The Peach Belt Athletic Conference has named UNC Pembroke soccer player Brian Young as the Outstanding Male Student-Athlete of the Year for 2002-03. The award is presented annually to the graduating male and female seniors with the highest overall cumulative GPA from the league's 12 members.
Brian Young was a three-year starter on the UNC Pembroke men's soccer team and graduated this past spring with a 3.867 GPA. A team captain his senior season, he scored two goals, one a game-winner, with one assist from the midfield for the Braves.
He graduated summa cum laude with degrees in both mathematics and computer science and was named to the UNCP Chancellor's List for seven consecutive semesters and to the PBC Presidential Honor Roll four straight years.
Athletic Director Dan Kenney said the award is a great honor for Young and UNCP athletics.
"This is a great tribute for Brian Young, his family, UNCP and our coaches," Kenney said. "The mission statement of UNCP athletics is 'To Prepare Champions' and having a UNCP student athlete receive this honor is a testimony that goal is being fulfilled. I am proud of Brian's accomplishments and the support he received from Coach Mike Schaeffer and his coaching staff."
Veteran Soccer Coach Mike Schaeffer said he was happy for Young.
"He is most deserving of this award, having worked hard throughout his four years at UNCP to succeed both academically and athletically," Schaeffer said. "He is a great example of the true scholar-athlete, who made time for both school and sport, and even found time to find a wife!"
"He set a great standard for the rest of the team in the classroom, and we take great pride in the fact that 11 men's soccer players were named to the Peach Belt Conference honor roll," Coach Schaeffer said. "We wish Brian luck as he pursues his doctorate at University of Central Florida."
The 2002 recipient of the Braves Club Scholarship, Young was also honored as the 2003 SAAC Male Athlete of the Year for the University. A native of Fayetteville, Young recently wed UNCP volleyball player Jill Wilson. The newlyweds are relocating to Florida, where he will attend the University of Central Florida on a graduate fellowship and work towards his Ph.D. in computer science.
Young is the second UNCP student-athlete to receive the yearly PBC award, following cross-country standout Christene White in 1997.
The Outstanding Scholar-Athlete of the Year is presented annually to the male and female student-athlete with the highest GPA and is the highest academic honor the conference awards. The students must be a graduating senior and have played and studied at a PBC member institution for at least two academic years.
UNCP places 54 on Presidential Honor Roll
A record total of 54 of UNCP athletes were among 633 Peach Belt Conference students to earn the conference's Presidential Honor Roll. That was good enough for third place in the conference for the 2002-2003 academic year.
Topping the list for UNCP was a record 11 men's soccer players. The student-athletes had to maintain a 3.0 GPA for the year.
The University of North Florida led the way in the PBC with a record 112 student-athletes on the list. UNC Pembroke was third 58 honorees.
Following is the list of the 2002-03 Braves that were honored:
- Baseball: Andy Jewell, Matt Scott.
- Women's Basketball: Lindsay Bartholf, Katie Marsh, Rebecca Norris, Lauren Thigpen.
- Men's Cross Country: Phillip Harley, Jeff Moody, Shawn Sledge, Nate Woodward.
- Women's Cross Country: Naomi D'Amours, Katherine Madden, Kathy Oldham.
- Golf: Nathan Dobbins, Matt Drye, Lee Nejberger.
- Men's Soccer: Yousef Khader, Thomas Lindal, Graeme Little, Thomas Martin, Arthur Mellors, Trond Myrland, Rafael Parra Roman, Pete Peranzo, Dustin Shores, Brian Young, Michael Zindros.
- Women's Soccer: Amy Benson, Jacquelyn Bower, Barbara Jacobson, Erin Rowley, Simonae Taylor.
- Softball: Stacey Bumgarner, Dana Evans, Cassie Hinson, Khrystal Holder, Cassie Siege, Meredith Veglia.
- Men's Track: Michael Cremer.
- Women's Tennis: Naomi Ellis, Abi French, Andrea Vukcevic.
- Volleyball: Natalie Niesborella, Tina Talsma, Jill Wilson.
- Wrestling: Matthew Anglin, Jerome Benjamin, Kyle Devlin, Matt Dunn, Nicholas Frazier, Ramon Gonzalez, Jon Smith, Kevin Stambaugh, Josh Woodruff.