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The Memorial Hall stage for the 2012-13 Rammy Awards
The Memorial Hall stage for the 2012-13 Rammy Awards
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Tar Heels Celebrate At Rammy Awards
Release: 04/29/2013
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina's student-athletes, coaches, athletics staff and supporters celebrated the 2012-13 school year and the competition that was part of it on Monday evening at the inaugural Rammy Awards. The event, held at Memorial Hall on the UNC campus, recognized outstanding academic, athletic and community outreach performances and also highlighted the artistic talent of Carolina student-athletes.

"This year has been very successful for our teams - athletically, academically and in terms of the impact they've had on our community," UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham said. "This event gave us the opportunity to celebrate those successes."

The evening incorporated the awards formerly announced at the All-Sports Banquet and added new honorees in a variety of categories. The winners were announced in an awards-show-style program that included student presenters, videos, and performances by Benton Moss, a sophomore on the baseball team who played the piano and guitar; Marisa Dobbins, a senior on the track and field team, who sang; and Indi Cowie, a freshman on the women's soccer team who performed tricks with a soccer ball.

The award winners were:

Mildred McCaskill Award

The award recognizes senior student-athletes, one male and one female, who demonstrate excellence in athletics, scholarship and service to the community.

Recipients were Chris Munnelly (baseball) and Katie Nolan (swimming)

John Lotz Award

The award recognizes a student-athlete who best exemplifies the spirit of the late John Lotz, who served as UNC's Assistant Athletic Director of Campus and Community Relations and also was an assistant basketball coach for the Tar Heels. Winners have succeeded under adverse circumstances, overcoming difficulties while maintaining a positive attitude.

Recipients were Tierra Ruffin-Pratt (women's basketball), Gina Suarez-Malaguti (women's tennis) and Sylvester Williams (football)

ACC Senior Scholar Award

The award goes to one male and one female student-athlete from each ACC school who demonstrate the highest excellence in academics and athletics.

Recipients were Pete Mangum (football) and Jackie Rudolph (swimming)

ACC Top Six for Service Awards

The awards are presented to six student-athletes or teams at each ACC school who demonstrate dedication and commitment to community service and outreach programs.  

Recipients were Zoe Skinner (women's lacrosse), Breada Farrell (women's lacrosse) and Tristine Johnson (women's track and field), as well as three teams: men's lacrosse, rowing and gymnastics.

For the first time, Rammy Awards were given to student-athletes in several categories. Winners were:

Male Athlete of the Year: Jonathan Cooper, football

Female Athlete of the Year: Crystal Dunn, women's soccer

Outstanding Male Newcomer: Skye Bolt, baseball

Outstanding Female Newcomer: Hanna Gardner, soccer, and Whitney Kay, tennis

Outstanding Championship Performance: Kealia Ohai, women's soccer

Breakthrough Male Athlete: P.J. Hairston, basketball

Breakthrough Female Athlete: Gina Suarez-Malaguti

Best Upset: Women's Tennis, which won the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in February

Most Outstanding Team: Women's Soccer, the 2012 NCAA Champion

Best Play: Giovani Bernard, football, for his 74-yard punt return vs. NC State

Record-Breaking Performance: Scott Goodwin, men's soccer

The evening kicked off with the annual all-sports video, which includes highlights of all 28 varsity teams, and ended with the entire crowd, which numbered approximately 800 people, joining together to sing the UNC alma mater. Other highlights were a one-minute video contest, won by women's tennis, and several superlatives, on which student-athletes voted.

"This was a great evening for our student-athletes and a really special night for everyone who attended," Cunningham said. "We made some changes to our year-end event to give it more of an awards show feel, and I thought it went really well.  A special thanks to Benton Moss, Indi Cowie, and Marisa Dobbins for sharing their talents on stage tonight."

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