Justin Morrison Honored at Annual Athletics Awards Ceremony

2014-15 Athletics Award Winners (Huckins, Morrison, Keene, McCarthy, Votipka) Photo by John Bell (www.touchalifephotography.com)
2014-15 Athletics Award Winners (Huckins, Morrison, Keene, McCarthy, Votipka) Photo by John Bell (www.touchalifephotography.com)

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Guilford College recognized its top student-athletes and former athletics director Dr. Herb Appenzeller was inducted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Society May 3 at a year-end ceremony in Dana Auditorium on campus. Eight student award winners nominated and selected by the school's athletics staff members were recognized.

The department's top honor, the Nereus C. English '26 Athletic Leadership Award, went to seniors Andris Goncarovs, Eleanora Keene, Matt McCarthy, Drew Thompson, Turner Votipka and junior Matt Pawlowski. Named for one of Guilford's most loyal alumni, the annual prize is given to students who display the highest ideals of athletic accomplishment, leadership and academic achievement. Since Guilford first presented the honor in 1977, 200 students have received the English Award.

Keene, McCarthy and Votipka were double winners Sunday night. Keene also collected the Quakers' Best Female Athlete Award. McCarthy was named Best Male Athlete and Votipka won the Jack Jensen Ideal Student-Athlete honor for the second straight year. Nick Huckins of the men's lacrosse team won the Richard Joyce Sportsmanship Award and the baseball team's Justin Morrison took home the George Wynne Most Improved Athlete Award.

Andris Goncarovs (Ithaca, N.Y./Lehman Alternative Community School (SUNY Buffalo)) is nearing the end of his third and final season with the Quakers' men's track in field team. The distance runner owns Guilford's fastest times of the year in four outdoor events and three indoor events. A four-time All-ODAC honoree, he set the league's indoor championship record in the 5,000-meter run with his winning time of 15:07.49 set in 2013. His runner-up finish in the 10,000 at last month's ODAC Outdoor Championships is the league's second-fastest time of 2015 and earned second-team all-league honors. Goncarovs placed third in the 5,000 at the 2015 ODAC Indoor Championships, which resulted in Third Team All-ODADC recognition. His name dots the Quakers' career top-times lists, as he owns one of the school's three-fastest times in three outdoor events and four indoor events.

Also a top cross-country competitor, Goncarovs won Guilford's first ODAC Runner of the Year Award by winning the league's championship meet in 2013. He twice earned All-ODAC and all-region cross-country recognition and competed in the 2013 NCAA Division III Championships. Goncarovs holds seven of the school's top-20 eight-kilometer times and two of the five-best five-kilometer marks.

Goncarovs is a three-time member of Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll and was named to the 2012-2013 Academic All-ODAC Team. He is slated to graduate with degrees in health sciences and psychology.

Eleanora Keene (Wittman, Md./Gunston Day School) recently concluded one of the finest lacrosse careers in school history. The senior midfielder and two-year captain led Guilford in goals (50), points (61), draw controls (115), caused turnovers (52) and ground balls (87) in 2015. A Second Team All-ODAC pick, she tops the ODAC in draws and ground balls through games of May 4 and ranks fifth nationally in caused turnovers per game (3.25). Her 5.44 ground balls per game stand seventh in Division III and her 7.19 draws per outing rank ninth. Keene set Guilford's season standards for ground balls and caused turnovers this year and also set the mark for caused turnovers in a game (7, vs. Va. Wesleyan, 3/21/15).

Keene earned First Team All-ODAC recognition in each of her first three seasons (a school record) and is a two-time Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Association All-Chesapeake selection. She holds the ODAC's career draw controls record (474) and Guilford's all-time marks for ground balls (244) and caused turnovers (125). Her 474 career draws rank third in Division III history. Keene scored 215 points, fourth-best at Guilford, in 70 games. Her 182 goals stand third in school history and her 33 assists are ninth.

A dean's list student, Keene has made five appearances on Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll and is a two-time member of the Academic All-ODAC Team. She will graduate in May with a degree in art and a minor in anthropology.

