April 30, 2013
Big Al’s Community Service Award – Female Recipient
This year’s female recipient of the Big Al’s Community Service Award is Breonna Baldwin of the women’s track and field team. Baldwin is a member of the student-athlete advisory committee and was recently voted vice chair of the group. She is an active participant in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was honored by FCA as the UTA Athlete of the Year in 2012. Baldwin has volunteered her time for several service projects including speaking to at-risk youth through the Upward Bound program, volunteering with the NAACP, the Dallas Walk for the Cure and the North Texas Food Bank. She also volunteers with the NHP Foundation, which provides programs for children in low income apartments.
Big Al’s Community Service Award – Male Recipient
Hunter Brown from the men’s golf team also participates in the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and serves as a leader in organizing and executing department wide community service projects. Brown is a founding member of the Blazer Crew spirit group, which focuses on positive cheering at home athletic events. Brown volunteers much of his time at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth and was the March recipient of the Above the Call of Duty volunteer award.
Record Breaking Performance
Each year, UT Arlington student-athletes strive to earn a place in their respective record books. The dedication of the student-athletes leads to amazing performances throughout the year. Few athletes have the opportunity to shatter a decades old record in their first outing as a Maverick. On January 12, Bozidar Antunovic did just that. Bozidar’s shot put throw of more than 64 feet bested a school record set in 1986 by Peter Dajia. The throw also marked a personal best more than two feet further than he had ever earned. Bozidar went on to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championships in March and he became the first UTA men’s thrower ever to place at an NCAA Meet. His fifth place finish earned him recognition as an Indoor All-American.
UTA Athletics Alumni Female Student-Athlete of the Year
The UTA Athletics Alumni Male and Female Student-Athletes of the Year are senior student-athletes who represent excellence in academics and athletics.
Teri Lyles is a graduating senior from the Maverick Softball program. She is finishing her playing career in the same fashion as it began – with a conference leading effort and several key honors and achievements. Her first honor came her freshman year when she was recognized as the Southland Conference Freshman of the Year and as a member of the Southland Conference All-Tournament Team. She was also recognized twice by the SLC as the Pitcher of the Week. During her sophomore and junior seasons, Teri continued to dominate the mound throwing more than 200 strikeouts and earning SLC Honorable mention and All Conference honors. Her senior effort has already earned her Lyle’s first no-hitter and two rounds of WAC Pitcher of the Week honors. In early March she was also recognized as the College Sports Madness WAC Softball Player of the Week. She currently leading the WAC with an ERA of 1.49 in 192 innings pitched. Lyles will cross the stage in a couple of weeks as she earns her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.
UTA Athletics Alumni Male Student-Athlete of the Year
This year’s male recipient of the UTA Athletics Alumni Male Student-Athlete of the Year award has also established himself as an exceptional athlete with a strong commitment to excellence in the classroom. During his career at UTA, Lionel Mungwari has turned in 11 All-Conference performances in four different events. He was named to the 2012 Southland Conference Outdoor Track All-Academic Team and the 2013 WAC Indoor Track All-Academic Team. Mungwari has also been recognized twice as an individual Academic All-American. He has qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Outdoor meet every outdoor season. Mungwari is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the UTA Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi. He has been recognized every year as either a Scholar or Super Scholar Athlete with a 3.29 GPA in Accounting.
Newcomer of the Year
The Newcomer of the Year award is given to the student-athlete who made the most immediate impact on their team’s season. Past honorees of this award include current MLB player Michael Choice and current Mavs Ryan Walker and Callie Collins. This year’s Newcomer of the Year award was presented to Shelby Dickson, a junior transfer from Blinn Junior College. While at Blinn, Shelby was recognized as the 2011 National Tournament MVP and was a member of the 2011 NJCAA National Championship Team.
In her first season at UTA, Dickson led the Mavericks in kills, kills per set and digs. She also finished the season ranked eighth in the conference in digs. Dickson was a vocal and active team leader and provided experience and leadership on a young team.
