Soccer, V-Ball standouts among those honored

2012 Awards Banquet was for nine teams

WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The recent annual Athletic Banquet saw numerous players receive awards for their achievements and exemplary leadership.

Jesse Godding, the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, served as emcee of the dinner and program.

The catered event, held in the Sheaffer Full Life Center, concluded with Godding's tribute of the joys experienced by coaches as a result of their interaction with athletes called, "Thanks, Kid." 

He also recognized two individuals in heartfelt acknowledgments. The pair of new awards were very well received.

The Friend of SAGU Sports award spotlighted the dedication and skills in a myriad of roles to a Waxahachie middle school teacher, Clay Scarborough.

The former Sports Information Director and baseball assistant coach continues to serve as statistician as well as doing play-by-play and serving as the host on SAGU Sports broadcasts.

“Clay has been a model of persistence and efficiency in his ten plus years of association with SAGU athletics,” Godding said. “It was a pleasure to have an opportunity to recognize one of our unsung heroes from the community that helps to make SAGU athletics successful.”

A moving show of appreciation that drew a standing ovation was when student Jenna Martin was cited for her spirited support of SAGU teams as a fan.

Seen faithfully at athletic venues from her decorated wheelchair, Martin’s motivational talks with teams, support through her prayers, home-made, brownies and friendship made it a popular salute.

Coach Godding extended earnest praise.

“Jenna is a special individual. She has never suited up for an athletic team while at SAGU but she is as much a part of our athletic teams as any other team member,” he said.

“She has prayerfully, physically and verbally supported our teams throughout her tenure here at SAGU. It was an honor for SAGU to be able to acknowledge her in this manner.”

As a member institution in both the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as well as the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), all nine teams were represented by their respective candidates in the Champions of Character award.

The Champions honor acknowledges the contributions of individual student athletes for their personal and spiritual examples, distinct recognition that sets both the NAIA and the students apart.

The list included the following players;
BASEBALL: Trevor Schexneider (Elizabethtown, Ky)
FOOTBALL: Michael Hendon (Abilene, Tx)
CHEERLEADING: Nicole Branam
MEN’S SOCCER: Daniel Martinez
(Houston, Tx)
SOFTBALL: Cassandra Mata (Crystal City, Tx)
VOLLEYBALL: Alissa Kirk (Pataskala, Oh)
WOMEN’S SOCCER: Vicky Hagemeier (D.R. of Congo)
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Gabby Bruner (Peaster, Tx)
MEN’S BASKETBALL: James Southerland (Macomb, Ill)

The overall Champions of Character, as voted on by a panel of Southwestern coaches, named Bruner and Southerland as the Male and Female top selection.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes:  More than Winning

The Director of Sports Medicine, Jaroy Carpenter (Head Athletic Trainer), summarized the year of outreaches and projects by the SAGU chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“We had a great year in our SAGU athlete’s outreach,” he said. “They spoke in churches across the nation, as well as at school assemblies and at some FCA events.”

“We had 80 SAGU students participate as huddle leaders and recreation leaders for the annual Greater Dallas FCA Weekend of Champions,” he pointed out.

To put that number in context, the national office said that during the past two years, SAGU had the greatest number of students from any one school to participate as leaders at an FCA event in the history of the organization.

For more information, log on to www.fca.org.

After individual team honors, SAGU’s Male and Female Athlete of the Year were revealed in Volleyball’s Krystal Cisneros and Men’s Soccer’s Danny Martinez.

Cisneros (SISS-nair-ohs) enjoyed a standout senior campaign for the Lady Lions. The team finished fourth in the Red River Athletic Conference while posting a 23-18 record.

She was a two-time First Team All-Conference selection at middle blocker. She led the team with an average of 2.7 kills per game and was third in the RRAC with 128 blocked shots.

Martinez, a junior forward, led the resurgent Lions (10-9-5) to their first-ever winning season. The team rose from last to seventh in the 12-team league. SAGU went 3-0 in winning the NCCAA’s Central Regional.

