05/01/11 — MOC athletes honored with season-ending awards banquet

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MOC athletes honored with season-ending awards banquet

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on May 1, 2011 1:51 AM


Sports Information

MOUNT OLIVE -- Jasmine Whitby, Michael Knox, Aleks Mitrovic and Brittany Miller emerged the top award winners during a season-ending banquet, which was held to honor Mount Olive College's athletes in 17 sports.

But Ana Cooke stole the spotlight.

The senior softball player received a plaque for her nominations for the Honda Inspiration Award and the NCAA Inspiration Award. Cooke, a Wilson Beddingfield alum, underwent Tommy John surgery during her freshman season at JUCO power Pitt Community College.

She never stepped onto the field.

When Cooke transferred to MOC in 2009, she developed was eventually diagnosed as compartment syndrome, a disorder that attacks a body's nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Cooke spent two months in a wheelchair and doctors told her she'd never play college softball again.

Cooke never lost her passion for returning to the diamond.

One month and nine days ago, Cooke stepped inside the pitcher's circle and fired three hitless shutout innings against eventual Conference Carolinas champion Erskine (S.C.) College.

Cooke received a much-deserved and extended standing ovation from more than 400 people who attended the awards ceremony.

Whitby and Knox earned the Most Outstanding Female and Male Student-Athlete-of-the-Year awards, respectively. They were recoginized for their leadership, sportsmanship, athletics accomplishments and academic achievements.

Mitrovic and Miller collected the male and female Scholar Athlete-of-the-Year awards, respectively. A senior will graduate early, Mitrovic has compiled a 3.823 grade-point average and is majoring in mathematics. Miller has a 3.951 GPA in English communications, and was a finalist for this year's Murphy Osborne Award, the top individual award presented to an athlete in Conference Carolinas.

The winners were selected among 12 men's and 12 women's finalists, who were either a junior or senior in athletics eligibility.

Track and field student-athlete Joe Murphy won the Men's Sports Play-of-the-Year award for earning three All-Conference Carolinas awards and winning Men's Track Athlete of the Year. He inadvertently nicked a Mount Olive College faculty member with a discus at this year's Conference Carolinas Track and Field Championships.

Women's soccer student-athlete Sarah Porter won the Women's Sports Play-of-the-Year award for scoring five goals in a match against Converse (S.C.) College, which broke a 12-year-old school record. The scoring outburst tied the fourth-highest, single-match, goal-scoring total in NCAA II women's soccer history.