Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern athletics department honored its student-athletes tonight as the department held its annual Student-Athlete Awards Banquet at the Billingsly Student Center Ballroom on campus.
The event marks the culmination of another year at Missouri Southern and it is a way for the Athletic Department to say thanks and honor its student-athletes. Nearly 300 people attended the event from student-athletes, coaches, staff members, families and other fans.
Southern gave away three big awards this year in the Male and Female Athlete of the Year, as well as the EO & Virginia Humphrey Awards. Each team also awarded its own team MVP and Lionbacker Award of Excellence. The complete list for those winners is listed below.
Brandon Williams was the Male Athlete of the Year, while Megan Stueve was named the Female Athlete of the Year. For the first time in the history of the award, an individual has won the EO & Virginia Humphrey Award twice as Kellen Cox repeated as the award winner this time around.
Williams was named to five separate All-America teams, while being named the Division II National Defensive Player of the Year by two separate organizations. He was a unanimous All-MIAA selection, as well as the league's Defensive Player of the Year and set the school record in career sacks with 27. He finished his career at Southern by being drafted in the third round of last month's NFL draft by the Baltimore Ravens.
Stueve was a first-team All-MIAA selection this year, while being named second-team All-Region. She led the team, the MIAA and the region goals with 13 and finished with four game-winning goals. She had a hat trick against Nebraska-Kearney and recently signed a contract with the Kansas City Shock.
Cox added another trophy to the mantle this year. He made the transition from receiver to quarterback and was the Lions' starter at the position all season long. He ran for 867 yards and 13 touchdowns, both team highs, while helping the team to set school records in rushing yards and rushing attempts, while tying the record for rushing touchdowns in a season.
He was an All-MIAA pick at quarterback, and was recently named one of the Missouri Southern Outstanding Graduates, an award given annually by the Missouri Southern Alumni Association. It is the second year in a row that a Southern student-athlete has been given that honor (Michelle Dimza, Soccer). Cox has been a four-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll member, and was also named one of the MSSU Glen Dollence Leadership Award winners.
Team MVP Awards
Men’s Cross Country Most Valuable
Performer – Eric Schott
Women’s Cross Country Most Valuable Performer – Rachel Schrader
Men’s Indoor Track and Field Most Valuable Performer – Michael Juergens
Women’s Indoor Track and Field Most Valuable Performer – Kylie Cornman
Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Most Valuable Performer – Dustin Green
Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Most Valuable Performer – Brittani Reagan
Men’s Basketball Don Gross Leadership Award – Marquis Addison
Women’s Basketball Most Valuable Performer – Erin Rice
Football John Ware Lion Heart Award – Alex Wong
Volleyball Most Valuable Performer – Katie Politte
Baseball Warren Turner MVP – Michael McCoy
Softball Dr. Pat Lipira MVP – Shelby Romines
Golf Player of the Year – Ryan Buerk
Soccer Most Valuable Performer – Megan Stueve
MSSU Team Lion Service Award (Given to the
team with the highest average community service hours) - Men's
Track and Field
MSSU Individual Lion Service Award (Given to the individual with the highest number of community service hours) - Emily Paullus
Lionbacker Award of Excellence
Baseball – Thomas Wilson
Football – Ne’Ronte Threatt
Golf – Andy Hogenmiller
Men’s Basketball – Jordan Talbert
Men’s Cross Country – Jake Benton
Men’s Indoor Track and Field – Seth Hackney
Men’s Outdoor Track and Field – Taylor McClelland
Softball – Dawn Grass
Volleyball – Abby Finder
Women’s Basketball – Tee Singleton
Women’s Cross Country – Marlee Tegenkamp
Women’s Soccer – Candis Clark
Women’s Indoor Track and Field – JeAnna Sheppard
Women’s Outdoor Track and Field – Sagan Graskemper