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Student athletes honored at annual awards banquet

MOREHEAD, Ky. – The Morehead State Student-Athlete Honors Banquet, hosted by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, was held Monday evening and recognized both the academic and athletic achievements of MSU student-athletes.

“I’m proud of our student-athletes for a great 2012-13 school year,” Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services Sara Larson said. “It’s important that we take time at the end of each year to honor their academic and athletic accomplishments.”

Senior soccer player Samantha Toepfer and redshirt-junior baseball player Nick Duff took home Male and Female Scholar of the Year. The award is presented to the student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade-point average (GPA) and is generally awarded to upperclassmen.

Toepfer, a mathematics major from Cincinnati, Ohio, has a 3.95 GPA and has received the Ohio Valley Conference Medal of Honor twice. She is a three-time member of the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Duff, an exercise science major from Morehead, Ky., has a 3.85 GPA. He was a CoSIDA First-Team All-District II honoree and was twice named to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

The Mr. and Miss Eagle awards are given to student-athletes who dominates their sport. The individuals typically stand out within the Ohio Valley Conference or Pioneer Football League and are often in the national spotlight. Senior football player Donte Sawyer and senior volleyball player Ellie Roberson earned the honors for the 2012-13 school year.

Sawyer, an Acworth, Ga., native, played in 11 games during his final season. He set MSU single-season records in receptions (81) and receiving yards (1,024). Sawyer also led the PFL in receptions per game (7.4) and all-purpose yards per contest (159.0), and was second in all-purpose yards per affair (93.1) and kick-return average (26.2).

For his efforts, he was named First-Team All-PFL and was invited to participate in the Football Championship Subdivision Senior Scout Bowl. Sawyer capped off his career as the school-career record holder for receptions (199), receiving yards (2,555) and receiving touchdowns (24).

Roberson, a Louisville, Ky., native, helped the Eagles to a perfect 16-0 conference record and 26-7 overall mark. She was honored as OVC Player of the Year and named to the All-OVC Team.

Roberson was also named an American Volleyball Coaches Association Honorable Mention All-American and was a First-Team All-Midwest Region selection. The OVC named her Offensive Player of the Week five times during 2012, and she was named National Player of the Week by CVU.com on Oct. 14. For the second straight year, Roberson led the OVC in kills (500) and had the league’s highest hitting percentage in conference matches (.341).

The Eagle volleyball team earned the Team Academic Award for the third consecutive year after posting the highest team GPA out of the 16 MSU squads. The 2012 OVC regular-season champions finished the year with a team GPA of 3.61.

The Team Community Service Award is given to the team that shows the most dedication to the Morehead community. After completing 300 hours of service, the softball team earned the award. Projects included a reading program with local elementary schools, card writing campaign for Kentucky resident Dalton Dingus, food drive for Gateway Helping Hands of Morehead, volunteering at the McBrayer Fall Festival, youth clinics and participation in the Wigs for Kids program.

Morehead State student-athletes and coaches completed more than 1,300 hours of community service this school year.

The final award, the Laughlin-Miller Award, was presented in honor of former MSU coaches Bob Laughlin and Len Miller, with the honoree exemplifying athletic and academic excellence, character, along with school and community service.

Roberson was awarded this prestigious honor. In addition to her athletic accomplishments, she is an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Athletes in Action. She has also logged more than 40 hours of community service since August. Roberson has a 3.58 cumulative GPA and is majoring in business administration with a focus on small business management.

“Our student-athletes are certainly expected to compete at a high level, but we also emphasize academics, community service and character,” Larson added. “The annual banquet is a good reminder of what we stand for as an athletic department.”

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