PROSPERITY, S.C. - The Newberry College men's and women's golf team celebrated another outstanding season with their annual awards banquet at the Mid-Carolina Club last week.
Friends and family members of both the men's and women's team members gathered for a dessert dinner to recognize the achievements of Newberry College golf during the 2008-09 season.
Lauren Ressler, head coach of the women's team, handed out three individual awards to her team, which finished fifth in the 2009 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Championships. Caroline Larsson was presented with the Most Inspirational award, while Sarah Grigor was give the Most Improved award.
Mario Besio was named the team's Most Valuable Player. Besio had a spectacular freshman season, in which she fell one stroke short of Newberry's first-ever appearance in the NCAA National Tournament. She tied for sixth individually at the South Regional after placing in sixth at the SAC tournament. She was named the South Atlantic Conference Women's Golfer of the Year as well as the Freshman of the Year. She was a first team all-SAC member.
Brian McCants, head coach of the men's team and two-time South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year, presented the awards to his team, which won the South Atlantic Conference Championship for the second season in a row. The team went on to finish 18th at the South/Southeast Super Regional.
The Daniel Lee Award for most birdies was presented to Matthew Campbell, who was also named the South Atlantic Conference Freshman of the Year, as well as the team's top freshman. Brandon Burnside was presented with the Bob James Award for most improvement, while Stephen Holmes was presented with the Michael Edwards Award as the most dedicated team member. Both Burnside and Holmes were repeat winners of their awards.
Daniel Stanley won two awards, as he was named the team's Most Valuable Player and received the Hunter Mengel Award for the team's lowest stroke average. Stanley won the MVP award for the second straight year after sharing it with Ben Lown last season.
Great things appear to be on the horizon for both the men's and women's teams in 2009-10, as all of the award winners and regional participants are slated to return next year. The women's team finished in the top 25 in the national coaches' poll this year for the first time ever, while the men qualified for the regional tournament for the third time in the last four years.