MONTEVALLO, Ala. – Six of the top student-athletes at the University of Montevallo were honored with the announcement of the athletic department’s annual awards for 2011-12.
UM recognizes the top performances each year with the Outstanding Male and Female Athlete of the Year Awards. The male receives the Neal Shirley Award while the female receives the Margaret Blalock Award. The top scholar-athletes in each gender receive the John Bennett Walters Award (male) and the Jan Eagles Award (female). The President’s Award is presented to the team with the highest grade point average among UM athletics. One student-athlete in each gender is honored with the Sportsmanship Award as the athlete that best exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship, fair play and teamwork, while representing UM in a positive manner. The student-athlete who best signifies the spirit, participation and support of all UM athletic programs is selected for the DeWayne Peevy Spirit Award.
Senior Antoine Davis (Washington, D.C./College of the Desert) and junior Haley Evans (Fairhope, Ala./Fairhope) were named the Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively. Davis was given the Neal Shirley Award after leading the men’s basketball team to the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championship game. Davis was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District Team and named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Peach Belt Conference. He was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Peach Belt Conference Tournament and was named to the All-Tournament Team at both the NCAA Southeast Regional and the NCAA Elite Eight. He averaged 14.0 points per game and 5.3 assists per game. He missed 13 games due to a broken leg midway through the season but was able to rehab his way back into the lineup and help lead the team to its first National Championship game appearance.
Women’s cross country junior Haley Evans took home the Margaret Blalock Award after leading the team to its first Peach Belt Conference Title and first trip to the NCAA National Championship race. Evans was the PBC Individual Champion winning the championship race by over 30 seconds while breaking the UM record for a 6k race. She was named First Team All-Conference and All-Region. She holds the UM records for both 5k and 6k while ranking among the top-10 in 5k twice and 6k four times. She was also named to the PBC All-Academic Team and was given a USTFCCCA Academic Award. She led the Falcons to a second-place finish at the NCAA Southeast Regional and then a 24th-place finish at the NCAA Championship.
The John Bennett Walters Award and the Jan Eagles Award for the top scholar-athletes went to senior men’s soccer player Vance Curro (Hoover, Ala./Spain Park) and senior volleyball setter Anna Garrison (LaVergne, Tenn./LaVergne), respectively. Curro ended his career at Montevallo with a 3.69 GPA in business. He was a four-year member of the UM men’s soccer team and led the Falcons to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2008, 2010 and 2011. He played in 18 of UM’s 20 games this past season and was named to the Peach Belt Conference All-Academic Team. Garrison is a four-year member of the volleyball team. She compiled a 3.97 GPA in communication studies. She was named a First Team Academic All-American this past season while leading the Falcons to their third-straight Peach Belt Conference Tournament appearance. She finished her career with the second-most assists in UM NCAA history with 4,363.
Senior baseball player Duston Daugherty (Hoover, Ala./Hoover) and senior volleyball setter Anna Garrison were the recipients of the Sportsmanship Award. Daugherty is a four-year member of the UM baseball team while Garrison is a four-year member of the volleyball team.
Freshman men’s cross country runner Zackery Walsh (Trussville, Ala./Hewitt-Trussville) was given the DeWayne Peevy Spirit Award. Walsh is in just his first year at Montevallo but has already become a avid supporter of all the teams on UM’s campus. He could be found in the stands for volleyball, soccer and basketball games this season sometimes covered in purple and gold paint. You also could spot him at the tennis courts as well as the baseball diamond supporting his fellow athletes. On the cross country trail he holds the UM record for an 8k and ranks among the top-10 times in school history four times.
The President’s Award was given to the volleyball team who posted a 3.5 GPA in the fall semester.