JONESBORO, Ark. (4/20/23) – The Arkansas State Athletics Department held its annual student-athlete awards banquet, the “State Awards,” Wednesday night at the Fowler Center, celebrating the Red Wolves’ academic success, athletics achievements and community service.
Dressed in formal attire, A-State student-athletes were greeted by a red-carpet walk into the facility and enjoyed a social function, food, games and more as part of the Red Wolves Royale-themed event. The banquet was highlighted by a recognition of the A-State’s Sun Belt Conference award honorees throughout the year and the announcement of the Red Wolves’ major award winners.
A pair of All-America selections, running back Johnnie Lang Jr. and track and field-star Camryn Newton-Smith, were the recipients of the Terry Gwin Award, named after former football player Terry Gwin and based on leadership, citizenship, scholarship and athletic performance.
Lang enjoyed a highly-decorated senior season, earning All-America honors from College Football Network (CFN), Pro Football Focus (PFF) and CBS Sports after leading the nation in kickoff return yards and combined kick return yards. Newton-Smith, also a senior, set the Sun Belt Conference heptathlon record and qualified for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships while helping lead the Red Wolves’ to their fourth straight indoor championships sweep.
The Scott and Kay Dawson Award went to senior women’s golfer Olivia Schmidt and sophomore guard Avery Felts of the men’s basketball team. The criteria for the award includes, but is not limited to, excellence in service, attitude, loyalty, character and leadership.
The Dr. Tim and Terri Langford Award, the highest academic honor within A-State Athletics and presented for excelling academically while demonstrating a commitment to integrity, Arkansas State University and the community, was issued to junior women’s bowler Faith Welch.
A pair of A-State newcomers were selected as the Breakout Players of the Year with sophomore guard Izzy Higginbottom, the Sun Belt Women’s Basketball Newcomer of the Year, and men’s basketball-standout forward Omar El-Sheikh taking the honors.
The Red Wolves’ 2022-23 female Freshman of the Year went to Maggie Thoma after helping lead the women’s bowling team to a national-runner up finish, while Freshman All-America kicker Dominic Zvada was tabbed the male winner.
Introduced as new awards last year, the Heart of a Red Wolf, Pulse of the Pack and Pack Pride Team Award returned as part of last night’s event. The Heart of a Red Wolf award went to Caleb Fields, a junior on the men’s basketball team, for persevering to overcome obstacles and exemplifying extraordinary strength in the face of adversity.
The Pulse of the Pack award winners were nominated and chosen by student-athletes and presented to a student-athlete from each team for being an instrumental leader who is dedicated to improving the squad every day through their work ethic, trustworthiness and accountability.
The selections included Sarah Millard (women’s tennis), Kassidy Reeves (volleyball), Will Glass (men’s T&F), Isabel Daines (women’s T&F), Abigail Miller (women’s soccer), Luka Naglic (men’s golf), Olivia Schmidt (women’s golf), Justin Parks (football), Pauline Meyer (women’s cross country), John Carder (men’s cross country), Faith Welch (women’s bowling), Izzy Higginbottom (women’s basketball), Terrance Ford (men’s basketball) and John Hoskyn (baseball).
The Pack Pride Team Award went to the women’s soccer team. The honor was established to recognize the team that has participated most in A-State’s life skills program throughout the year, including attending other teams’ home events, getting involved on campus and engaging in the overall student-athlete experience. The team is awarded a traveling trophy that stays with the squad for the entire year.
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A-State Athletics Honors Student-Athletes at 11th Annual State Awards. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council