HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Coker College senior men’s soccer player James Sweeney was named the C.G. Timberlake Athlete of the Year for the second-straight year, highlighting the 2013 Athletics Awards Ceremony held Wednesday night in the Watson Theater. Dual-sport athlete Tom Sizeland (tennis, cross country) and softball’s Breanna Skipper were named male and female freshmen of the year, respectively.
“Last night’s award ceremony was a great celebration of Coker athletics,” vice president of athletics and facilities Lynn Griffin said. “We’ve been fortunate to have success on the playing field and in the classroom, and we are proud of all our student-athletes on their accomplishments this year.”
Sweeney, a four-year starter and two-time captain for the men’s soccer team, led the Cobras to an overall record of 49-19-9 in his career. He holds the school record in games started (74), shutouts (32) and goals-against average (0.787). During Sweeney’s career, Coker has won the conference regular-season and tournament titles twice and, in his junior year, the team earned a bid to the NCAA tournament and hosted the second round of regionals for the first time in school history.
Sweeney’s career individual postseason awards include: Daktronics All-American and two-time all-region selections, two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America's Scholar All-American Team selection, Capital One Academic All-American Team, three-time all-conference, two-time conference scholar-athlete of the year, conference defensive player of the year and a four-time conference presidential honor roll and Coker dean's list member. He has also won the C.G. Timberlake Coker College Athlete of the Year and Coker freshman of the year awards.
Off the field, Sweeney boasts a perfect 4.0 GPA as a mathematics and computer science double-major, and is a member of Coker's Enactus team. He was the recipient of Conference Carolinas’ highest individual award, the Murphy Osborne Award, which is given to the most outstanding conference student-athlete each academic year. Student-athletes are nominated based on academic, athletic, leadership and service and community excellence. He was Coker’s first recipient of this award since 1995, when softball player Liz Clack won it.
Sweeney is from Huntingtown, Md., and is the son of Franklin and Christine Sweeney.
Sizeland was the No. 2 runner for the cross country team, posting sub-30 minute 8K times in four meets. He is fifth all-time at Coker for an 8K race with a time of 26:52. In tennis, Sizeland played No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles for the Cobras, posting records of 15-6 in singles and a 15-8 in doubles. He helped Coker win its first-ever conference title and earn a No. 6 ranking in the Southeast region.
Sizeland is a biology major with a pre-medical concentration at Coker. Originally from Hamilton, New Zealand, Sizeland is the son of Peter and Wilma Sizeland.
Skipper played a vital role as a freshman for the Coker softball team. She played multiple positions, but her biggest contributions came on the mound. Skipper posted an 11-4 record with one save, a 2.14 ERA with 60 strikeouts over 104 2-3 innings. At the plate she had three doubles, a triple, seven RBIs and eight runs scored.
Skipper, a biology major, hails from Bennettsville, S.C. She is the daughter of Robert and Mary Skipper.
In addition to the athlete of the year and freshmen of the year, Coker handed out awards for team MVP and coaches’ pick. They are as follows: Men’s soccer: Niko Tirkkonen, MVP; Alan Cuevas, coaches’ pick. Women’s soccer: Kelley Godbout, MVP; Millie Rogers, coaches’ pick. Men’s cross country: Josh Peterson, MVP; Dylan Bates, coaches’ pick. Women’s cross country: Naomi Watson, MVP; Cristina Vital, coaches’ pick. Women’s volleyball: Brittany Bass, MVP; Taylor Willis, coaches’ pick. Men’s basketball: Julian Nelson, MVP; Marshall Cabbagestalk, coaches’ pick. Women’s basketball: Hailey Yohn, MVP; Patricia Sullivan, coaches’ pick. Men’s golf: Chris Fuga, MVP; Aaron Beebe, coaches’ pick. Women’s golf: Krista Thorpe, MVP; Mallory Thompkins, coaches’ pick. Softball: Lauren Phillips, MVP; Stacy Burr, coaches’ pick. Baseball: Zach Loraine, MVP; Frank Suarez, coaches’ pick. Men’s tennis: James Corfield, MVP; Andre Staab, coaches’ pick. Women’s tennis: Daniela Chipe, MVP; Rachel Solomon, coaches’ pick. Men’s lacrosse: Tom Elliott, MVP; Max Baltzer, coaches’ pick; Men’s volleyball: Cooper Lyon, MVP; Jared Geizer, coaches’ pick. Dance: Romeisha White, MVP; Tammaka Staley, coaches’ pick. Cheerleading: LaShawn Rembert, MVP; James Jacobs, coaches’ pick.
Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.