Faculty/Staff Loyalty Award
The recipient of this year’s faculty/staff loyalty award is the No. 1 Mav for a reason. President James Spaniolo has dedicated his nine years at UT Arlington to strengthening and improving every aspect of our Intercollegiate Athletics program. What began as a desire to see a basketball game played on a real court, evolved into College Park Center and surrounding district. This commitment led to facility improvements at the UTA Tennis Center, Maverick Stadium and most recently Clay Gould Ballpark and Allan Saxe Field. President Spaniolo’s support has allowed the expansion of the many services offered to student-athletes. This includes the expansion of our summer school program, academic support staffing, tutoring services, strength and conditioning programs and funding to move into the Western Athletic Conference and eventually the Sun Belt Conference. He recognizes the value of a successful athletics program to a vibrant and engaging campus community and has dedicated himself to convincing the campus and city that we are a critical part of this university.
In the first championship event of the year, the men’s cross country team made a statement to the Western Athletic Conference. The Mavericks secured four of the top 10 spots to win the event. The team was led by the league’s Freshman of the Year, Virgilio Martinez, who was joined by fellow freshman Craig Lautenslager, sophomores Emil Blomberg and Ryan Tilotta and anchored by senior Cody Widener.
Martinez and Lautenslager earned first-team all-league accolades, while Blomberg and Tilotta were named to the second team. A few weeks later, UTA had more honorees named to the WAC All-Academic team than any other school in the conference as seniors Hance Loyd and Eric Montou and sophomore Robert Gribble received recognition.
The 2012 UT Arlington men’s cross country team made history when they were recognized as a Division I Cross Country All-Academic Team by the US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Maverick Leadership Award
The Maverick Leadership Award is reserved for student-athletes who work to establish and enrich relationships with the campus and the surrounding community. Juan Farah is a member of the men’s tennis team, but his resume of involvement and participation extends past the tennis progam, the campus and his academic major. Farah is an active member of the student-athlete advisory committee and assists with various departmental service projects. He currently serves as a subcommittee captain charged with increasing student-athlete involvement in campus activities.
Farah is a member of the Goolsby Leadership Academy and in his first year in the Academy helped to organize and market the Fall speakers event, which General FISRT NAME? Lynch spoke about leadership, honor and integrity. He was elected President of the National Association for Business Economists and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi. He is a member of the UTA Honors College and works as an intern at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce for the Economic Development and International Relations divisions.
B.G. Wilson Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
This honor is awarded to the male and female student-athlete who have demonstrated high academic achievement, excellence in their sport and who serve as positive role models for their team and the department. This year’s female honoree was Amanda Welsh, a sophomore on the volleyball team. Welsh is an active member of the student-athlete advisory committee and was recently voted to a leadership position on that committee. She will serve her second year as UTA’s representative to the conference student athlete advisory committee. Welsh participates in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Baptist Student Ministry. She volunteered for the Coaches vs. Cancer basketball fundraiser and the Little League celebration at Clay Gould Ballpark. Welsh also serves as a volunteer coach with a youth volleyball team. In addition to her service projects, she carries a 3.1 GPA in Broadcasting and was named to the 2012 Academic All-WAC team.
B.G. Wilson Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year
This year’s male recipient of the B.G. Wilson Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award is a member of the men’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field teams. Holton Hemby was recognized at last year’s banquet as the Big Al’s Community Service honoree. He was recently elected to serve as the Chair of the student-athlete advisory committee and is active in the Baptist Student Ministry. This semester, Hemby spearheaded a shoe donation project across campus and at April sporting events. He serves as a volunteer coach and mentor to a successful youth summer track team. Hemby is a member of the 2012 WAC Championship Cross Country team and part of the team that was recognized as a USTFCCCA All-Academic Team. He currently has a 3.2 GPA in Criminology and Criminal Justice and will graduate at the end of the semester. Hemby has been accepted to graduate school at UTA and will begin his coursework in the fall.
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