April 20, 2015
THE FLATS — Monday night was a chance for Georgia Tech Athletics to celebrate its 390 student-athletes as the Athletic Association hosted its annual Yellow Jacket Celebration. The event was held at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Convention Center in Tech Square.
Football’s KeShun Freeman and women’s basketball’s Zaire O’Neil were recognized as the GTAA Rookies of the Year for 2014-15. Freeman earned Freshman All-America honors after leading all ACC freshmen with 9.5 tackles for loss. O’Neil was one of four Yellow Jackets to average double figures (11.3); she also ranked third on the team with 5.8 rebounds per game.
After posting the fifth 11-win season in program history and its first Orange Bowl championship since 1952, the Georgia Tech football team was named the “Best All-Around Team” for 2014-15. The two plays known as “The Kick & The Pick” — Harrison Butker’s 53-yard field goal to force overtime and D.J. White’s interception to clinch Tech’s win over Georgia — was voted as Georgia Tech’s Best Sports Moment for 2014-15.
A pair of standouts were recognized for the Best Record-Breaking Performances of 2014-15. Women’s basketball sophomore Kaela Davis was the female winner after setting the school single-season scoring record with 652 points. Representing the men’s best record-breaking performance was senior swimmer Andrew Kosic, who earned two All-America honors in 2015. Kosic was a part of five school records that were broken in 2014-15, including breaking the 50 free record three times. He leaves Tech holding eight different school records.
The Georgia Tech Spotlight Awards recognizes one player from each team whose contributions to his or her program go far beyond the scope of athletics. Spotlight Award winners were:
- Tim Byerly (football),
- Jonathan Gardner (men’s track & field),
- Alex Grady (men’s cross country),
- Morgan Jackson (women’s cross country),
- Aaron Peek (men’s basketball),
- Antonia Peresson (women’s basketball),
- Alexis Prokopuik (women’s tennis),
- Lauren Pitz (Volleyball),
- Efrat Rotsztejn (women’s swimming),
- Mark Sarman (men’s swimming),
- Sarah Kate Somers (cheerleading),
- Morgan Taylor (softball),
- Jazmyne Taylor (women’s track),
- Vincent Whaley (golf),
- Grant Wruble (baseball), and
- Daniel Yun (men’s tennis).
ACC TOP 6 FOR SERVICE AWARD
Six Georgia Tech student-athletes were honored by the ACC with the league’s Top 6 for Service Award, an honor presented annually to six student-athletes from each ACC institution who demonstrate dedication to community service and outreach programs. Georgia Tech’s recipients included Kate Brandus (women’s swimming), Alex Grady (men’s cross country), Morgan Jackson (women’s cross country), Hayley Keady (women’s cross country), Aaron Peek (men’s basketball), and Nathan Rakitt (men’s tennis).
ACC POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS
Swimming’s Kate Brandus, football’s Matt Connors, and track’s Cole Jackob were honored as Georgia Tech’s ACC Postgraduate Scholarship recipients in February. Golf’s Anders Albertson was choosen as an honorary postgraduate recipient. The Weaver-James-Corrigan and Jim and Pat Thacker postgraduate scholarships are awarded to selected student-athletes who intend to pursue a graduate degree following completion of their undergraduate requirements. Each recipient will receive $5,000 toward his or his graduate education. Those honored have performed with distinction in both the classroom and their respective sport, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.
ACC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
The ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award was established in September 2007 to be awarded annually to the top junior or senior student-athlete in their respective sports. Candidates for the award must have maintained a 3.0 GPA for their career as well as a 3.0 for each of the last two semesters. Georgia Tech’s 2014-15 ACC Scholar-Athletes of the Year were Shannon Lumbra (diving) and Andrew Kosic (men’s swimming).
TOTAL PERSON AWARD
This award is given to one male and one female who are graduating or within 20 hours of graduating. Recipients have to be in good academic standing; lettered at least two years; achieved ACC, regional or national recognition or awards; made significant contributions to his or her team; and possess the attributes of the Total Person (career ambitions, family relations, health consciousness, self-motivation, and community involvement). The 2014-15 winners were Morgan Jackson (women’s cross country / track) and Anders Albertson (golf).
Bobby Dodd SCHOLARSHIP
The Bobby Dodd Scholarship is given to one male and one female returning student-athlete with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Each recipient must have lettered in his or her sport at least one year and they must both exemplify good citizenship and participation in community service, outstanding sportsmanship and dedication. The 2014-15 recipients were Teegan Van Gunst (volleyball) and Nathan Rakitt (men’s tennis).
L.W. “CHIP” ROBERTS AWARD
This award, made in honor of L.W. “Chip” Roberts’ family, is given to one male and one female graduating senior. Both must be the top student-athlete in academics, athletics and campus life, while possessing a 3.0 GPA or higher and an outstanding athletic record. The 2014-15 recipients are swimmers Kate Brandus and Andrew Kosic.
GT LEADERSHIP AWARD
The GT Leadership Award is given to one student-athlete that demonstrates leadership qualities on the playing field, in the classroom, and in the community. This year’s recipient is 2014-15 Student-Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB) President Morgan Jackson of the women’s cross country and track programs.
GTAA ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
This award is given to applaud the athletic accolades of some the nation’s best athletes. This year’s recipients are the 2015 Georgia Women’s Basketball Player of the Year Kaela Davis and two-time All-America swimmer Andrew Kosic.