NSU’s athletic department held their annual Athletics Banquet, commemorating the 2015-16 season and commending student-athletes for their academic and athletic prowess in a ceremony held at the Don Taft University Center and presented by Rob Lambdin's University Dodge Ram.
The night was emceed by master of ceremonies Jeff Winter, with introductory speeches by George Hanbury, Ph.D., NSU president, and Michael Mominey, NSU director of Athletics. Track and field athlete Benjamin Manuel (junior from Willemstad, Curacao) gave the invocation, and this year's Senior Speech was presented by volleyball player Caitlin Donahue (from Miami, Florida).
Each team was recognized at this point, including the standouts listed below. Afterwards, Mominey announced the departmental awards. First, receiving the NSU Sportsmanship Awards were cross country runner Imke Oelerich (senior from Braunschweig, Germany) and baseball player Steven Fleming (senior from Palm City, Florida.).
Next, earning the Male Athlete of the Year for the second straight season was junior swimmer Thiago Sickert (from Vila Velha, Brazil), now a three-time individual NCAA National Champion, as well as back-to-back SSC Male Swimmer of the Year. Tennis player Klaudia Boczova (junior from Bratislava, Slovakia), currently undefeated in singles play in her debut season for the Sharks and a favorite for SSC Player of the Year, was selected as Female Athlete of the Year.
Winning the Shark Cup Challenge again this year was the NSU volleyball team, presented by Fleming, the current NSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President. Women's basketball, by virtue of the department's highest GPA (3.55), was presented with the 2015-16 JAWS Award by Associate Athletic Director and SWA Kelley Kish.
Scholar-athletes of the year were presented next, also by Kish, given to Karl Enarsson (from Gothenburg, Sweden) of both the soccer and track and field squads, and soccer goalkeeper Amanda Kopale (from Cape Coral, Florida). They had the highest GPA among seniors in this year's graduating class, with Enarsson earning a 3.92 in management, with a minor in leadership, and Kopale, garnering a 4.0 while double majoring in theater and exercise and sport science.