The winners of Reinhardt College's 2008-09 Golden Eagle and Thelma Rogers Silver Eagle awards were recently announced by athletic director Bill Popp. The award recipients include two former male and two past female Reinhardt student-athletes. All four of the honorees were seniors in 2008-09 and graduated from the College in May.
Earning a Golden Eagle Award were men's soccer player Padraig McDonagh and two-sport student-athlete Kathy Thornton, who competed in both women's volleyball and basketball. Chosen for a Silver Eagle Award, named after a former Reinhardt athletic administrator and coach, were Jonathan Garcia, a member of the men's soccer team, and volleyball player Meagan Pedersen.
Golden Eagle awards are given annually to Reinhardt's top male and female student-athletes while the Silver Eagle awards are presented to a male and female student-athlete for his/her team spirit and loyalty to the College.
McDonagh, a forward, earned First Team All-Southern States Athletic Conference accolades for the second straight season in 2008. As a senior, he led the Eagles in goals (11), assists (eight), points (30), shots (62) and shots on goal (37). Once named the SSAC Player of the Week, McDonagh finished third in the conference in shots (3.44 per game), third in shots on goal (2.06 per game), fourth in points (1.67 per game), fifth in goals (0.61 per game) and tied for sixth in assists (0.44 per game). McDonagh, from Drogheda, Ireland, obtained his bachelor's degree in sport studies from Reinhardt.
Thornton excelled in a pair of sports for the Lady Eagles and was named as the female recipient of Reinhardt's SSAC Honor Student-Athlete Award. In volleyball as a middle blocker, she garnered First Team All-SSAC recognition in 2008 for the second consecutive year after leading her team in solo blocks (71), total blocks (107), blocks per game (0.77), points (544) and points per game (3.91) while playing in all 34 matches and 139 sets. Within the conference, Thornton ended third in kills (3.1 per game), tied for eighth in blocks and ninth in hitting percentage (.227). On the basketball court, she played forward and was a member of the SSAC Champions of Character Team after averaging 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds a contest in 22 games with five starts. Thornton was a part of the SSAC All-Academic Team for both volleyball and basketball. She is from Woodstock, Ga., and received her bachelor's degree in communication with cum laude honors.
A four-year starter in the midfield for the Eagles, Garcia served as a team captain last year. He was the male recipient of Reinhardt's SSAC Honor Student-Athlete Award, a member of the SSAC Champions of Character Team, and a part of the SSAC All-Academic Team. While on campus, Garcia was an admissions telecounselor and resident assistant for three years, and held the position of vice president of Reinhardt Athletes for Christ Everyday (RACE) for two years. He also served as a Reinhardt captain and coached youth soccer for a couple of years. Garcia, out of Campinas, Brazil, earned his bachelor's degree in business administration with cum laude honors.
Pedersen, a team captain and setter, was a Second Team All-SSAC performer in 2008 after pacing her squad in assists (1140), assists per game (8.2), digs (367) and digs per game (2.64) while seeing action in all 34 matches and 139 sets. She finished second in the conference in assists while being picked to the SSAC Champions of Character Team and the SSAC All-Academic Team. While at Reinhardt, Pedersen was a member of the Beta Beta Beta National Honor Society (biology) and RACE, and also took part in the Patricia A. Burris Walk Against Breast Cancer and in intramural sports. A Bryson City, N.C., native, Pedersen got her bachelor's degree in biology with cum laude honors from Reinhardt.
All four honorees will be recognized during halftime of a men's or women's basketball game during the 2009-10 season. Their names are also displayed on large plaques in the lobby of the James & Sis Brown Athletic Center on the Reinhardt campus.
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