BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted the Third Annual Owlspys, which was held Monday night in the Carole and Barry Kaye Auditorium on FAU's Boca Raton Campus.
Student-athletes began arriving at 5 p.m. and were greeted with "red carpet" photo opportunities, interviews and season-ending congratulatory hugs. The event began at 6 p.m. with a performance by the FAU dance team, a welcome by FAU SAAC President Breanna Saukas (women's swimming), and like at all athletic events, the Owls honored America with Heather Walton (women's tennis) singing the national anthem.
The attendees were entertained with season highlights, a special music video performance and the coaches "caught on tape" as they tried to identify emojis.The Owlspys recognized the 2016-17 FAU student-athletes who raised the bar academically, challenged their competition and opened the hearts of the Boca Raton Community through nearly 4,000 hours of community service.
The "Student-Athlete of the Year" Award, which recognizes the top female and male performer among the 450 student-athletes, was bestowed to women's soccer's Erica Burt and baseball's Austin Langham. Burt left a huge mark as she continued to lead the program to new heights, including a run all the way to the 2017 Conference USA (C-USA) Tournament Championship match. For the second time in her two-year FAU career, she was named First Team All-C-USA, and the NSCAA selected her to the All-Central Region Second Team. She started all 22 matches at centerback and led the Owls with 1,970 minutes played, or 97 percent of the possible 2,038 minutes on the season. All told, she played every single minute of 18 matches, including the entirety of the last eight. Burt was an honoree on the 2016 C-USA All-Tournament Team and was also named a Second Team member of the C-USA InTouch Credit Union Women's Soccer All-Academic Team after posting a 3.26 cumulative GPA in computer engineering. Langham has been a force of consistency for the FAU baseball team these past two seasons, anchoring third base and providing a reliable bat for the Owls' offense. He has played in all but one game while committing just six errors overall and only one so far this season. After batting .320 in his first year with the squad, he has nearly hit that mark again, and has already exceeded his RBI total with almost half of the conference slate left to go. He has also increased his on-base percentage from .421, second on the team in 2016, to .448. Off the field, Langham is a team leader as well earning a 3.659 GPA in biological science to date.
The female "Athlete of the Year" honor was awarded to keeper Sydney Drinkwater. Drinkwater had the one of the most storied careers in goal in FAU women's soccer history, with multiple accolades following the 2017 season. She was named to the NSCAA All-Central Region First Team, chosen as C-USA Goalkeeper of the Year, and received All-C-USA First Team honors. This year, helping to lead the team to the C-USA Conference Tournament finals, she posted a program-record-tying 10 shutouts, and in just three seasons, broke the FAU all-time women's standard with 28 total clean sheets. Her shutout total led all of C-USA and ranked in the top 20 in the nation, and she ranked among league leaders in goals against average and save percentage as well. Following the year, Drinkwater also earned a spot on the Second Team for the C-USA InTouch Credit Union Women's Soccer All-Academic Team.
The male "Athlete of the Year" was awarded to two-time Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) Male Diver of the Year Ryan McIntire. After stunning the competition and leading the league in the 2016-17 season, McIntire received his second consecutive CCSA Male Diver of the Year Award. McIntire earned the title of Most Outstanding Male Diver of the CCSA Championship after defending his titles in the 1-meter and 3-meter and breaking both school records that he previously held with lifetime best scores. The graduate student also competed at the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships for the second year in a row. One of four team captains, McIntire was a five-time CCSA Diver of the Week as he captured four regular-season wins in the 1-meter and five in the 3-meter over the course of the year. He also was named to the FAU All-Academic Team for achieving a 3.0 grade point average or higher in Fall 2016.
The driving force behind the success seen at the academic, athletic and community levels can be attributed to the head coaches for each of FAU's 21 intercollegiate teams. The honorees for the 2016-17 Female and Male Coaches of the Year both saw their teams climb the national rankings. Capri Grotowski guided the FAU Beach Volleyball team to a No. 14 national ranking and a program-best 17-match win streak. The men's tennis team, led by Ricardo Gonzalez, tallied the third-most regular-season wins in the program's history, earned their highest C-USA seed ever and helped Andrei Morin-Kougoucheff break into the national rankings in singles play, becoming the first Owl to accomplish that feat in more than a decade.
Please see below for a complete list of all Owlspy award winners.
Complete List of Award Winners
Female All-Freshman Team: Liza Weisman (golf), Fayth Davis (softball), Mary O'Hara (soccer), Candace Lacour (beach volleyball), Kelsey Whitkay (swimming & diving), Laura Fabrizi (tennis), Mikaela Jonsson (track), Sigourney Kame (volleyball), Alexis Shannon (basketball), Elizabeth Mitchell (cheer) and Brooke Starauch (dance).
Male All-Freshman Team: Carlos Sanchis (soccer), Pedro Pages (baseball), Jailyn Ingram (basketball), Devin Singletary (football), Phillip Crouch (swimming & diving), Gabriel Carvajal (tennis), Lachlan Shiver, (cross country), and Sully Zagerman (golf)
Female Sportsmanship Award: Nathalie Rosado (volleyball)
Male Sportsmanship Award: Stephen Kerr (baseball)
Best Performance of the Year: Men's Basketball versus Ohio State, 79-77 victory
Student-Athlete Choice Award: Heather Smith (Student-Athlete Center for Academic Excellence)
Female Outstanding Academic Achievement Award: Bianca Biglione (tennis)
Male Outstanding Academic Achievement Award: Ignacio Jimenez-Ruiz (tennis)
Female Community Service Award: Breanna Saukas (swimming & diving)
Male Community Service Award: Greg Joseph (football)
Female OWLstanding Spirit Award: Ashlyn Katz (softball)
Male OWLstanding Spirit Award: Caleb Sibley (men's golf)
Female Athlete of the Year: Sydney Drinkwater (soccer)
Male Athlete of the Year: Ryan McIntire (swimming & diving)
Female Student-Athlete of the Year: Erica Burt (women's soccer)
Male Student-Athlete of the Year: Austin Langham (baseball)
Owl Cup: Men's Basketball