Dan Nolan  |   Published May 04, 2016

Fighting Scots awards

Top leadership honor goes to Elite 20 recipient Drake Decker
  • Drake Decker, a senior from Muscatine, Iowa, is awarded the Fighting Scots Leadership award. Presenting is Head Men’s Golf Coach Steve Schweer.
A packed house was on hand in Monmouth College’s Dahl Chapel and Auditorium Wednesday night for the second annual Fighting Scot Athletic Awards.

Sponsored by MTC Communications, the ceremony recognized the top team and individual performances from the 2015-16 academic year. More than 100 student-athletes were recognized for their athletic and academic excellence and 11 individuals from seven different teams were recognized for earning national academic accolades.

Monmouth’s three recipients of the Midwest Conference Elite 20 award – Matt Barnes (football), Drake Decker (men’s golf) and Saxon Day (men’s tennis) – were also recognized. The MWS’s Elite 20 honor is bestowed upon the student-athlete with the highest GPA at the league’s 20 sponsored championships.

The night’s highest honor went to Decker, a senior from Muscatine, Iowa, who was awarded the Fighting Scots Leadership award. Decker was selected as the winner from the field of nominated seven student-athletes.

“This is a very humbling honor,” said Decker of the award. “There are a ton of student-athletes who show leadership abilities. I’m very thankful for the opportunities Monmouth has given me to grow as a person and as a golfer. It’s a direct result of the great people at Monmouth.”

Political economy and commerce professor Dick Johnston received the Faculty Support Recognition Award as nominated by the student-athletes.

Said golfer Annie Sandrock, “He has gone above and beyond in the classroom and around campus. Whenever students have needed help, he’s been willing to lend a hand.”

Former basketball standout and Hall of Famer Don Tanney ’79 was on hand to receive the Fighting Scot Alumni Recognition Award. Inducted into the M Club Hall of Fame in 2002 for his prowess on the basketball court, where he amassed 946 career points and averaged 25.5 points per game as a senior to rank eighth in the nation, Tanney was also honored with induction into the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association in 2004.

The Fighting Scots softball team took home the most awards at the second annual event, hoisting the hardware for Upset of the Year and Best Moment of the Year. On April 23, the softball team traveled to St. Louis to meet the 18th-ranked Washington University Bears. Behind Charlotte Park’s record-setting 22nd career home run, the Scots swept the Bears 7-0, 4-1 to earn the Upset of the Year. The very next day, the Fighting Scots came home to the Monmouth College Softball Stadium and swept Augustana to set a new single-season record for wins in a season. Two new records and a top 20 upset made for a great weekend and the Moment of the Year.

Football’s DeAndre Wright took center stage as the Breakthrough Performance of the Year. In his first season in the backfield, Wright rushed for 672 yards, averaging 72 yards per game, and scored seven touchdowns en route to earning first team all-conference status.

After missing an entire season due to a knee injury, men’s water polo’s Raheem Brown was honored as the Comeback Athlete of the Year. Brown came back with vengeance, becoming Monmouth’s first All-American in the sport while leading the team in scoring and setting the all-time scoring record.

The Division III’ s most decorated athlete of the 2016 national indoor track and field championships brought home the honor for Individual Performance of the Year. Senior James Wilson finished the earned four All-American awards at the meet for his performances in the long jump, 200- and 400-meter dashes and the 4x400 relay.

The men’s track team earned Championship Performance of the Year. With only six athletes and eight total entries in this year’s Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Fighting Scots produced the Midwest Region’s Athlete of the Year (Ethan Reschke), the Midwest Region’s Coach of the Year (Roger Haynes) and eight all-Americans en route to bringing home fourth place. The All-Americans included Dan Evers (pole vault), Joe Ward (pole vault), Adam Parr (4x400 relay), Matt Trainor (4x400 relay), Reschke (200 meters, 400 meters, 4x400 relay) and Wilson (long jump, 200 meters, 400 meters, and 4x400 relay).

The invitation-only event was hosted by the Fighting Scots coaching staff.
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