Matt McCarthy (Rockville, Md./Good Counsel) became Guilford's 10th men's basketball All-American this past season with his selection to the Second Team National Association of Basketball Coaches Division III squad and the Third Team D3hoops.com unit. The 6-3 shooting guard also received first-team all-region honors from both organizations and was a First Team All-State selection (college division) according to the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association. McCarthy garnered the ODAC's 2014-15 Kurt Axe Memorial Player of the Year honor, the third Quaker so honored. He ranked fifth among the league's scoring leaders with a team-high 16.6 points per game in 27 contests. The team captain topped the conference and ranked fifth nationally with 96 three-pointers, the second-highest total in school history. He had nine 20-point games, including a career-high 44-point outing January 28 in a win at Emory & Henry College.

McCarthy leaves Guilford ranked second in school history with 271 three-pointers and earned All-ODAC honors three times. He is a six-time member of Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll and a dean's list honoree who will graduate with a degree in criminal justice.

Drew Thompson (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) collected the ODAC's Golfer of the Year Award last month, the 10th Quaker so honored. He is ranked a team-high 22nd in the May 1 Division III Head-to-Head Player Rankings by Golfstat.com and has helped the Quakers to an 11th-place national ranking. Thompson leads the ODAC with a 73.5 scoring average in 22 rounds and has six top-12 finishes in 10 tournaments this season. He picked up his first college medalist honor April 21 at the ODAC Championships with a two-stroke win over teammates Harrison Frye and Ty Palmer. The Quakers' 1-2-3 finish secured their fifth straight league title and ODAC-record 15th overall. Thompson and his mates clinched the league's automatic bid to the Division III Championships May 12-15 at Grandover Resort in Greensboro.

Thompson has a 75.06 stroke average in 101 career rounds, which stands eighth in school history. He earned Third Team PING All-America honors in 2013 and is a four-time All-ODAC selection with three first-team nods. Thompson is a six-time member of Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll, a two-time Academic All-ODAC Team honoree and a dean's list student. Thompson will graduate with a degree in business management.

Turner Votipka (Nashville, N.C./Nash Central) earned his second consecutive Jensen Ideal Student-Athlete Award in addition to the English Award. The senior captain of Guilford's tennis team posted a 14-7 singles record and a 12-7 doubles mark playing at first singles and first doubles. He led the team in both singles and doubles victories and helped the Quakers to their third ODAC Tournament semifinal berth in four seasons. He ranked second among ODAC first-singles players in winning percentage. Along with teammate Erik Meiler, the pair shared first place in the league with a .733 first-doubles winning percentage.

Votipka's career singles mark stands a 46-36, which ranks fourth among the school's recorded leaders in singles victories. His 46-34 doubles ledger sits second on Guilford's all-time list. He earned All-ODAC honors four times in his first three seasons, including first-team laurels as a sophomore at second singles.

The president of Guilford's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, Votipka served two years as a resident advisor and volunteers with youth at a local church. He also works as a local tennis instructor and as a student assistant in Guilford's Sports Information Office. A three-time member of Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll, Votipka graduates later this month with a degree in business management.

Matt Pawlowski (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) is the football team's first English Award honoree since 2009. The junior quarterback was named a semifinalist for the prestigious 2014 Gagliardi Trophy, presented annually to Division III's most outstanding football student-athlete. The ODAC's 2014 Offensive Player of the Year, Pawlowski led the league and ranked third in the nation in pass efficiency (179.2). He finished the season with 3,476 passing yards, fifth-best in Division III. Pawlowski stood seventh nationally in completion percentage (.678) and completions per game (25.0). His 38 passing touchdowns placed fifth in the country and bettered the previous Guilford season record of 37 set by Josh Vogelbach '08 in 2005. Pawlowski contributed to a league-leading 23.6 points per game, which stood third nationally.

