The Ole Miss athletic department celebrated the accomplishments of its student athletes at the 2017 Rebels’ Choice Awards held at The Pavilion at Ole Miss on Monday night. The track and field and cross country teams were big winners earning multiple awards.
The semi-formal event took place at The Pavilion at Ole Miss and was hosted by ESPN College GameDay’s DJ Babi Mac The event also featured a red carpet for student-athletes and Ole Miss athletic department staff prior to the start of the awards show. The seventh annual awards show featured 18 awards.
For the second consecutive year, women’s basketball earned the Community Engagement award along with the Ole Miss football team while assistant athletic trainer Corbit Franks earned the We Are Ole Miss award given to an unsung member Ole Miss athletic department as selected by the student athlete advisory committee (SAAC).
The track and field teams really racked up the awards taking home both Rookie of the Year awards with Katy McAuley winning for the women and Nick DeRay taking home the honor on the men’s side. Raven Saunders took home play of the year for her collegiate shot put record in the 2016 NCAA outdoor championships while Connie Price-Smith won Coach of the Year on the women’s side.
The Ole Miss cross country team also racked up honors taking home Team for the Year and Game of the Year on the men’s side for its late surge into fourth place at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in November.
Taking home Most Valuable Rebel were Raven Saunders from women’s track and field and Braden Thornberry from men’s golf. Thornberry has led the Ole Miss men’s golf team to four tournament wins this season and is the No. 34 collegiate golfer in the country. Saunders earns the award for the second consecutive season after making an appearance in the 2016 Olympics in Rio and setting new collegiate shot put records in both the indoor and outdoor season.
Football’s Jerry Johnson claimed the Bennie Abram award – awarded in the spirit of Ole Miss football walk-on Bennie Abram, who tragically passed away during an off-season workout.
The Rebels’ Choice Awards were also a time to celebrate the academic achievements of the Rebels. Aubrey Edie from volleyball and Craig Engels from men’s track and field earned Scholar-Athlete of the Year while for the second consecutive year women’s soccer and men’s golf took home the Chancellor’s Cup.
Full List of Awards
2017 REBELS’ CHOICE AWARDS
Men’s Rookie of the Year: Nick DeRay, Track and Field
Women’s Rookie of the Year: Katy McAuley, Track and Field
Men’s Community Service Outreach: Football
Women’s Community Service Outreach: Women’s Basketball
Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Craig Engels Men’s Track
Women’s Scholar Athlete of the Year: Aubrey Edie, Volleyball
Men’s Coach of the Year: Chris Malloy, Men’s Golf
Women’s Coach of the Year: Connie Price-Smith, Women’s Track and Field
Men’s Most Valuable Rebel: Braden Thornberry, Men’s Golf
Women’s Most Valuable Rebel: Raven Saunders, Women’s Track and Field
Men’s Team of the Year: Men’s Cross Country
Women’s Team of the Year: Softball
We Are Ole Miss Award: Corbit Franks – Assistant Athletic Trainer
Bennie Abram Award: Jerry Johnson, Football
Play of the Year (Tie): Raven Saunders Collegiate Shot Put Record at NCAA Outdoor Championship
Game of the Year: Men’s Cross Country’s Fourth Place Finish at NCAA Championship
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