NEW ORLEANS — Jodi Hill (women's volleyball) and Jarvis Thibodeaux (men's basketball) received Xavier University of Louisiana Medal of Honor awards Monday evening during an athletic department ceremony which honored all nine XU teams.
This was the debut of a revamped end-of-year event in which award winners competed with student-athletes from other XU sports. The Medal of Honor was presented to the senior female and male student-athlete who best define the qualities of scholarship, athletics, leadership and service.
Hill, from Prairieville, La., and a graduate of Dutchtown High School, is a two-time Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete. She was All-Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament as a junior and a senior. Hill was named best trial advocate at the IIT Chicago-Kent Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars program, and she was one of 20 nationwide to be selected as a James S. Kemper Foundation Scholar.
Thibodeaux, from Houston and a graduate of St. Pius X High School, was a starter the past two years. His 17 rebounds Dec. 3 at Loyola are the most in a game by a Gold Rush player in the last 12 seasons. Earlier this month at XU's Division of Business awards ceremony, Thibodeaux received Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities and the division's outstanding student-athlete award. Nearly half of this year's XU student-athletes are business majors.
Medal of Honor finalists were Emoni Harvey of women's basketball (Memphis, Tenn., and Briarcrest Christian School), Chelsea James of women's track and field (Gadsden, Ala./Gadsden City High School), Kevin Chaouat of men's tennis (Sarcelles, France/home-schooled), and Brent Kitto of men's track and cross country (Chalmette, La./Holy Cross High School).
• Male Athlete of the Year: Morris Wright, basketball (Zachary, La./Zachary High School and Baton Rouge Community College) . . . Finalists were Christopher August, track and cross country (Spring Texas/Klein Collins High School) and Thomas Setodji, tennis (Domont, France/home-schooled).
• Female Athlete of the Year: Whitney Gathright, basketball (New Orleans/John Curtis Christian School) . . . Finalists were Charlene Goreau, tennis (Toulouse, France/Raymond Naves School) and Claudia Haywood, volleyball (Memphis/Cordova High School).
• Female Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Franziska Pirkl, volleyball (Munich, Germany/Theodolinden Gymnasium) . . . Finalists were Taylor Reuther, volleyball (Metairie, La./St. Mary's Dominican High School) and Alesha Smith, basketball (Athens, Ga./Clarke Central High School).
• Male Junior Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Karan Salwan, tennis (New Delhi, India/ Modern School) . . . Finalists were Adam Albrecht, tennis (Ladna, Czech Republic/Gymnasium Breclav) and Langston Adams, track and field (Baton Rouge, La./Christian Life Academy).
• Female Junior Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Sha'Nel Bruins, tennis (Colfax, La./Grant High School) . . . Finalists were Terri Cunningham, track and field (Nashville, Tenn./Martin Luther King Magnet High School) and Brandi Nelson, tennis (Jonesboro, Ga./Faith Academy).
• Male Newcomer of the Year: Setodji . . . Finalists were Elex Carter, basketball (LaPlace, La./East St. John High School) and Keairez Coleman, track and field (Harrisville, Miss./Mendenhall High School).
• Female Newcomer of the Year: Goreau . . . Finalists were Kayla Quincy, track and field (Avondale, La./Xavier Preparatory High School) and Kiera Robinson, basketball (Arlington, Texas/Mansfield Summit High School).
Sister Grace Mary Flickinger, Xavier's longtime faculty representative to athletics, received a framed honorary letterwinner's award as thanks for her service to the department.
Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director
XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA