The York College athletic department celebrated the 2008-2009 academic year in style on Friday night with the annual Athletic Awards Ceremony.
Each of the Spartans' 20 varsity athletic teams, consisting of 440 student-athletes, was honored at the event after an outstanding year throughout all three seasons.
Cumulatively, the Green and White posted a 3.1 grade point average and placed 55 percent of the student-athletes on the school's honor roll.
York teams won a total of 340 contests during the season, eclipsing last year's mark of 325 victories. Those 340 triumphs resulted in a win percentage of .660, the third straight season over 65 percent.
A total of 85 Spartans were selected to their conference's all-star team, a significant upgrade from their 36 selections from the 2003-2004 campaign. Aside from the 85 all-conference performers, the Green and White had three athletes garner league Player-of-the-Year honors, six take home conference Rookie-of-the-Year accolades, and two coaches secure the league's Coach-of-the-Year award.
Women's basketball All-American Keli Ward (Nottingham, Pa./Oxford) garnered the Georgia Heathcote Stallman, presented to York's top senior women's student-athlete. Ward led the Spartan's to the 2009 NCAA Sweet 16 and a final record of 27-3. She was named the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Year, a WBCA/State Farm All-American, and a d3hoops.com All-American. For the year Ward led the conference in scoring, assists, steals, and assist-to-turnover ratio. The senior guard owns the school record for assists (640) while she is in the top-five in nine other statistical categories.
Fellow All-American and men's soccer defensive stalwart Evan Scheffey (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) captured the Daniel J. Klinedinst award, presented to York's top senior men's student-athlete. York's only four-year player who was also a three-year captain, Scheffey garned All-American honors in his sophomore, junior, and senior campaigns. He was a starting center back for the Green and White since the beginning of the 2006 season, helping the Spartans to an outstanding 60-3-6 over that time. This season, Scheffey guided the York side to a stellar 18-0-2 mark with York's defense only allowing three goals all season and posting 17 shutouts along the way.
The final presentation of the evening, the Jack Jaquet "Fighting Heart" award which is given to the York student-athlete who shows an uncommon will to battle through uncommon circumstances. Men's soccer standout Chris Ports (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll School) received this year's "Fighting Heart" honor after recovering from two ACL tears.
Ports, one of the best players in the history of the men's soccer program, tore the ligament the first time in the winter following his 2006 All-American season. After surgery and a full recovery, Ports tore the same ACL again in the 2007 season. Despite the rigors of surgery and rehabilitation for a second time, Ports once again fully recovered and came back to the Spartan lineup for the 2008 campaign. He again put on a masterful performance in the Spartan midfield en route to his second All-American honor.
The Spartans also handed out the DeMeester Scholar Athlete Awards, given to the male and female senior student-athletes who possess the highest grade point average. Wrestler Matt Volpe (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) garnered the male award while women's basketball guard Donna Figenshu (Kennett Square, Pa./Unionville) secured the honor for the women's side.
The Student Athlete Appreciation Award, given to honor a person within York's athletic department that goes above and beyond for the Spartan student-athletes, was awarded to Elwood "Woody" Fake. Woody has been associated with the Spartan baseball team for 22 years while he has also helped with York's basketball programs during his tenure.
Assistant Athletic Trainer Jennifer Robertson received the Athletic Director's Award for her exemplary professionalism and spectacular work ethic during the 2008-2009 school year.