Greenville, S.C. – Men's soccer star Walker Zimmerman and women's soccer standout Stephanie DeVita were named Furman Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively, Monday evening at the school's ESPY style all-sports awards banquet held at Timmons Arena.
Zimmerman capped his Furman career by earning College Soccer News First Team All-America honors, Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Season accolades and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Second Team All-America honors after leading the Paladins to a 12-4-3 record this past season. The first team All-Southern Conference and NSCAA All-South Region choice tallied six goals and added three assists in just 17 matches as a sophomore after garnering SoCon Freshman of the Year honors and leading the Paladins to an NCAA Tournament berth the previous season.
Zimmerman was selected in the first round (No. 7 pick) of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft by FC Dallas after signing a Generation adidas contract with MLS. He is also a member of the United States U-20 Men's National Team.
Stephanie DeVita garnered SoCon Player of the Year and SoCon Freshman of the Year honors, as well as, being named first team All-SoCon and all-freshman this past fall, while tallying 19 goals and adding four assists during her rookie season. The Simpsonville, S.C., native, who was also named to the NSCAA All-Southeast Region second team, ranked fifth nationally in goals and 12th in total points while leading the country in scoring by a freshman. She led the Paladins to a 16-3-3 record and a trip to the SoCon championship match. Her seven match-winning goals were fourth best in the country.
Senior basketball standout Raegan Thompson was the recipient of Furman's Student-Athlete Achievement Award. Thompson was forced to retire in December due to an ankle condition, undergoing surgery in January of this year, but still finished her career ranked No. 1 in Furman history for three-pointers attempted (491) and No. 5 in three-pointers made (152). She was selected second team All-SoCon by the media in 2011-12 (her junior year) after pacing Furman in scoring (10.4 ppg), three-point shooting (32.3%) and steals (45), and ranking 12th in the SoCon in scoring and third in three-point field goals made (60x186). She connected on a three-pointer with 0:04 remaining to complete a 16-point comeback to beat UNCG (66-64) at Greensboro — a performance that garnered her SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week accolades.
Thompson is co-president of the Athletic Service Board and a leader within Young Life, and she has participated in multiple research projects in the Health Science Department. The Oak Ridge, Tenn., native has participated in community service projects with the Frazee Dream Center, Oakmont Nursing home, the Woodlands, and Special Olympics. She is also a member of Senior Order (a leadership organization for 15 senior women each year) and member of the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society, Phi Eta Sigma honor society, as well as Alpha Epsilon Delta (health professional honor society). She is a four-time SoCon Honor Roll member and is a health sciences major with a 3.67 GPA.
Women's cross country and track standout Emily Wirzba was the recipient of the Elizabeth Blackwell Academic Achievement Award. She is a double major in political science and philosophy with a 3.96 GPA.
The Dr. John M. Block Academic Achievement Award went to senior golfer Matt Brown. The Brookeville, Md., native sports a 3.89 GPA in economics.
Athletics Department Awards
Student-Athlete Achievement Award: Raegan Thompson, Women's Basketball
Male Athlete-of-the-Year: Walker Zimmerman, Men's Soccer
Edna Hartness Female Athlete-of-the-Year: Stephanie Devita, Women's Soccer
Elizabeth Blackwell Academic Achievement Award: Emily Wirzba, Women's Cross Country & Track
John M. Block Academic Achievement Award: Matt Brown, Men's Golf
Men's Basketball: Colin Reddick
Men's Tennis: Andrew Mellow
Men's Golf: Anthony Aloi
Men's Soccer: Coleton Henning
Men's Cross Country: Wilkerson Given
Men's Track and Field: Wilkerson Given
Football: Jerodis Williams
Women's Basketball: Teisha Griswold
Women's Tennis: Kelly Sullivan
Women's Golf: Laura Wearn
Women's Soccer: Alyssa Althoff
Women's Cross Country: Sinead Haughey
Women's Track and Field: Sinead Haughey
Softball: Lauren Collier
Volleyball: Natalie Braun
Golden Paladin Award: Women's Soccer (given for academic, athletic, community service and game attendance)
Furman ESPY Awards (voted on by student-athletes)
Unsung Hero: Zack Greenwell, Baseball
Comeback Player: Chandler Ambrester, Volleyball
Play of the Year: Stephanie DeVita, Women's Soccer - game-winning goal to beat Clemson 1-0
Male Rookie of the Year: Reese Hannon, Football
Female Rookie of the Year: Stephanie DeVita, Women's Soccer
Underdog Victory: Baseball tops No. 11 South Carolina
Record Breaking Performance: Stephanie DeVita, Women's Soccer (19 goals as Fr.)
Best Game: Men's Soccer vs. Clemson (3-2 overtime victory)
Best Team: Men's Soccer