McNeill, Watkins Honored as ECSU Athletes of the Year
April Emory April 27, 2012
The Elizabeth City State University Athletic Department held its annual Sports Banquet
on Thursday night at the K.E. White Graduate Center.
The evening's top honorees were Shanice Watkins and DaRonte McNeill who were named
the Female and Male Athletes of the Year, respectively.
This past season, Shanice Watkins was an All-CIAA performer for the Lady Viking bowling
team. Watkins, who served as anchor for the Lady Vikings, finished the regular season
ranked third in the CIAA with a 179.10 average while leading ECSU to a league best
80-30 overall record. The Lady Vikings won the CIAA Northern Division for the 2011-2012
DaRonte McNeill was tabbed as ECSU Male Athlete of the Year after a record breaking
season as the starting tailback for the football team. This past season he was named
CIAA Offensive Player of the Year after finishing 2011 as the conference's regular
season rushing champion. By the close of his junior campaign he had eclipsed 1,000
yards for the second straight season, became ECSU's all-time leading rusher while
leading the CIAA in touchdowns, rushing touchdowns, yards rushing, scoring and scoring
touchdowns. With one more year of eligibility left, McNeill already owns 14 combined
ECSU and CIAA records. An All-American honoree for 2011, McNeill ranked 8th in the
nation in rushing and 3rd overall in scoring for the 2011 Northern Division champions.
For the second year in a row volleyball student- Regan Simpson received the Ralph
and Joyce Cole Award given to the student-athlete majoring in Education with the highest
GPA. Angelo Sharpless and Stephanie Harper were honored with the RL Vaughan Basketball
Awards given to the top basketball student-athletes while Baron Coffin was chosen
for the Thurlis and Brenda Little Award as the top football offensive lineman.
The Addie W. Griffin Academic Award went to Paneisha Eure of the Lady Viking Bowling
Team while Dewitt Dixon was honored with the Thomas L. Caldwell Award.
The evening's MVP's were Lee Person & Weston Dodson (Co-MVPs, Baseball), Oasis Ellison
(Softball), David Nobles (Golf), Samantha Craig & Tiffany Brown (Co-MVPs -Tennis),
Asia Long & Lyteshia High(Co-MVPs -Cheerleading), Shanice Watkins (Bowling), Stephanie
Harper (Women's Basketball), Angelo Sharpless (Men's Basketball), Regan Simpson (Volleyball),
Deon Rice (Men's X-Country), Whitney Gray (Women's X-Country), Brandon Smith (Football-Defensive),
Creven Powell (Football-Offensive) and Kevin Swain (Football-Special Teams).
The 2011-2012 Pepsi Award recipients were: Football- DaRonte McNeill, Men's X-Country-
Shawn Hammonds, Women's X-Country - Ashley Hughes, Volleyball- Oasis Ellison, Men's
Basketball- Quintin Spady, Women's Basketball- Jasmine Whitehurst, Bowling- Tashana
Raley, Cheerleading- Tonieka Lassiter, Tennis- Michelle Thomas, Softball- Kristen
Cochran, Golf- Brandon Hatcher, Baseball- Dustin Spruill.