Ole Miss student-athletes, coaches and staff gathered to celebrate a year’s worth of accomplishments at the 2018 Rebels’ Choice Awards at The Pavilion on Monday night.
The semi-formal event, hosted by ESPN’s Maria Taylor and orchestrated by both the Ole Miss Student-Athlete Enhancement staff and the Ole Miss Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), paid homage to the big moments and standout performances from both the end of last season, as well as the 2017-18 academic year.
Softball and men’s golf came away as the big winners on the evening, sweeping the Team of the Year, Coach of the Year (Mike Smith and Chris Malloy) and Most Valuable Rebel (Kaitlin Lee and Braden Thornberry) categories, with Paige McKinney adding another as the women’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award, joining men’s honoree Grey Hamilton of men’s tennis.
Snagging the Rookie of the Year awards were SEC All-Freshman honoree Promise Taylor of women’s basketball and Freshman All-American pitcher Ryan Rolison of baseball (who earned the honor in 2017).
The Rebel football team came away with two team honors tonight, winning Game of the Year for its victory over No. 14 Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl, as well as Play of the Year via D.K. Metcalf’s game-winning touchdown catch at Kentucky.
Football’s Dawson Knox was also the recipient of the Bennie Abram Award, which honors a student-athlete with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in honor of former non-scholarship football player, Bennie Abram, who tragically passed away during an offseason workout.
Taking home the Chancellor’s Cup were women’s soccer and men’s tennis, which is awarded to the team with the highest GPA of either gender. This is the fifth-straight honor for the soccer team, as well as the second in a row for the Rebel men’s tennis squad.
Rebel women’s basketball kept their streak alive as well, winning the Community Engagement Award for the third year in a row, alongside the Ole Miss baseball team.
Additionally, the Ole Miss Grounds Crew was honored with the We Are Ole Miss Award, which is given each year to an unsung staff or staff member for their dedication to Ole Miss and Rebel student-athletes.
2018 REBELS’ CHOICE AWARDS WINNERS
Women’s Team of the Year: Softball
Men’s Team of the Year: Men’s Golf
Women’s Coach of the Year: Mike Smith, Softball
Men’s Coach of the Year: Chris Malloy, Men’s Golf
Women’s Most Valuable Rebel: Kaitlin Lee, Softball
Men’s Most Valuable Rebel: Braden Thornberry, Men’s Golf
Women’s Rookie of the Year: Promise Taylor, Women’s Basketball
Men’s Rookie of the Year: Ryan Rolison, Baseball
Women’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Paige McKinney, Softball
Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Grey Hamilton, Men’s Tennis
*Must have GPA of 3.5 or higher
Game of the Year: Football, Egg Bowl win over No. 14 Mississippi State
Play of the Year: D.K. Metcalf’s game-winning TD catch at Kentucky
Bennie Abram Award: Dawson Knox, Football
*Given annually to a student-athlete with a GPA above 3.0 in honor of former non-scholarship football player, Bennie Abram
Chancellor’s Cup: Women’s Soccer, Men’s Tennis
*Highest team GPA
Community Engagement: Women’s Basketball, Baseball
We Are Ole Miss Award: Ole Miss Grounds Crew
*Recognizes an unsung staff or staff member for their dedication to Ole Miss student-athletes
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
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