THREE TIGERS RECOGNIZED AS ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETES BY NATIONAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING ASSOCIATION
Three Tennessee State University student-athletes, Phillip Watkins, Damien Pitts and Meesha Jackson have been recently recognized as All-American Strength and Conditioning Award winners by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NCSA). The All-American honors are awarded to student-athletes who have exhibited dedication to strength training and conditioning over the past year. Athletes are nominated by a school's strength and conditioning coach who are members of the NCSA. Tennessee State's strength and conditioning coaches are Raymond Losey, III and Bryan Jovick. This year, the NSCA awarded 239 collegiate athletes from 165 schools with this esteemed award. Philip Watkins- Golf Watkins was selected by strength coach Bryan Jovick, CSCS, who said "Phil is an outstanding leader whose numbers on the golf course and work ethic in the weight room have made him an excellent captain on his team. He is committed to personal conditioning on his own time and outside of golf, he is already a graduate student at TSU. Phil finished in a tie for 1st place in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament last spring (2006) and the year before that; he was a member of the National Minority Championship team. Phil has consistently been in the number one spot on the golf team and is planning to enter professional tournaments, starting next fall." Damien Pitts - Football Pitts was selected by strength coach Raymond Losey, III, CSCS, who said, "Damien is the perfect example of a young man in college athletics who, over the years, has fine tuned his strengths and weaknesses in order to achieve success on the playing field. Not the most athletically gifted player, Damien found his niche in the weight room, with his ability to lift big and lift big for extended periods of time. While gradually working to improve his weaknesses of speed and agility, Damien has remained a force when it comes to the big three (squat, bench & dead lift). Damien has a bright future in the sport of power lifting it that is the path he chooses." Losey continued, saying, "Beyond his ability to light up the weight room with his passion and intensity, Damien is one of the most well rounded individuals in college athletics. He is the type of individual who attacks every venture in the same, none more important than the other ... this is why Damien has become a consecutive All-OVC performer in both athletics and academics. Damien can be summed up fairly easy; intense, proper, gentleman. He's a fine example of what and NSCA All-American should be." Meesha Jackson - Volleyball Jackson was selected by strength coach Bryan Jovick, CSCS, who said, "Meesha is a lead-by-example athlete who does not accept anything less than her best effort. In four early-season tournaments she played in, she made the all-tournament team in each of them. She was also named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference 1st team this fall. She led the league in hitting percentage (.371) and blocks (1.32 bpg) while also ranking in the top ten in kills (3.39 kpg) and points (4.15ppg). Jackson posted twenty-two double-digit kill performances and recorded 10 or more blocks twice last season (2006). She was a walk-on member of the women's basketball team and posted a double-double performances in her first two games. Her efforts helped break the team's 30-game losing streak that extended back to the previous season."