The Hampton Roads Sports Commission (HRSC) hosted its Celebration of College Athletics Awards Dinner on April 8 to recognize and celebrate the local football and basketball programs of Christopher Newport University, College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University and Virginia Wesleyan College. ESPN radio announcer Nick Cattles served as emcee for the evening. Daryl Towe, former athlete, business owner and counselor, provided the keynote address and stressed that the athletes should “live a focused life.” Towe told the crowd to surround themselves with the right people and have faith in God.
During the dinner, the Hampton Roads Sports Commission Player of the Year Awards, presented by Nationwide Insurance, were awarded to the top offensive and defensive players within the region in college football, men’s college basketball and women’s college basketball.
Each football and basketball program nominated a student athlete for each category. A selection committee, consisting of local sports experts familiar with the school programs, selected the top offensive and defensive players from the nominees. The six winners are:
Offensive Player of the Year - Taylor Heinicke, Quarterback, ODU
Defensive Player of the Year - Jerome Couplin III, Free Safety, College of William & Mary
Offensive Player of the Year - Marcus Thornton, Guard, College of William & Mary
Defensive Player of the Year - Du'Vaughn Maxwell, Forward, Hampton University
Offensive Player of the Year - Shae Kelley, Forward, ODU
Defensive Player of the Year - Alyssa Bennett, Forward, Hampton University
Thanks to event sponsors: Nationwide Insurance (Players of the Year); City of Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (Gold); City of Newport News and Vandeventer Black LLP (Silver).