TSU Student-Athletes Honored at Banquet
Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University Department of Athletics honored the student-atheltes of the 2008-2009 season at the annual banquet held inside Kean Hall on Tuesday evening (4/28).

Tennessee State University President, Dr. Melvin N. Johnson, Director of Athletics, Teresa Phillips, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, Kathleen McEnerney along with alumni, supporters, and coaches were on hand to salute TSU athletes for their acheivements on and off the field.

Seniors Kendra Appling (women's basketball) and Javariss Williams (football) received the Top Male and Female Athlete of the Year award. Appling also received the team's MVP.

The Star Award for Academics, an award given to the most outstanding student-athlete for their acheivements in the classroom, was presented to Javier Jackson (football). Jackson completed his course work towards a B.S. in Health Sciences in three years and will graduate early with a GPA of 3.54. 

The Top Academic Female and Male Scholar-Athlete honor was awarded to Meredith Stafford (women's basketball) and Charles Sparkman (football). Stafford and Sparkman also garnered their team's top academic award.

Williams, who was drated in the 7th round (212) of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, also received Tiger Football's Alvin "CAT" Coleman Back of the Year award. Other football award recepients include: Antonio Heffner (Big John Merritt MVP), Eugene Clifford (Joe W. Gilliam Defensive Player of the Year), Cecil Newton (Eldridge Dickey Offensive Player of the Year), Preston Brown (Sidney Crutchfield Special Teams Player of the Year), Maurice Davis (Vernon Holland Lineman of the Year), Rico Council (George Ballhazer Rookie of the Year), Ty'Ron Johnson Ed "Too Tall" Jones Most Improved Player and Charles Sparkman (Fred Lee Spirit Award).

During the night, other team most valuable players awarded were Caitlin Eaton (softball), Rahab Kagaruki (women's cross country), Martinique Guice (women's indoor track and field), Danielle Stewart (women's golf), Candace Saleumua (volleyball), Anes Koko (men's cross country), Darreal Beal (men's indoor track), Xavier Walton (men's outdoor track) with the 2009 men and women's tennis sharing the team MVP.

While receiving their team's highest award for performance, Stewart and Kagaruki were also honored with the team's academic achievement award.

Men's basketball seniors, Jerrell Houston, Emanuel Gaiter and Stephen Evans were recognized for their efforts in their final seasons. A team MVP was not named for the season.

Due to competition in this week's OVC Men's Golf Championship, an MVP for the team has not been name as of yet. Also, a women's track and field outdoor MVP will be named following the OVC Outdoor Championship.

In addition to team MVPs honored, academic awards were handed to individuals for posting the team's highest grade point average. Student-athletes receiving the team academic award were Printence McMurtrey (men's track and field), Richard Gill (men's golf), Bridget Metzger (softball), Aaron Fields (men's tennis), Dania Lofton (women's tennis), and Yamari Padilla-Collazo.