One member of the Reinhardt College athletic staff and two former student-athletes were honored with awards at the Southern States Athletic Conference Annual Meetings, held on Tuesday and Wednesday on the campus of Southern Polytechnic State University.
Taz Kicklighter, Reinhardt's head athletic trainer, was named the 2008-09 SSAC Athletic Trainer of the Year in a vote of the conference's head trainers. Kicklighter has been serving the College's 200-plus student-athletes since August 1994 and became a full-time member of the athletic staff in July 2005. He earned his bachelor's degree in athletic training from Carson-Newman College in 1998 and received a master's in sports medicine from Georgia State University in 2004.
Jonathan Garcia, a member of the Eagles soccer team the past four seasons, was chosen as Reinhardt's male winner of the Musco Lighting Honor Student Athlete Award. Garcia, from Campinas, Brazil, was a four-year starter for the Eagles and garnered a spot on the SSAC All-Academic Team this past season. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with cum laude honors on May 2. While on campus, he served as a team captain of the men's soccer team, as an admissions telecounselor for better than three years, as a resident assistant for three years, as vice president of Reinhardt Athletes for Christ (RACE) for two years and as a youth soccer coach for two years.
Kathy Thornton, a four-time letterwinner in both volleyball and basketball for the Lady Eagles, was selected as Reinhardt's female recipient of the Musco Lighting Honor Student Athlete Award. Thornton, from Woodstock, Ga., was named to five SSAC All-Academic Teams (three in basketball and two in volleyball) during her time on campus and received all-conference recognition in volleyball all four seasons, including being a First Team All-SSAC performer in 2008 and 2007 and a second team honoree as a freshman and sophomore. A volleyball team captain the last two campaigns, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication with cum laude honors earlier this month.
Musco Lighting Honor Student Athlete Awards are presented to a male and female student-athlete from each of the conference's 12 member institutions. Criteria for the awards include a quality grade-point average, community service, on the field excellence, residence at that institution for two years and virtues of the NAIA's Champions of Character program.
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