Day, Hefner named C-N athletes of the year at banquet
JEFFERSON CITY — Carson-Newman football player Kevin Day and softball player Brittany Hefner have been named the university’s male and female athlete of the year, respectively. The honors were determined by a vote among Carson-Newman coaches, administrators, team officials and Eagle Club members.
Cross country’s Hannah Reese and football’s Zach Witherspoon took home the female and male scholar athlete of year awards, respectively. Tiffany Delias of the women’s tennis team won the Eagle Club’s Academic Athlete of the Year.
Day, a member of the 2012 AFCA Good Works Team, picked up Male Athlete of the Year honors thanks in part to his selection to the Don Hansen All-America first team. The distinction made him Carson-Newman’s seventh consensus All-American since the school joined Division II in the early 1990s and its fist in a decade.
The status puts Day in the company of current C-N defensive coordinator Mike Clowney and former Washington Redskin and Houston Texan Cedric Killings.
The Jacob’s Blocking Award winner and first team all-SAC center helped clear the way for the nation’s top rushing offense in Division II. The Eagles piled up nearly 380 yards a game while scoring 52 rushing touchdowns en route to an NCAA quarterfinal appearance. The 52 scores on the ground are the most among all schools in all divisions. Day has graduated and now teaches social studies at Knoxville West.
Hefner garnered the Eagle Club Female Athlete of the Year honor after leading the nation and conference in runs batted in with 75. That total reset the single season record for both the SAC and Carson-Newman. Hefner obliterated a school record for home runs in a year with 19 – setting that school record in early March before the season reached its midpoint.
Hefner nearly won the first ever triple crown in SAC history, she was second in the league in batting average with a .451 figure. A twotime SAC player of the week, first team all-SAC selection and SAC player of the year, Hefner was just the fifth player in NCAA Division II history to hit three grand slams in a single season.
She had a school record 141 total bases this year and matched a Carson-Newman single game record with eight RBI against Lees McRae.
Delias took home Academic Athlete of the Year thanks to her pristine 4.0 grade point average. The women’s tennis team’s six seed went 6-6 in singles and 4-4 in league action. The English literature major graduates this May.
Witherspoon, a key special teams cog for Ken Sparks’ football club, helped C-N to a quarterfinal appearance against Valdosta State this year. In the classroom, he has maintained a 3.712 grade point average as a double major in biology and exercise science.
Reese took home the Female Scholar Athlete honors after taking home first place at the Eagles home meet at Panther Creek Park. A food, nutrition and dietetics major, Reese has maintained a 3.9739 grade point average at Carson-Newman. She is the second straight cross country runner to be named Female Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Jaycob Coleman was lauded with the Charles E. McDonald Leadership Award while All-American kicker Curt Duncan took home the Roy Harmon Award.