A recap of the 2024 A-Cat-Emy Awards

Cullowhee, NC — The Western Carolina Athletics community came together Wednesday evening to celebrate the incredible achievements of Catamount student-athletes during the 2023-2024 season to date with the department’s annual A-CAT-EMY Awards ceremony.

Student-athletes from all Catamount sports were honored for their achievements this year, with 27 awards presented for standout performances on the field, in the weight room and in the classroom. Additionally, members of this year’s senior class in all Catamount sports received their graduation stoles as they completed their collegiate careers.

On Wednesday, WCU’s women’s soccer and football teams were best represented at the 2024 A-CAT-EMY Awards, as the two Catamount squads combined for 11 awards and took home six and five awards, respectively.

Led by 2023 SoCon Coach of the Year Chad Miller, the Catamount women’s soccer team finished with an impressive 13-5-3 regular season record, including the program’s third SoCon tournament championship since the 2008 season, and second regular season crown season since 2001. It was the first time in program history that the program won both the regular season and conference championship in the same season. The historic season was highlighted by eight shutout victories in the final ten games of the season, including a 7-0 edge in goal difference in all three conference tournament games, including a 1-0 victory over two-time defending champion Samford.

Soccer standouts Isabella DeMarco and Sarah Engen were named A-CAT-EMY Award Women’s Athlete of the Year and Women’s Comeback Athlete of the Year, respectively, with Miller earning rave reviews for Women’s Coach of the Year. The team was named both the Best Women’s Team and Academic Team of the Year for their efforts on the field and in the classroom. Additionally, the team’s win over the Samford Bulldogs in the SoCon Championship was chosen as the best win of the year.

Catamount Football finished the 2023 season – the third under head coach Kerwin Bell – with a 7-4 overall record and a 5-3 mark in SoCon play, earning its most overall and league wins since 2017, beating the The team’s four road wins also matched the 2017 squad. The Catamounts led the NCAA FCS Division I football ranks in total offense with a school record 5,545 yards of total offense, the only team in the division to average over 500 yards per game, and finished fourth in the nation with a score of 37.5 points per game. game. The Catamounts ranked eighth on the season – the highest ranking in WCU’s NCAA Division I era – and finished the 2023 season ranked 23rd in the final Stats Perform FCS Top 25 poll, essentially finishing 26th and received votes in the final coaches table.

A total of 14 Catamount football players made the All-Southern Conference team, with five players receiving several All-America nods. Defensive lineman Jaquarius Guinn, wide receiver AJ Colombo and head coach Kerwin Bell earned individual honors as Guinn was named Men’s Iron Cat of the Year by the WCU sports performance staff, Colombo was named Men’s Scholar Athlete of the Year and Bell was named the Men’s Scholar Athlete of the Year and Bell was named the Men’s Scholar Athlete of the Year. Men’s coach of the year. As a team, the Catamount gridiron squad was named Team of the Year on the men’s side, while their thrilling last-second win on Richard McCollum’s walk-off field goal at Chattanooga was named the Best Men’s Win of the Year.

Below you will find the nomination criteria for all awards, as well as complete lists of the award recipients and seniors honored.

Male and Female A-CAT-EMY Athlete of the Year:

This award is presented to the most valuable student-athletes on their respective team, whose presence and performance have the greatest impact. Athlete of the Year winners have typically earned the attention and respect of their peers in the Southern Conference and beyond, with nominations for all-conference or higher within their respective sports.

Mr and Mrs WCU:

These awards are presented to the student-athletes who best exemplify the spirit of the Catamounts in all areas. The award is given based on success in all facets of a student-athlete experience, including academics, athletics, team leadership and service to others.

Male and Female Newcomer of the Year:

The winner of this award is the student-athlete with the best season performance of a freshman or freshman athlete throughout the season. The recipients demonstrate excellent work ethic and performance, while also playing an important role on their team and demonstrating experience and skills above and beyond what is expected of their class.

Biggest Victory Prize:

The Biggest Win Award is presented to the men’s and women’s teams who suffered the biggest adversity, accomplished a huge goal, overcame a rival or fought against unlikely odds to come away with the win.

A-CAT-EMY Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year Award:

This award is presented to the coaches who excel in putting their respective teams and athletes in the best possible position to succeed, time and time again.

A-CAT-EMY Team of the Year, men and women:

This award is presented to the team that demonstrates the best overall performance in its season, stands out from the competition and earns the respect of both its peers and competitors.

