May 5, 2009
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - On Monday, May 4, the Western Carolina University Athletic Department and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted its annual awards ceremony. However, this year the format was altered and the name changed to the 2009 A-Cat-Emy Awards.
The awards ceremony was pattern after a typical awards ceremony, like the Oscars, with hosts Heather Swayne (women's basketball) and Manteo Mitchell (track and field) presiding over the event. Presenters from all the sports were chosen to deliver the following awards:
Male A-Cat-Emy Athlete of the Year: Manteo Mitchell: In indoor track, Mitchell won the 60m, 200m, and 400m dash in the 2009 Southern Conference Indoor Championships. He was also named Most Outstanding Athlete in the championships and also Most Outstanding Track Performer. Outdoor highlights for 2009 include winning the 200m and 400m as well as members of the winning 4x100 and 4x400m teams. He was also named Most Outstanding Athlete and Track Performer at the 2009 Southern Conference Outdoor Championships.
Female A-Cat-Emy Athlete of the Year: Brooke Johnson: Johnson, a senior center from Seymour, Tenn., was voted the Southern Conference Tournament's Most Outstanding Player after averaging 18.3 points and nine rebounds in three games. She broke the school record for blocks, ending her career with 130. Johnson also led the team averaging 10.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Johnson had 16 double digit scoring performances, posted a career-high 26 points against Davidson on December 14 and had five double-doubles. She was a candidate for the prestigious Lowe's Senior Class Award, making her one of the top 30 seniors in the nation. She was also a 2009 ESPN The Magazine District 3 First Team Academic All-District, a finalist for the V Foundation Comeback Award and an All-Southern Conference selection.
Male Rookie of the Year: Harouna Mutombo (men's basketball): Honorable Mention to the CollegeHoops.net All-Freshman team ... Southern Conference Freshman of the Year ... First Team All-Southern Conference.
Female Rookie of the Year: Kayla Beaudy (women's soccer): Tied for the team lead in goals (5) and points (13) as a freshman. second on the team in Game-Winning goals (2) and tied for first in assists (3). Named to the All-Freshman team.
Mr. Western Carolina: Chris Everett (football)
Top Plays of the Year: TIE: Caitlin Williams (women's soccer) for the PK shootout in the 2008 Southern Conference Championship game and Lauren Powell (women's basketball) for drawing the charge and hitting two free throws to send game into second overtime in the 2009 Southern Conference Tournament Championship game.
Most Likely to Go Pro: Andres Cuenca
Catamount Head Coach of the Year: Larry Hunter: Led men's basketball to share of 2009 Southern Conference North Division Title.
Lady Catamount Head Coach of the Year: Tammy DeCesare: Led women's soccer to a 2008 Southern Conference Championship title. The second in her Western Carolina career at WCU.
Lady Catamount Team of the Year: Western Carolina women's basketball won the 2009 Southern Conference Tournament, its second tournament championship in school history, defeating College of Charleston in a conference record three overtimes. The Lady Catamounts drew a 13 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest seed in school history, and played No. 4 seed Vanderbilt in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Lady Catamounts lost 73-44 to the Commodores in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Catamounts went 21-12 for the 2008-09 season, the third-straight 20-win season for Western Carolina.
Catamount Team of the Year: Men's Golf: Received an at-large bid into 2008 NCAA Regional.
Male Scholar Athlete of the Year: Ricky Stout
Female Scholar Athlete of the Year: Leah Nicholson
Golden Paw Award: Women's Track