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Rebels dole out honors at RCA

The Ole Miss athletic department celebrated the accomplishments of its student athletes at the 2016 Rebels’ Choice Awards held at The Pavilion at Ole Miss on Monday night. Women’s soccer and football were the big winners as each team took home multiple awards.

The semi-formal event took place at The Pavilion at Ole Miss and was hosted by Richard Cross and for the first time featured football’s Derrick Jones as a co-host and DJ Babi Mac provided music for the event. The event also featured a red carpet for student-athletes and Ole Miss athletic department staff prior to the start of the awards show.

The sixth annual awards show featured 18 awards and debuted a new award this year, the We Are Ole Miss Award, which honors an unsung staff member for their dedication to Ole Miss student athletes. Dennis “Super D” Nelson from the Grill at 1810 was the inaugural winner of the award.

On the women’s side, the soccer team took home lots of hardware coming off their first appearance in the Sweet 16. The Rebels won women’s Team of the Year and Play of the Year, while head coach Matt Mott was named Coach of the Year and freshman CeCe Kizer earned Rookie of the Year.

Fresh off a win in the 2016 Sugar Bowl, the Rebel football team hauled in three awards led by Game of the Year for back-to-back wins over Alabama while head coach Hugh Freeze won male Coach of the Year and Quincy Adeboyejo’s “Tip Six” against Alabama shared Play of the Year.

Most Valuable Rebels
Taking home Most Valuable Rebel were Raven Saunders from women’s track and field and Stefan Moody from men’s basketball. In her first season at Ole Miss, Saunders’ broke the all-time collegiate shot put record with a toss of 19.23m/63-1.25 – the furthest ever by an NCAA woman indoor or outdoor. She was also the SEC Champion in the indoor shot put, which earned her Second team All-American honors.

Moody, always a fan favorite, was a two-time All-SEC honoree and claimed the Howell Trophy – give to the top men’s basketball player in the state of Mississippi – for the second consecutive season while leading the SEC in scoring with 23.6 ppg, which also ranked fifth in the country.

Football’s Tayler Polk claimed the Bennie Abram award – awarded in the spirit of Ole Miss football walk-on Bennie Abram, who tragically passed away during an off-season workout.

The Rebels’ Choice Awards were also a time to celebrate the academic achievements of the Rebels.  Men’s golf’s Forrest Gamble and Danielle Gray from women’s soccer took home Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors while women’s soccer and men’s golf took home the Chancellor’s Cup with combined team grade point averages of 3.61 and 3.42, respectively.