The Game Awards 2017 Nominees Announced - CATEGORY Report today: TITLE


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee's finest student-athletes will be recognized Thursday during the seventh annual Raiders' Choice Awards. The hashtag for the show will be #2018RCA.


Held at the MTSU Tucker Theater, the awards show is set up like the ESPYs and recognizes the athletic and academic achievements of Blue Raider student-athletes during the 2017-18 school year. The stars of the show will enter via a blue carpet, and the public is welcome to attend with a limited number of free tickets available.


Awards handed out include three that are voted on by the fans: Play of the Year, Performance of the Year and Game/Event of the Year. Other categories are the Make a Difference Award, Male/Female Newcomer of the Year, Male/Female Breakout Performer of the Year, Male/Female Athlete of the Year, the Director's Cup, Academic Achievement Award, Highest Team GPA Award and the President's Award. Special recognition will also be given to All-Americans and conference champions.


Fans can vote on the Play of the Year, Performance of the Year and Game/Event of the Year awards at


The night kicks off at 6:00 p.m. A full list of past winners can be found on


Here are this year's nominees:


Make a Difference Award

Keith Bunch, athletic training

Rutherford County EMS


Female Newcomer of the Year

Zani Barnard – tennis

Anna Jones – women's basketball

Taylor Hammill – volleyball

Peyton DePriest – soccer

Julia Jelagat – cross country

Cecilia Francis – track and field

Amber Baldwin – softball

Caroline Caudill - golf


Male Newcomer of the Year

Reed Blankenship – football

Nick King – basketball

Isaac Odugbesan – track and field

LA Woodard – baseball

Tyler Johnson – golf

Chris Edge - tennis


Play of the Year

  • Antwain Johnson buzzer-beating banked 3-pointer against WKU going into halftime (March 1) stopped WKU's momentum while shifting it to the Blue Raiders
  • Nick King's fadeaway 3-pointer in the final four minutes to beat the shot clock and help the Blue Raiders down WKU on the road
  • Amber Hoot's overtime game winner against Evansville (Sep. 17)
  • Rebecca Reuter catches a three-quarter court pass at the top of the key and beats the first-quarter buzzer to give Lady Raiders a 22-14 lead and momentum on their way to the win at Vanderbilt (11/10/17)
  • Blake Benefield's go-ahead, two-run home run in the 12th inning to lead MT to the win at Tennessee. It was his second of two home runs in the game.
  • Precious Birdsong's single to shallow centerfield that scored Brooke McClure, the game winning run, from second base in extra innings of the rubber match game at WKU (March 18)
  • Precious Birdsong's inside the park grand slam in a 10-6 win over Presbyterian at the Osprey Classic (March 4)
  • On 3rd and 8 from the Syracuse 10-yard line with under 7 minutes to play, QB Brent Stockstill, playing with a broken sternum, connected with Shane Tucker for the eventual game-winning score to break a 23-23 tie and give the Blue Raiders yet another win over a Power 5 opponent.
  • Linebacker DJ Sanders picked up a fumble and raced 54 yards for a touchdown to give Middle Tennessee an early lead against Arkansas State and propel them to a win in the Camellia Bowl.
  • Tom Moonen's three-set win over Wisconsin to clinch a 4-3 victory over the Badgers, including a first set win in a tiebreak and a 7-5 score in the final set.

Game/Event of the Year

  • Middle Tennessee's football upset win at Syracuse, 30-23
  • Middle Tennessee football's Camellia Bowl win over Arkansas State
  • Men's Basketball home win over WKU to clinch C-USA Title
  • Women's Soccer overtime win at C-USA foe FIU
  • Men's Cross Country winning both the C-USA Championship and South Region. The South Region championship was the first in program history and earned the team its second straight trip to the NCAA Championships.
  • Women's basketball come-from-behind 62-57 win against Kentucky, marking just the fourth win ever against the SEC squad
  • Women's basketball season-opening 65-54 win at Vanderbilt after losing C-USA Preseason Player of the Year Alex Johnson five minutes into the game
  • Baseball's come-from-behind 4-3 win over No. 15-ranked Vanderbilt
  • Softball's come from behind 5-2 win in extra innings at WKU to win the series
  • Men's Golf wins the season opening tournament at Memphis as freshman Tyler Johnson birdies the last hole to give MT a 1-stroke victory
  • Men's Tennis defeated Wisconsin, 4-3, after dropping the first two points in the match. Three Blue Raiders won their singles matches in straight sets, and Tom Moonen clinched at the No. 2 spot in three sets.
  • Women's Tennis dropped the first three points in the match to Western Kentucky on March 25, but for the second time in the Charlie Ramsay era, the Blue Raiders came back from down 0-3 against WKU to earn a win, 4-3.  

