Frisbee, tug-of-war and dodgeball, while also racing against the clock on a 6-foot-tall, inflatable obstacle course.

A special evening of awards and celebration followed in Hanes Gymnasium.

“The 2017 Athletic Awards Ceremony was an excellent evening,” Director of Athletics Bryan Galuski said. “It was great to see all of our student-athletes together to celebrate the 2016-2017 athletic seasons.”

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee advisor, Katie McNerney, presented the first four awards of the evening, including the Battle of the Teams trophies to the volleyball and men’s soccer teams, before presenting the SAAC team awards to women’s lacrosse and baseball for winning the Cans Across Campus and the Pennies For A Purpose drives.

This year, the student-athletes collected more cans and raised more money for the Greensboro Urban Ministry than ever before.

“For a lot of students at Greensboro College, Greensboro has become their second home. Having an opportunity to give back and help the city really resonates with the student-athletes,” SAAC President Justin Kimball said. “Collecting cans and pennies are our biggest collections during the year, and this year we had the most we have ever collected for the Greensboro Urban Ministry.

“It is amazing how the students embrace their competitive side and continue to break records. Our student-athletes should be proud of the accomplishments they have achieved, and I’m excited to see us grow in the future.”

As the evening continued, the coaches talked about their seasons while the department presented the team GPA, team community service, Lem Cox Power Pride, Fred Joseph, Presidential Scholar Athlete, Coach of the Year and Team of the Year awards.

The women’s tennis team was awarded the team GPA award with a 3.579 GPA before the women’s lacrosse team was recognized with the team community service award.

Throughout the season, the women’s lacrosse team spent time in local schools and participated in local awareness events such as the 9/11 memorial stair climb, the Greensboro College stream clean-up, Light up the Night For Cystic Fibrosis, and their annual Shoot For A Cure game. In addition to their local events, the team also participated in the Yards for Yeardley Campaign, in which they ran thousands of yards to raise awareness of dating violence.

Following the first two department awards of the evening, Matt Romanowski was awarded the Lem Cox Power Pride Award for his hard work and dedication in the Greensboro College Athletics department.

The award is named after Lem Cox, who has supported Greensboro College and the athletic department for more than two decades.

The department then presented the Fred Joseph Award, which is the highest performance-based athletic award given to a student-athlete, to Natalie Ritchey (women’s lacrosse) and Kacee Hutchinson (wrestling).

Ritchey, a defender from Hampstead, Md., led her team to an appearance in the semifinal round of the USA South Athletic Conference Tournament while also posting a team-high 69 points, including 32 goals and 37 assists.

Hutchinson, a native of Candler, N.C., became one of the most feared competitors at 197 pounds in the country after recording an overall record of 33-6, while also becoming the Pride’s first ever NCAA qualifier.

At nationals, Hutchinson finished eighth, which made him the program’s first All American.

In addition to the athletic performance awards, the department also recognized one female and one male student-athlete for their work on the field, in the classroom and in the community with the Presidential Scholar Athlete Award.

Devan Macheras, who was presented the female award, currently holds a 3.817 cumulative GPA as an athletic training major while also serving as a member of the women’s lacrosse team. In addition to her work on the field and in the classroom, Macheras spent time working in local soup kitchens, volunteering at her church, and participated in the 9/11 memorial stair climb. She has also served on the Greensboro College campus by holding officer positions in the athletic training club, SAAC and the sexual misconduct board.

Jaime Payamps, who was the male recipient, is also an athletic training major and starting goalkeeper for the men’s soccer team. He currently has a 3.744 GPA. In addition to his work in the classroom and on the field, Payamps volunteers with the Greensboro Special Olympics and Greensboro United Youth Soccer.

Baseball then swept the final two awards of the evening as Head Coach Frank Maldonado was named Coach of the Year while his team earned Team of the Year honors.

This year, Maldonado led the Pride baseball team to its first 20-win season since 2012 and the most conference victories since 2006. The Pride finished in a fourth-place tie in the USA South Athletic Conference standings, despite being picked to finish 10th in the preseason coaches’ poll, while setting single-season program records for total hits, hit by pitches and innings pitched.

“It’s hard to believe this year is already over, but I can’t thank our student-athletes enough for always representing Greensboro College with class and defining what it is to be a true student-athlete.”

“Congratulations to all our team and individual award recipients,” Galuski added. “Well deserved!

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