Plenty To Celebrate At 2016 Season Ending Banquet
Release: 01/20/2017
CHAPEL HILL - There were no shortage of things to celebrate over the weekend of Jan. 14-15 when the Carolina men's soccer team held its annual end-of-year banquet.

The program celebrated the past with over 50 alumni coming back to town to reminisce on the five and 15-year anniversaries of the 2001 and '11 national championship teams.

The program honored the present - the 2016 team - for their College Cup appearance this season in Houston. Carolina can earmark 2016 as another historic season in the illustrious history of Tar Heel men's soccer.

UNC won the ACC Coastal Division title for the second year in a row, marking the sixth regular season crown in the last eight seasons. The College Cup appearance was the seventh in team history, and the No 4 final ranking is the 8th top-10 finish in the last nine years.

The 2001, '11 and '16 teams joined together and were honored Saturday afternoon on center court of the Dean Smith Center during the men's basketball game versus Florida State.

In the classroom, Carolina was head and shoulders above all its competitors. Highlighted by Alex Comsia's Elite 90 award at the College Cup for the highest GPA among the final four teams, Nils Bruening, Comsia and David October all earned Academic All-America honors as well.

Additionally, 16 student-athletes had a grade-point-average above 3.0 and 10 were placed on the Dean's List.

The Tar Heels had more reasons to celebrate on Friday when both Colton Storm and Walker Hume, key figures in the run to the College Cup this past fall, were selected in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. Colton was drafted in the first round by Sporting KC, while Hume was grabbed by FC Dallas in the second round.

Also, Tar Heel legends Matt Hedges and Dax McCarty were among 32 players called upon by U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bruce Arena to participate in the annual January training camp.

And last but not least here are the award winners for the 2016 season.

Mercer Reynolds Tar Heel Award Winner: Nick Williams

Recognizes a Men's Soccer Player who exemplifies characteristics of what it means to be a Tar Heel student athlete on the field, in the classroom, has a positive presence in the community and is great overall representation of Tar Heel athletics.

Nicholas Douglass Potter Coaches Award Winner: Alex Comsia
Given to a Men's Soccer player who comes to practice and games every day seeking to get better. In addition to individual perseverance, this player is coachable, seeks to help others improve, and will perform any task that is asked of him to help better the UNC soccer program.

Tom Evins Jr Most Improved Player Award: Nico Melo
Goes to a returning student-athlete who displayed significant growth as a player and a person from the previous year.

Mike Thompson Most Valuable Player Award: Walker Hume
Given to the most valuable player as voted upon by his fellow teammates in honor of 1959 captain Mike Thompson.

Kirk Urso Heart Award: Colton Storm
The Kirk Urso Heart award is given to a student athlete that brings a daily competitive spirit to the team and demonstrates a relentless will to win.

Dr Beth Miller Service Award: Sammy Jermane
This award is given to someone who shows the same service and character of former Senior Athletic Director Beth Miller towards the Men's Soccer Program.

UNC North Carolina Men's Soccer

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