His 15 goals and eight assists led the entire Red River in scoring.

The RRAC All-Conference teams had 14 international players and 10 from Texas, including the flashy Martinez.

Head Coaches announced honors for volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball.

The cheer team has the longest season, numbering close to seven months. Their presence and spirit is exhibited from August through March. Deservedly, they were presented with several awards.

Their awards are listed below.

VOLLEYBALL  (Coach Hansford Moore)

Most Valuable Defensive Player:  Laura Espinoza (Duncanville, Tx)
Most Valuable Offensive Player:  Jessica Sodich (Ovilla, Tx)
Most Valuable Player:  Krystal Cisneros (El Paso, Tx)
Most Improved Player:  Jesse Giese (Tulsa, Ok)
Heart of the Lion:  Alissa Kirk (Pataskala, Oh)

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL  (Coach Arlon Beadles)

Most Valuable Player:  Nia Winston (Garland, Tx)
Outstanding Defensive Player:  Gabby Bruner (Peaster, Tx)
Most Improved Player:  Okevia Bratchett (Center, Tx)
Leading Scorer:  Nia Winston (Garland, Tx)

MEN'S BASKETBALL  (Coach Donnie Bostwick)

Most Valuable Player:  Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx)
Most Improved Player:  Mike Nwelue (Lewisville, Tx)
Most Improved Player:  Craig Grigsby (Houston, Tx)
Lion Leadership:  Ron Horne (Waco, Tx)
Defense/Hustle:  Christian Wood-Dvorak (Halletsville, Tx)
Dominant Rebounder:  Nathaniel “Duce” Ward (Waco, Tx)

CHEER TEAM  (Coach Alicia Rogers)

Best Sportsmanship:  Nicole Branam
Most Dedicated:  Catherine Sullivan (Waxahachie, Tx)
Best All-Around:  Asia Jones

FOOTBALL  (Coach Jesse Godding)

Most Improved Player:  Peter Akorikin (Dallas, Tx)
Defensive MVP:  Richard Embry (Paris, Tx)
Offensive MVP:  David Howard (Dayton, Tx)
Offensive MVP:  Jason Rice (Katy, Tx)
Lineman of the Year:  Jonathan Hulett (Corrigan, Tx)
Lions Pride:  Nathan Kallal (Brighton, Ill)
Special Teams MVP:  James Gish (Waxahachie, Tx)

SOFTBALL  (Coach Tim Grant)

Offensive Player of the Year:  Theresa Ballard (Austin, Tx)
Defensive Player of the Year:  Kelsea Svochak (Ft. Worth, Tx)
Lions Pride:  Lauren Johnson (Waxahachie, Tx)
Most Improved Player:  Kayla Westbrook (Milano, Tx)

BASEBALL  (Coach Jon Shockley)

Offensive Player of the Year:  Mario Mendoza (Ft. Worth, Tx)
Defensive Player of the Year:  Dustin Jett (Patterson, La)
Lions Pride:  Ben Chavez (Roswell, NM)

MEN’S SOCCER  (Coach Clem Oancea)

Heart of the Lion:  Alex Vasquez (Waxahachie, Tx)
Rookie of the Year:  Parker Sturgeon (Bartlesville, Ok)
Most Improved Player:  Jonathon Ramos (Tegucigalpa, Honduras)

WOMEN’S SOCCER  (Coach Mandy Fortner)

Heart of the Lion:  Victoria Munoz (Granbury, Tx)
110th Minute:  Daniella Ramirez (Waco, Tx)
Offensive MVP:  Daniela Garcia (Tucson, Az)
Defensive MVP:  Jessica Powell (Terrell, Tx)
Newcomer of the Year:  Gloria Lozano (El Paso, Tx)

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 469-658-2847.

Banquet photos by Rachel Sanderlin of SAGU Marketing.