Through three seasons, Pawlowski stands second to Vogelbach, the former Division III passing yardage leader, in most of Guilford's career passing categories. The three-year starter and eight-time ODAC Player of the Week has completed 645-of-1,019 passes for 8,292 yards and 77 scores with 14 interceptions. Over the past two years, Pawlowski has passed for 5,849 yards with 62 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

In addition to his athletic prowess, Pawlowski is an honor roll student at Guilford and majors in sport management. He has participated in a number of Guilford's community service initiatives, including the team's New Student Move-In Day. Pawlowski has also mentored students at Guilford Middle School in each of the past two seasons.

Nick Huckins (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) started all four years on the Quakers' lacrosse team and twice earned All-ODAC recognition as a defender. He ranked third on this year's team with 36 ground balls and fourth with 14 caused turnovers. A two-time team defensive Most Valuable Player, Huckins turned the ball over just six times in 16 games this season and had a hand in the Quakers' 85.7% clearing percentage that ranks 25th among Division III leaders through games of May 4.

Huckins also made significant contributions to the team and greater college community off the field. In addition to earning dean's list honors five times, the business administration and economics double major twice earned Academic All-ODAC laurels and is a five-time member of Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll. He participated in Guilford's Student Senate, won the school's 2014 Courtney Award for excellence in management and worked as a teaching assistant in the economics department. Huckins earned the men's lacrosse team's 2015 Sportsmanship Award and co-created a constitution-like document that defined team expectations.

Morrison, a 6-2 right-handed pitcher, appeared 17 games for the Quakers. He posted a 2-0 record with two saves and a team-best 2.73 earned run average in 26.1 innings pitched out of the bullpen. Morrison struck out 25 batters and only issued four walks. His .248 opponent's batting average against stood second on the team. Morrison averaged 8.54 strikeouts per nine innings, which ranked second on the team among pitchers with at least 15 innings.

Morrison started his career as a midweek starter in 2011 and posted a 5-3 record with a 6.31 earned run average. He gave up 57 hits in 45.2 innings and averaged just 4.34 strikeouts per game. The Quakers moved him to the bullpen his sophomore season when he developed into a top reliever. He led the team in appearances in 2013 and 2015. Morrison recorded an 11-4 record in 60 career games with six saves and a 4.83 ERA in 143.1 innings. He fanned 102 batters in his career and issued 37 walks. A regular on Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll and the Academic All-ODAC Team, Morrison graduates later this month with degrees in exercise and sport sciences and health science.

Appenzeller's induction into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Society is the latest honor in a distinguished career for the 89-year-old Guilford legend. Eric Guckian, senior education adviser to Governor Pat McCrory, presented the award, which recognizes North Carolinians who have demonstrated exemplary service or made an exceptional contribution to the State or their communities.

In nearly 40 years at Guilford, Appenzeller's work as a professor and administrator produced countless scholars, athletes and leaders in their fields. Guilford's Jefferson-Pilot Professor of Sport Studies Emeritus, he served as a professor, coach, dean of students and, for 31 years, as the Quakers' athletics director. During his tenure, Guilford captured national titles in men's basketball (1973) and women's tennis (1981). Appenzeller's vision provided the impetus for the college to create one of the nation's first sport management majors in the early 1980s. At the time, there were roughly 20 such programs across the nation, and Guilford's was one of the first anywhere with an undergraduate focus.

A nationally respected author and consultant in the fields of sports law and risk management, Appenzeller has conducted reviews and made presentations for hundreds of colleges, universities and other organizations nationwide. He is a member of no fewer than eight halls of fame, including the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the Guilford College Athletics Hall of Fame and the Wake Forest University Athletics Hall of Fame. The game field of Guilford's Armfield Athletic Center was renamed Herb Appenzeller Field in 2006.

Appenzeller played football at Wake Forest and competed in the first Gator Bowl where Wake defeated South Carolina, 26-14. He graduated from Wake Forest in 1948 and subsequently earned a master's degree from Wake Forest and a doctorate in education administration from Duke University.

Appenzeller came to Guilford in 1956 following eight years as a coach, teacher and director of athletics at Rolesville (N.C.) High School, Wakelon (N.C.) High School and Chowan College.

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