Performance of the Year

  • Khalil Brooks notches eight tackles, including 5.0 TFLs, three sacks and a forced fumble in a win over FIU to earn Conference USA Player of the Week honors.. The 5.0 TFLs equaled the school record and the three sacks tied for the second most.
  • Nick King's 28 points and nine rebounds to help the Blue Raiders to a crucial road win at rival WKU to help MT re-claim a share of first place in Conference USA
  • Giddy Potts 25 points on six 3-pointers in 27-point NIT win over Vermont (March 13)
  • Peyton DePriest scores both Blue Raider goals, including an overtime game winner at FIU (Oct. 1)
  • Jacob Choge's run to claim first in the C-USA Cross Country Championships propelling the men's team to a team title.
  • Anna Jones pours in 30 points on 8-of-13 shooting from 3-point range to lead the Lady Raiders to the C-USA road win against UTEP. The eight 3-pointers were the second most ever by a Lady Raider freshman in a single game.
  • Drew Huff went 4-for-7, scoring three runs, driving in nine RBI, including a grand slam in the victory over Belmont. Huff was also a double short of the cycle. Not only did he break the school record for RBI in a game, but it also tied for second all-time in Conference USA, making him one of four in the league's history with nine RBI in a game. Drew went on to win hitter of the week in Conference USA with his performance.
  • Jenna Burris runs away with 2017 Conference USA individual title, finishing at 7-under par and six strokes ahead of second place
  • Cori Jennings throws the first no-hitter since 2010 in a 3-0 win over UT-Martin (Feb. 17).
  • Golfer Marcus Byrd had a 54-hole total of 10-under par 203 to place third at the Bearcat Invitational. It went down as the best three-round total of the season by the Blue Raiders and equaled the best in MT history.
  • Miguel Negre Fernandez won at the No. 4 singles spot over the No. 95-ranked singles player in the country, Tyler Schick of No. 22 Tulane, on March 2 at the Adams Tennis Complex.
  • Luisa Zirilli was the only Blue Raider to win over No. 41 FIU on April 6 at the Adams Tennis Complex, and she did so by being the first to finish in singles with a straight-set victory at No. 6 to tie the match at one point apiece at the time.

Female Breakout Performer

Lidia Burrows – tennis

Jess Louro – basketball

Dora Peonia – volleyball

Sam DeBien – soccer

Rachel Kigen – cross country

Janet Amponsah – track and field

Lexi Cushing - softball


Male Breakout Performer

Charvarius Ward – football

Antwain Johnson – basketball

Kigen Chemadi – cross country

Jacob Patten – track and field

Grant Williams – baseball

Tyler Johnson – golf

Gian Issa - tennis


Female Athlete of the Year

Kim Kermet – tennis

Alex Johnson – basketball

Dora Peonia – volleyball

Peyton DePriest – soccer

Agnes Abu – cross country

Abike Egbeniyi – track and field

Morgan Harris – softball

Hanley Long - golf


Male Athlete of the Year

Ty Lee – football

Nick King – basketball

Jacob Choge – cross country

Kigen Chemadi – track and field

Aaron Aucker – baseball

Tyler Johnson – golf

Gonzalo Morell Raschiatore - tennis


True Blue President's Award (Female)

Morgan Harris – softball

Abbey Sissom – basketball

Precious Birdsong – softball

Cameron Cox – soccer

Jenna Burris - golf


True Blue President's Award (Male)

Brent Stockstill - football

Ed Simpson – basketball

James Beckner – golf

Aaron Aucker – baseball

Gonzalo Morell Raschiatore - tennis, Forum discussion and sharing News from home and abroad. Starting from the ideological, political, economic, social and cultural.

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