HARTSVILLE, S.C. - The Coker athletic department held the second-annual FANG Awards on Wednesday (May 4) to honor the athletic achievements of the Cobras during the 2015-16 season. Headlining the night were wrestler Austin Akins and women's lacrosse player Marabeth Durden, winners of the C.G. Timberlake Male and Female Athlete of the Year Awards.
Akins, a senior, finished the 2015-16 season with a 25-13 record on the mat for the Coker wrestling team. He punched his ticket to the NCAA National Championship by finishing fourth at the NCAA Super Regional Tournament. From there, Akins went 4-2 in the National tournament, finishing fourth and becoming the first All-American in Coker wrestling history. Off the mat, he was named to the All-Academic first team with a 3.12 GPA.
Austin is from South Chesterfield, Va., is the son of Wendy and Bret Akins and is a double major in exercise science and biology.
Durden had another fantastic season for the Navy and Gold, winning her second-straight C.G Timberlake Female Athlete of the Year honors. She was named to the All-SAC first team for the second time, thanks in large part to ranking No. 3 in DII women's lacrosse with 2.73 caused turnovers per game. She scooped up 35 ground balls, won 42 draw controls and led the SAC with 41 caused turnovers. On the offensive side of the ball, she scored seven goals and two assists.
Marabeth is an early childhood education major from Orlando, Fla. She is the daughter of Lisa and Michael Durden and Mitzi and Karl Sheppard.
In addition to the C.G. Timberlake Athlete of the Year awards, Coker awarded nine other FANGS. They are as follows:
Female Newcomer of the Year – Faith Kent, freshman, women's lacrosse
Male Newcomer of the Year – Joao Victor Santos, freshman, men's volleyball
Female Breakthrough Player of the Year – Kendra Lambert, sophomore, women's basketball
Male Breakthrough Player of the Year – Shane Wilson, senior, men's lacrosse
Coach of the Year – Dave Schmotzer, baseball
Game of the Year – Baseball vs. Tusculum on Friday, March 18, 2016
Cobra Scholar – Tom Sizeland, senior, men's cross country and men's tennis
Cobra Service – Jacob Chebii, freshman, men's cross country and track and field
SAAC Team Excellence – Spirit Squad
Heart and Soul Award - Derrick Nelson, senior, wrestling