Mount Olive, N.C.---As the fall athletic season is complete, Conference Carolinas has announced its fall sportsmanship award winners, as well as the standings for the 2016-17 Messick Sportsmanship Award and the Joby Hawn Cup.
The University of Mount Olive women's cross country team earned the fall sportsmanship award for women's cross country, while the athletic department as a whole sits first after the fall season. No Trojan squad received less than a seven rating in sportsmanship for the 2016 campaign. UMO tallied a total of 43 points, just 10 shy of the max of 53. Mount Olive holds a four-point advantage over Belmont Abbey College and an 11-point lead over Southern Wesleyan University.
The sportsmanship awards are presented annually to the member institution judged to have exhibited the highest degree of sportsmanship among its players, coaches, and fans during their regular playing season. A Conference Carolinas institution will be awarded for its overall commitment to providing a quality playing environment for home and visiting fans, players, and staff members.
"Conference Championships are great, but when our team is awarded by their peers for good sportsmanship, it shows these student-athletes are doing it the right way," said Men's and Women's Cross Country head coach Matt van Lierop.
Conference Carolinas athletics directors implemented the process by which Conference Carolinas sportsmanship awards are determined. A student-athlete and coach work together to judge the sportsmanship of all conference competitors. Each institution then submits those votes to the conference office, where averages are calculated to decide the winner for each conference-sponsored sport. There are 11 points possible in women's soccer, women's cross country, and women's volleyball and 10 points possible in men's soccer and men's cross country. The possible points are determined by the number of conference institutions who participate in each sport. The school with the overall best average, across all conference sports, will receive the Messick Sportsmanship award at the end of the academic year.
The Trojans are also positioned well in the overall Hawn Cup standings after the fall season. The Conference Carolinas Joby Hawn Cup rewards athletic success across all sports, awarding a trophy to the school that amasses the most points across the athletic year based on conference finish. UMO sits fourth overall, third in the men's standings and fifth in the women's standings, after a pair of conference championships by the men's and women's cross country teams and a Conference Carolinas tournament appearance by the men's soccer team helped pad the Trojans' point total. Mount Olive last won the overall Hawn Cup in 2013-14 but has captured the men's Hawn Cup each year since 2012-13.
Messick Award Release
Hawn Cup Standings
Hawn Cup Release