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April 26, 2010

Gamecock Gala Feature
2010 Gamecock Gala

Click media-icon-photogallery.gif HERE for a selection of photos from the event.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Athletics Department held its annual Gamecock Gala on Monday evening at Colonial Life Arena. The event honored the University’s student-athletes for their accomplishments during the 2009-10 campaign. Student-athletes, coaches, administrators and special guests attended the elegant event, which featured a red carpet entrance, a first class dinner and special awards ceremony.

Blakely Mattern from the women’s soccer team won the night’s most prestigious honor, The President’s Award, which was presented by University of South Carolina President Dr. Harris Pastides. Mattern will return to school following the conclusion of her rookie season competing for the Atlanta Beat of the Women’s Professional Soccer league and will graduate in December with a degree in international business and managerial sciences. A four-year starter for the Gamecocks, she played and started in a school-record 92 games. She was a team co-captain in 2008 and 2009 and was a three-time first-team All-SEC selection. She also earned first-team All-America honors as a senior and was named the SEC Tournament MVP, leading Carolina to the tournament title. She is a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, a five-time member of the President’s List and a two-time Dean’s List student at Carolina. She has taken part in youth soccer clinics in the Columbia area and has been active in community service through her involvement with “Team Gamecocks” during her career.

The newest award added to the Gamecock Gala circuit was The Garnet Award, which was presented by Gamecock Athletics Director Eric Hyman to Ms. Dodie Anderson. Anderson is an ardent Gamecock fan from Greer, S.C., whose generous philanthropic gifts have benefited included the South Carolina Department of Athletics, USC Upstate and a host of organizations in the Greenville area. Her generous gift was the genesis for the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center, which opened in early 2010. The $13 million dollar state-of-the art facility has been referred to as the “heart” of the athletics department and the place where the ebb and flow of student-athletes’ days are centered. She and her late husband Robert Anderson founded Anderson Hardwood Floors, which, before its sale, was the largest privately-owned hardwood floor manufacturer in the United States. A graduate of USC Upstate, her generosity has helped fund not only the center which bears her name, but the basketball arena on the USC Upstate campus and both the Gamecock men’s and women’s basketball teams.

A complete list of award recipients from the 2010 Gamecock Gala is below:

SEC McWhorter Scholarship: Patrick Rada, Blakely Mattern
SEC Brad E. Davis Outstanding Community Service Scholarship: Moe Brown, Benedicte Toumpsin
New Student-Athlete of the Year: Stephon Gilmore, Anya Morgina
Scholar Athlete of the Year: Kyle Enders, and Sarah Cline and Emily Bookwalter
Life Skills Team of the Year: The Women’s Basketball Team
Female Athlete of the Year: Blakely Mattern
Ernest Brooks Co-Male Athletes of the Year: George Bryan IV, Whit Merrifield
Gamecock Inspiration Award: Nathan Pepper
The Garnet Award: Ms. Dodie Anderson
The President’s Award: Blakely Mattern

Team MVPs:
Women’s Basketball: Valerie Nainima
Men’s Basketball: Devan Downey
Equestrian: Nicole Bourgeois
Football: Eric Norwood
Women’s Golf: Katie Burnett
Men’s Golf: Paul Woodbury
Women’s Soccer: Mollie Patton
Men’s Soccer: Tyler Ruthven
Softball: P.J. Fulmer
Women’s Swimming & Diving: Taryn Zack
Men’s Swimming & Diving: Michael Flach
Women’s Tennis: Miljana Jocic
Men’s Tennis: Pedro Campos
Indoor Track & Field: Lakya Brookins, Booker Nunley
Outdoor Track & Field: Janica Austin, Johnny Dutch
Volleyball: Sarah Cline