Charlotte, NC - Johnson & Wales University Charlotte celebrated another successful year in athletics on Saturday night with the first annual "Golden Paws". The new athletic banquet format saw "Golden Paw" awards handed out in honor of various individual and team accomplishments. The 2018-2019 academic year saw the JWU Charlotte athletic department climb to new heights, as four programs reached nationals, with three of the four competing in the national championship. The JWU volleyball team also brought home the first national championship in program history. JWU boasted 12 USCAA D2 All-Americans and 7 NCCSIA All-State College Division selections.
Golden Paw Awards:
- Performance of the Year: Toniya Scott, Volleyball. In the USCAA National Championships versus Christendom, she had 8 kills, 8 blocks, and 0 errors.
- Play of the Year: Sam Fanning & Mo Baskaron. Penalty drawn and PK converted to beat PIU at the buzzer in double overtime.
- Teammate of the Year: Halle Franklin, Volleyball
- Newcomer of the Year: Julio Pena, Men's Soccer 1st Team All-American. Ranked 2nd nationally with an 0.53 Goals Against Average. Ranked 3rd nationally in Save Percentage at .878
- Team of the Year: Volleyball
- Gold Award: Toniya Scott
- Stephanie Harris Chelsen Wildcat Award: Jamie Hay
- Halle Franklin Blue Award: Moana Reid and Halle Franklin
- Most Improved: Kayla Kent
- Wildcat Award: Shannon Martin
- Hustle Award: Bianca Covington
- Wildcat Award: Malik Bullock
- Most Improved: Betsy Martinez Canul
- Wildcat Award: Emily Richard
- Keystone Award: Jaedan Smith
- Gold Award: Lana Truese
- Newcomer of the Year: Julio Pena
- Wildcat Award: Sam Fanning
- Player of the Year: JayT Fucci
In addition to the above awards, the department honored Dr. Benjamin Robinson with the Chris Plano Appreciation Award. This award is given to a member of the campus community who goes above and beyond in their support for JWU Charlotte Athletics. In addition to his duties as a campus professor and Dean of the College of Business, he plays an active part in the lives of JWU student-athletes daily. He also gives of his time as a volunteer assistant coach with Women's Soccer.
The final awards of the evening were given to the Athletes of the Year. Women's Soccer player Danielle Doyle was honored as the Female Athlete of the Year while Men's Soccer player JayT Fucci was recognized as the Male Athlete of the Year. Both recipients were USCAA First Team All-Americans, as well as NCCSIA First Team All-State College Division. It was the second consecutive First Team All-State selection for Fucci, and the third consecutive First Team All-State selection for Doyle. Fucci was also recognized as a 2018 USCAA All-Tournament Team selection. Both students also excelled in the classroom with Fucci maintaining a 3.1 GPA while Doyle carries a 3.91 GPA. Each will graduate next Saturday with their undergraduate degrees.