2017 PAWSCARS Annual event that celebrates the year in Memphis athletics

The 2017 PAWSCARS opened up with a LipSync Battle between assistant track and field coach Miles Smith, compliance manager Zaneta Ivy, and women's tennis head coach Hayden Perez.

Needless to say, after great performances by all, Coach Smith stole the show and was selected as the winner of the LipSync Battle.

Seventeen different countries are represented by the student-athletes at the University of Memphis. As part of the opening ceremonies, student-athletes brought out their respective flags.

Lizzie Woerner, a member of the women's soccer team, and Antaun Andrews, a member of the track and field team, were the student-athlete emcees for the PAWSCARS.

From dance skits to jokes, Lizzie and Antaun played a crucial role in the success of the evening.

Fifteen student-athletes or teams won awards at the PAWSCARS.

Taylor Williams was presented the Elma Roane Award (Female Student-Athlete of the Year).

Created in 1978, the Elma Roane Award was named after the former women's athletics director at the University of Memphis. Roane was affiliated with the University as a student-athlete, coach and professor for 45 years. During her career, Roane shaped generations of young women's lives, and countless young leaders were influenced by her depth of character, determination against great odds and abiding belief in the power of education to change lives.

Jake Elliott was presented the Zach Curlin Award (Male Student-Athlete of the Year). Elliott was unable to be in attendance as he was with his family back in Illinois preparing for the 2017 NFL Draft.

The Zach Curlin Award, created in 2011, is presented annually to the male student-athlete that possesses Curlin's drive, enthusiasm and determination to academics and athletics while maintaining a concern for others. Curlin joined the Memphis coaching staff in 1924 and, during his career, served in several capacities: head football coach, head basketball coach, head baseball coach, athletics director and head of the physical education and intramurals departments.

The Cheer Team, who won the 2016-17 UCA National Championship/small coed-Division 1A, won the Best Win Award.

Tony Pollard of football won the Best Break-Through Student-Athlete Award.

Jessica Lisi of women's soccer won the Best Female True Freshman award.

Alec Trela of baseball won the Best Male True Freshman Award.

Sessen Stevens of women's soccer won the Citizenship Award.

Antaun Andrews was the winner of the Motivational Award.

Anthony Miller of football won the Best Record-Breaking Performance Award.

Rifle's Amy Fister won the Best Female Individual Performance Award.

Ryan Peniston of men's tennis was the winner of the Best Male Individual Performance Award.

Jake Leeker, the men's soccer starting goalkeeper, won the Top Defensive Student-Athlete Award.

Valerie Sanderson of women's soccer won the Top Offensive Student-Athlete Award.

Women's golfer Leighann Cabush was the winner of the All-Around Female Tiger Award.

Aaron Persinger of track and field was the All-Around Male Tiger Award winner.

All won't soon forget the incredible dancing skills of Dr. Bob Baker, Director of Athletic Services, who joined track and field's Christopher Walker on stage mid-event.

Men's tennis player Chris Patzanovsky showed off his magic skills on softball player Calli Irvin during the event as well.

Many thanks go out to everyone in the Athletic Department who helped make this night a success for our student-athletes. Congrats, Tigers, for all of your successes this season!


Matthew Smith

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