Spotlight Athlete of the Year:

This award goes to the student-athletes who make a significant impact on their team and are a key component to the group’s success, despite not necessarily filling out the statistics.

Volunteer Award:

Goes to the team that has the greatest impact on their community, relative to their roster size.

WCU Staff and Faculty Member of the Year Award:

Two awards will be presented to WCU staff and faculty members who have gone above and beyond to help our student-athletes become the best they can be.

Iron Cat Award:

This honor, bestowed by WCU’s sports performance staff, goes to both male and female student-athletes who demonstrate ultimate strength in the weight room.

The Tik Tok Price:

As the name suggests, this relatively new award goes to the team that produced the best Tik-Tok content and is voted on by the student-athletes in the audience during the A-CAT-EMY Awards.

The Academic team of the year Price is given to the team with the best cumulative GPA.

Presented by Prospect Cullowhee, the Back to the cats Price is given to the WCU team that receives the highest number of points of the year by supporting their fellow student-athletes and advocating for the overall success of Catamount Athletics.

Prize winners 2023-2024:

Spotlight athlete – Female: Victoria Ladd, women’s golf / Male: Russell Jones Jr., men’s basketball

Iron cat – Female: Lauren Esselborn, athletics / Male: Jaquarius Guinn, football

Comeback athlete – Female: Sarah Engen, women’s football / Male: Calvin Jones, football

Volunteer Award – Men’s golf team

Mr. and Mrs – Mr.: Russell Jones Jr., men’s basketball / Mrs.: Kayleigh Baker, women’s golf

Personnel of the Year – Arman Jones, Athletis academic advisor

Faculty of the Year –Dr. Alex Macaulay, Faculty of Athletics Rep

Newcomer of the year – Female: Lily Bell / Male: Jace Butcher

Academic team of the year: Women’s Football – (Team GPA – 3,766)

Coach of the Year – Female: Chad Miller, women’s soccer / Male: Kerwin Bell, soccer

Team TikTok – Catamount Cheerleading

Team of the Year – Woman: women’s football / Man: football

Best win – Female: SoCon women’s soccer win over Samford / Male: Soccer win at UTC

Scientific athlete of the year: Female: Brie Mapano / Male: AJ Colombo

A-Cat-Emy Athlete of the Year – Female: Isabella Demarco, women’s soccer / Male: Vonterius Woolbright, men’s basketball

Back to the cats – Women’s tennis

WCU graduating seniors 2023-24:

Teddy Ayden – Athletics Paige McAra – Women’s Soccer

Nicole Azar – Women’s Basketball David Miles – Track & Field

Kayleigh Baker – Women’s Golf Gavin Mortenson – Baseball

Savannah Baldwin – Softball Drew Needham – Baseball

Clayton Bardall – Football Micah Nelson – Football

Lonasia Brewer – Women’s Basketball Erica O’Neal – Track and Field

Naomi Campbell – Women’s Soccer Magnus Pederson – Men’s Golf

Riley Center – Pickell Athletics – Baseball

Marissa Clontz – Cheer Eden Punch – Volleyball

Clay Cox – Baseball Eden Reece – Women’s Football

Derica Currie – Athletics Giovanni Ricciardi – Football

Andrew Edney – Athletics; Cross Country Malik Richardson – Football

Sarah Engen – Women’s Soccer Kyle Riesselmann – Baseball

Amber Featherson – Athletics Kamar Robertson – Men’s Basketball

Julia Gardon – Volleyball Clara Root – Athletics; Cross country

Colin Granger – Men’s Basketball. Mikayla Roseman – Women’s Soccer

Kyle Harbison – Baseball Sydney Runyan – Athletics; Cross country

Pablo Hernandez – Men’s Golf Ali Schreiber – Volleyball

Charles Lampten – Men’s Basketball Cade Snotherly – Football

Cole Jones – Baseball Jack Spyke – Baseball

Russell Jones Jr. – Men’s Basketball Nate Stocum – Baseball

Zach Ketterman – Baseball Jonathan Todd – Baseball

Ewa Kielar – Women’s Basketball Bailey Trumm – Women’s Basketball

Becca Kilpatrick – Cheer Mikayla Turner – Athletics

Nicholas Kiser – Athletics; Cross Country Dante Visconti – Baseball

Carson Lowder – Baseball Livi Weidmann – Volleyball

Gallery: (5-2-2024) Winners of the A-Cat-Emy Award 2024 and seniors