Monday, September 25, 2023

MTSU athletics celebrates student-athletes at 12th annual RCAs


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Featured photo by Calvin White

Story by Calvin White

Murfreesboro, TN- Middle Tennessee State University’s Tucker Theatre hosted the 12th annual Raiders’ Choice Awards Thursday night. The award show highlights all the academic and athletic accomplishments of the MTSU student-athletes for the 2022-23 academic year. 

Courtney Whitson, Gretchen Mead and Jordan Ferguson all took home the True Blue President’s Award. The award is the highest honor given to a current Blue Raider student-athlete and is presented annually to one male and one female student-athlete. It recognizes academic and athletic accomplishments, community service and leadership. 

Whitson, who also won last year’s President’s Award, capped off her academic year by leading MTSU women’s basketball to one of its best seasons in program history while also finishing with a 3.5 GPA in English. Whitson averaged 10.1 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game. She shared co-honors with Mead who boasts a 3.5 GPA of her own with a major in special education. Mead leads MTSU softball with a 2.17 ERA and an 11-4 record in the circle. 

Ferguson holds a 3.0 GPA and was a first-team all-conference selection after finishing the year with a career-high 68 tackles and team highs in TFLs (17) and sacks (9). He holds a 3.0 GPA and was a national finalist for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, just the third player in school history to earn the honor. 

Women’s golf earned the honor for highest team GPA in the spring 2023 semester with a 3.89 and volleyball won the fall 2022 award with a team GPA of 3.65. 

Men’s tennis standout Stijn Slum was voted Male Athlete of the Year, while women’s track star Abigail Kwarteng won the Female Athlete of the Year. Slump is 16-6 in singles and 17-4 in doubles this season. Kwarteng earned first-team all-American honors in the high jump, was first-team all-conference and won the high jump championship at the 2022 C-USA Outdoor Meet. 

Elias King of men’s basketball and Kayla Henley of volleyball took home the Breakout Performer of the Year awards. King set career highs in almost every statistical category in 2022-23 and his 56 3-pointers led the team. Henley was voted second-team all-conference after ranking first in Conference USA in total digs and second in hitting percentage. 

The Male and Female Newcomer of the Year awards were awarded to Jeremiah Boyd of baseball and Savannah Wheeler of women’s basketball. Boyd leads the team with 12 home runs and 36 RBI, while Wheeler was voted all-conference and was among the league leaders in scoring, 3-point field goals, free-throw percentage and assists. 

Blue Raider fans voted on Play of the Year, Performance of the Year and Game/Event of the Year. The Play of the Year was Laura Mealer’s inside-the-park home run against FAU in softball. Chase Cunningham won the Performance of the Year award after throwing for a career-high 448 yards and five touchdowns in football’s senior night win against FAU. The Game/Event of the Year was football’s win at No. 25 Miami for the first victory over a ranked opponent in school history. 

Calvin White is the sports editor for MTSU Sidelines. If you have information for a story, you can contact him at

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