First baseman Erik Armstrong takes home top honor at USC Beaufort awards banquet

mmccombs@islandpacket.comApril 15, 2014 

"Four years," Erik Armstrong said Monday night after the USC Beaufort athletics department held its annual awards ceremony at the Center for the Arts at USCB's Beaufort Campus. "It's just blown by."

The Sand Sharks' senior first baseman played a big part in the night's festivities, just as he has on the baseball diamond over the past four years.

Armstrong was the highlight of the evening when he was named the inaugural winner of the Jane T. Upshaw Outstanding Senior Student-Athlete Award, so named in honor of USCB chancellor Jane T. Upshaw.

The award will be given annually to the senior student-athlete who "best embodies the qualities that make a champion -- on the field, in the classroom and in the community."

Armstrong credited and thanked his coaches and staff during his four years at USCB.

"Great people, the whole school, and a great staff," Armstrong said. "They're really here for the kids. They gave me a great experience for my four years, and it's something I'll never forget.

"The staff has always been there for me and has always been nice and kind to me. I've really enjoyed it, absolutely enjoyed it."

In addition, the athletes with the highest grade-point averages over the previous year were honored, while each head coach selected three superlative awards to honor standout athletes on their teams.

USC BEAUFORT ATHLETIC AWARDS

Jane T. Upshaw Outstanding Senior Student-Athlete

Erik Armstrong, Baseball

GPA Awards

Men's XC -- Connor Appel

Women's XC -- Meleah Powers

Men's T&F -- Chase Rhodus

Women's T&F -- Meleah Powers

Women's Soccer -- Claire Kennedy, Stephanie Moldenhauer

Men's Golf -- Alexandru Mihai

Women's Golf -- Lina Sekerkova

Softball -- Melanie Goolsby

Baseball -- Charlie McGinnis

Highest Overall Male GPA -- Charlie McGinnis

Highest Overall Female GPA -- Meleah Powers

Highest Men's Team GPA -- Men's Golf

Highest Women's Team GPA -- Women's XC

TEAM SUPERLATIVES

Men's XC/T&F

MVP -- Anthony Vecchio

Rookie of the Year -- Nic O'Neill

Sand Shark Spirit Awards -- Josh Roper, Rickey Williams, Darryl Dunham

Women's XC/T&F

MVP -- Melissa Carder, Joyce Miller

Rookie of the Year -- Jaime Thomas

Sand Shark Spirit Awards -- Sarah Turrubiate, Taylor Keen, Rachelle Toth

Women's Soccer

MVP -- Alexa Muffley

Newcomer of the Year -- Bridgette Noonan

Rise, Defy, Excel Award -- Pascale Rocca

Men's Golf

Mr. Golf (MVP) -- Alex Cooke

Mr. Go-Low (Low Round of the Year) -- Brian Langley

Most Impressive Shot -- Brad Curren

Women's Golf

MVP -- Kendra Collins

Champion of Character -- Samantha O'Donnell

Spirit Award -- Lina Sekerkova

Softball

Champion of Character -- Maddie Byrd

For LOVE of the GAME Award -- Melanie Goolsby

Coaches Award -- Caroline Pastre

Baseball

Offensive Player of the Year -- JJ Crespo

Pitcher of the Year -- Stephen Richards

Iron Shark Award -- Erik Armstrong

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