Elon Athletics Announces 2012-13 Award Winners
Chris Thomas '12 and Tomeka Watson '12 received honors for the most outstanding Phoenix male and female athletes of the year.
The Elon University Department of Athletics held its 39th annual athletics awards banquet May 13 in Alumni Gym to recognize and remember outstanding performances of the 2012-13 school year.
All-American Chris Thomas and four-time All-Southern Conference outfielder Tomeka Watson were selected receipients of the Stein H. Basnight Outstanding Athlete awards, presented annually since 1958 in memory of the late Stein H. Basnight of Chapel Hill, N.C. The award honors the most outstanding Phoenix male and female athletes of the year, as determined by the Elon Department of Athletics’ administrative staff.
Jesse Basnight, Jr. represented the Basnight family at the banquet
Thomas was named the Southern Conference’s Player of the Year for the second time in his career and was recognized as an All-American by two different publications. The senior was also named a semifinalist for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious individual award in collegiate men’s soccer.
In 2012, Thomas led the nation in goals scored with 23 and in total points with 51, shattering the single-season school marks. He also became the program’s all-time career leader in goals and total points, breaking a 24-year record in both categories with 53 career goals and 116 total points. He was named College Soccer News and the NSCAA/Disney National Player of the Week after Thomas scored two goals in the Phoenix’s 2-0 upset of then sixth-ranked Charlotte on Sept. 22. Thomas’ performance helped the Phoenix capture the SoCon regular-season and tournament titles for the first time in school history and earn a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Watson earned All-SoCon honors for the fourth straight season after being selected to the first team in 2013. The Jackson, Ga., native led the SoCon in several categories throughout the year, including batting average (.419) and stolen bases (25). Against Hampton on Feb. 24, Watson became the program’s all-time leader in career home runs and tied an NCAA Division I record with a home run in six consecutive games. Watson also became the program’s all-time career leader in hits, runs scored, RBI and set the single-season school-mark with 14 homers this season.
On Feb. 8, Watson hit a two-run home run in Elon’s 5-2 upset at then eighth-ranked Georgia and was named the SoCon’s Player of the Month for February. She became the second player in school-history with 100 or more stolen bases and hit the highest batting average for Elon at the Division I level.
Men’s basketball player Jack Isenbarger and women’s soccer player Claire O'Keeffe were recognized as the recipients of the Robert C. Browne Memorial Sportsmanship Award. The Browne Award was established in 1972 in memory of Elon alumnus Robert C. Browne by his sister, Pretto Browne-Crumpton, and her husband, Dr. J.L. Crumpton, and is presented annually to the Elon male and female athletes who have best displayed exemplary qualities of sportsmanship as determined by the Elon Department of Athletics administrative staff.
Isenbarger, a third-team All-Southern Conference and second-team All-District honoree this season, finished the year second in the conference in three-pointers made with 82 and in free-throw percentage at 86.5 percent. Isenbarger finished the season 16th in the league in scoring at 13.2 points per game and 10th in the conference in minutes played at 31.8 per game. The Zionsville, Ind., native scored in double figures 23 times this season, including a season-high 25 at VMI on Nov. 24. Isenbarger scored his 1,000th career point on Jan. 24 against Chattanooga, pouring in a game-high 23 points. Isenbarger helped Elon to its first SoCon North Division title since 2006 and the program's first postseason appearance at the Division I level this past season.
O’Keeffe was a third team NSCAA Scholar All-Region selection this season. She started all 22 matches on the year and led the Phoenix with 2,101 minutes on the pitch. The Greensboro, N.C., native was part of a back line defense that contributed to eight shutouts this season and helped her earn a spot on the Southern Conference All-Tournament team. O’Keeffe ended her career as the program¹s all-time leader in games started with 82 and helped the maroon and gold to a total of 27 shutouts in her four years at Elon.
Baseball pitcher Grant Fisher and O’Keefe were recipients of the A.L. Hook Scholar-Athlete accolades. Fisher maintains a 3.93 grade point average in public health, while O’Keefe holds a 3.94 GPA in political science with an international studies minor.
The Hook Award has been presented annually since 1975 in honor of Dr. A.L. Hook to the Phoenix male and female junior or senior athletes who possess the highest cumulative grade-point average with a minimum of two years of playing time at Elon.
Fall MVP Awards
Women’s Cross Country – Elyse Bierut
Men’s Cross Country – Luis Vargas
Volleyball – Ali Deatsch
Football – Aaron Mellette
Women’s Soccer – Shannon Foley
Men’s Soccer – Chris Thomas
Winter MVP Awards
Men’s Basketball – Lucas Troutman
Women’s Basketball – Ali Ford
Dance – Natasha Whitby
Cheerleading – Andrew Creech
Track & Field – Charlise Morgan
Service – Shelby McKay
Spring MVP Awards
Softball – Tomeka Watson
Baseball – Ryan Kinsella
Women’s Tennis – Frida Jansaker
Men’s Tennis – Juan Madrid
Women’s Golf – Martyna Mierzwa
Men’s Golf – Stuart Kaufman
For a list of team award winners, visit full coverage on the Elon Phoenix website.