PAINESVILLE, Ohio—The Lake Erie College athletic department hosted its fourth Annual Tibbys Award Banquet at LaMalfa Party Center in Mentor, Ohio on April 9th.
The Tibbys represents an evening of celebration for the Lake Erie College Storm Athletic Department as they thank those who have supported them throughout the year and honor the great accomplishments of their student-athletes and staff.
The Tibbys are in honor of the Lake Erie College's long-standing campus canine mascot, Tiberius. Tiberius is the guardian of the College as shown with a statue in the center of Lake Erie's campus. Tiberius has been known to protect the students and staff over the history of Lake Erie College.
Director of Athletics Kelley Kish said, "What an amazing evening spent with over 450 of our sponsors, faculty, staff, family, friends and student-athletes! It was an honor to celebrate National Student Athlete Day with our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee driven event. The academic, community engagement and athletic achievements of the Storm over the past year deserve a night like this and thanks to our sponsors and staff, the Tibbys are a tremendous start to the last month of the semester."
Vice President of Student Affairs Billie Dunn began the evening by thanking the following sponsors:
PATRON LEVEL: BSN and Nike
TABLE SPONSOR LEVEL: Matrix Tool and Machine Inc., Precious Cargo, Zappitelli Financial Services
STORM SPONSOR LEVEL:LaMalfa
LEGEND SPONSOR LEVEL: Dr. Shana Miskovsky of University Hospitals
Vice President Dunn also awarded the following academic Tibbys:
The Storm Blast awards were given to the teams with the highest GPA. Blast stands for Blending Lake Erie Academics and Sport Together.
Storm Blast – Female (Highest Team GPA): Women's Cross Country
Storm Blast – Male (Highest Team GPA): Men's Lacrosse
Scholar Athlete of the Year - Female: Jordan Jernigan (Women's Soccer/Women's Lacrosse) (Major: Education)
Scholar Athlete of the Year - Male: Chad Bencina (Men's Soccer) (Major: Biology)
The next Tibby was presented by Kish as she honored the Athletic Employee of the Year, Head Wrestling Coach and Athletic Development Coordinator Kevin Hoogenboom.
The Faculty Member of the Year was awarded to Dr. Amanda Curtis. This award comes directly from Lake Erie student-athletes, from their nominations and the impact each faculty member has on them academically and beyond. Dr. Curtis will now be nominated for the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor of the Year award.
The remaining portion of the event was emceed by ESPN Radio 970 WFUN's Dave Miller and trophies were presented by Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) members from all 17 sports at Lake Erie College.
The Stormbacker of the Year award was awarded to the late alumna, Tracy Dickinson. Dickinson was a long time supporter of Storm athletics and the athletic office suite is named after Dickinson.
Team Community Service of the Year
The football team logged over 500 hours of community service all in an effort to engage the local community and build a relationship with those around us. The football team donated their time at the Rainbow Hospital, they have run a bone marrow registration drive, , and have put on the city of Painesville's Easter egg hunt.
Comeback Student-Athlete of the Year
Jesse Palser (Wrestling)
Palser improved from a 5-7 record in 2016-17 to a 25-16 record in 2017-18 record and becoming a National Qualifier for the 2018 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships. He placed third at Regionals and finished with four major decisions and three pins.
Most Improved Team of the Year
The men's basketball team completed a 12-win turnaround in the 2017-18 season. The Storm went from a 4-24 record to a 16-14 record this past season, along with an appearance in the Great Midwest Men's Basketball Tournament, a program first.
Female Newcomerof the Year
Kristin Peacock (Softball)
Peacock had a great freshman campaign in the 2017 season. She was second on the team with a .368 batting average, first with 13 doubles, third with 21 RBI and 49 hits. She was named to the All-GLIAC Second Team for her performance.
Male Newcomerof the Year
Thomas Covington (Football)
Covington made an impact on the Storm defense in his first season. In ten games, he made 75 total tackles, three forced fumbles and had one interception. His 75 tackles ranked first on the Storm and seventh in the G-MAC. He earned a spot on the All-GMAC Second Team.
Head Coach of the Year
Kyle Conley (Men's Basketball)
Conley was at the helm of the Storm for their 12-win turnaround during the 2017-18 season. In his second season, Conley led the Storm to a 16 win season, up from four wins the year before. The Storm upset the #2 seed, Walsh, in their first Great Midwest playoff appearance in program history.
Play of the Year
Erron James (Men's Basketball) Game Winning layup against Cedarville to clinch playoff berth.
James made the game-winning layup against Cedarville off of an assist from Gabe Kynard with two seconds left. The 65-63 victory over the Yellow Jackets clinched the Storm's first playoff appearance since joining Division II.
Win of the Year
Men's Basketball quarterfinal win over Walsh
The men's basketball team created some March Madness with an upset over the G-MAC's number two seed, Walsh in the quarterfinals of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. The Storm defeated the Cavaliers 76-67 in the first Division II playoff appearance in program history.
Female Student-Athlete of the Year
Nadia Lee (Track and Field)
Lee earned an All-American honor with an eighth place finish at the 2017 NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships in the long jump. She jumped 12.56 meters (41 feet, 2.5 inches). Lee also won the 2017 GLIAC Outdoor title in the triple jump with a school record jump of 12.40 meters (40 feet, 8 inches). Lee joined the event from Boston this year as she is attending law school, after graduating from Lake Erie in 2017.
Male Student-Athlete of the Year
Tyler Hughes (Wrestling)
Hughes finished the 2017-18 season with a 31-10 overall record. He qualified for the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships with a third place finish at regionals, his second consecutive appearance at Nationals. Of his 31 wins, he had five major decisions, five technical falls and seven pins.
Team of the Year
The men's basketball team completed a 12-win turnaround in the 2017-18 season. The Storm went from a 4-24 record to a 16-14 record this past season, along with an appearance in the Great Midwest Men's Basketball Tournament, a program first. In the tournament, the Storm advanced to the semifinals before bowing out. The Storm defeated the #2 seed Walsh in the quarterfinals 76-67.
The categories of Win of the Year, Play of the Year and Team of the Year were all decided by an online fan vote within the Lake Erie community.