NEWPORT NEWS — The Hampton Roads Sports Commission honored six college athletes from the area Wednesday night at the group's second awards banquet.
Evan Moog of Christopher Newport University won the Men’s Defensive Football Player of the Year honor.
“It’s always good to get recognition,” Moog said. “This year has been crazy with all the awards but I have to give back to my fellow players and the coaches.”
Old Dominion’s Taylor Heinicke won the Men’s Offensive Football Player of the Year award. The CAA Offensive Player of the Year led the Monarchs to an 11-2 (7-1) season and was the Walter PaytonAward winner of 2012.
Last year, the banquet was held in January and only recognized football players in the Hampton Roads area. But after a lot of positive feedback, the commission decided to expand the ceremony to include basketball players.
Norfolk State's Pendarvis Williams is the Men's Offensive Basketball Player of the Year. Williams averaged 14.3 points per game for the season, and was a key component to Norfolk State's 21-12 overall and undefeated MEAC season.
Hampton University's Keiara Avant took home the Women's Offensive Basketball Player of the Year award. The MEAC Player of the Year averaged a double-double of 16.2 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game. In her fourth year as a Lady Pirate, Avant led Hampton to its fourth consecutive MEAC Championship andNCAA Tournament entrance.
"It's really awesome to achieve so many awards this year," Avant said. "The sky is the limit. Any talent any girl has, she should try and give it her all. You never know what someone might think of you."
William and Mary's Janine Aldridge won the Women's Defensive Basketball Player of the Year award.
Apprentice School's Terrence Palmer was named Men's Defensive Player of the Year.
Jim Ducibella, past Virginian-Pilot beat writer for the Washington Redskins and author of King of Clubs: The Great Golf Marathon of 1938, was the speaker at the event, held at the Marriott City Center hotel in Newport News. He got a few laughs from the crowd as he unveiled a too-small Hooters tank top underneath his suit jacket.
John wilson, chair of the commission, said the reason the awards program was expanded was to honor more collegiate athletes.