MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg unveiled its 2020 Student-Athlete Award Ceremony video presentation on the Penn State Harrisburg Athletics YouTube channel on Sunday evening, April 26. Major award winners were announced in six categories, team MVP honors were highlighted and seniors from each program were recognized as part of the celebration of the college's athletic achievement from the 2019-20 season.
Dr. John Mason, the Chancellor of Penn State Harrisburg, passed along a statement of encouragement and admiration to student-athletes, coaches, staff, family and friends. Penn State Harrisburg Director of Athletics Rahsaan Carlton provided a video message that thanked the campus community for their support and expressed his pride in Penn State Harrisburg's coaches, staff and student-athletes, particularly the college's seniors.
The individual recipients of major awards were:
Male Athlete of the Year – Bret Williams (baseball)
This award honors the college's most outstanding male student-athlete each year, as voted on by the coaching staff and athletic administration. A D3baseball.com Preseason All-American, Williams entered the spring as a frontrunner for national player of the year after an historic 2019 season that saw him earn first-team all-America honors from the ABCA and D3baseball.com. The Mount Carmel, Pa. native led the nation in hits, runs and total bases, while ranking second in the country in home runs and runs batted in. He was named the ABCA/Rawlings Mid-Atlantic Regional Player of the Year after earning a pair of first-team all-region accolades and CAC Player of the Year recognition.
Female Athlete of the Year – Brittany Ebaugh (women's volleyball)
This award honors the college's most outstanding female student-athlete each year, as voted on by the coaching staff and athletic administration. Ebaugh turned in one of the most prolific seasons in program history this fall and became the first player to reach the 1,000-career point mark. The Stewartstown, Pa. native led the country in block solos this season and was named the NEAC Defensive Player of the Year for her efforts. A two-time conference player of the week, she earned ECAC All-Conference First-Team recognition after leading the league in hitting percentage and wrapping up her career as the program's all-time leader in kills and total blocks.
Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year – Zak Koroneos (baseball)
This award is given annually to one male student-athlete who displays an exceptional combination of scholarly and athletic achievement, with 50 percent weight going towards academics and 50 percent weight going towards athletics. Koroneos is coming off a stellar 2019 season that saw him rank eighth in the country in home runs. The Toronto, Ontario, Canada native racked up 46 hits, drove in 52 runs and scored 35 more last spring. He's also excelled in the classroom, as the civil engineering major holds a 3.45 cumulative GPA and has had work included in multiple publications.
Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year – Laurel Amey (women's basketball)
This award is given annually to one female student-athlete who displays an exceptional combination of scholarly and athletic achievement, with 50 percent weight going towards academics and 50 percent weight going towards athletics. Amey served as a team captain this winter and helped lead women's basketball to a conference playoff tournament appearance. The versatile guard averaged more than 11 points and five rebounds per contest and recorded a pair of double-doubles this season. The secondary education major has been stellar in the classroom as well, posting a 3.98 cumulative GPA.
Sportsmanship Award – Oscar Cartagena Jr. (men's soccer)
This award honors a student-athlete who represents his or her team and the college with the utmost respect towards opponents while playing the game "the right way." In addition to his respectful play and prowess as a team leader, Cartagena served as a team captain this fall. The senior scored his first career goal this season, setting off a massive celebration among his teammates in recognition of his hard work. He also works with the sports information department in supporting and promoting the rest of the college's athletic programs.
Athletic Service Award – Sheiva Ansary (women's tennis), Clinton Asalu (men's basketball)
This award honors one or more student-athletes who make their campus and their community a better place through charitable work. In addition to her role on the women's tennis team, Ansary is a Lion Ambassador and served as the chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for three years. The senior also contributed to a number of off-campus community service projects. Asalu was a team captain for the men's basketball team this season and helped lead the program to a conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance. The senior served as the president of Greek life at Penn State Harrisburg and was the founder and president of the National Society of Black Engineers, among numerous other service efforts of which he was involved.
In addition to the major awards, team MVPs were announced for each of Penn State Harrisburg programs:
Men's Cross Country – Camilo Ruiz
Women's Cross Country – Abagail Marquardt
Men's Soccer – Shammah Gahomera
Women's Soccer – Rhyan Socash
Women's Volleyball – Brittany Ebaugh
Men's Basketball – Donyae Baylor-Carroll
Women's Basketball – Kendis Butler
Men's Track & Field – Alex White
Women's Track & Field – Alexandria Morrison
Baseball – Bret Williams
Men's Golf – Andrew Fink
Softball – Sarah Coolbaugh
Men's Tennis – Austin Stehman
Women's Tennis – Sydney Nye
Finally, prior to the ceremony's closing, more than 60 student-athletes were recognized for earning Penn State Harrisburg Scholar-Athlete status; an accolade awarded to sophomores, juniors and seniors who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. A number of senior student-athletes also made an appearance, combining for a special video message that recapped their time at Penn State Harrisburg and thanking those who made possible their success.