March 5, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Football Head Coach James Franklin and two former Commodore athletes at the top of their respective professional sports, pitcher David Price and golfer Brandt Snedeker, are among five candidates for the 2012 Middle Tennessee Sports Person of the Year Award to be announced Thursday at the 15th Annual Pepsi Celebration of Champions presented by Kroger.
Several other current and former Vanderbilt student-athletes are nominated for top amateur male and female awards, including running back Zac Stacy, hoop stars Christina Foggie and John Jenkins, golfer Lauren Stratton and lacrosse standout Ally Carey.
Franklin, Price and Snedeker are among five finalists for the Middle Tennessee Sports Person of the Year Award in a year of remarkable athletic achievement in the region. The list of sports accomplishments includes Franklin guiding the Commodores to their finest football season since World War I, Snedeker capturing the PGA Tour Fed Ex Cup, Price and Nashville’s R.A. Dickey sweeping Major League Baseball’s Cy Young Awards, Nashville tennis player Brian Baker advancing deep at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, Hendersonville golfer Steven Fox winning the U.S. Amateur Championships, and a collection of focused boys from Goodlettsville that walked away as national champions at the Little League World Series.
The Celebration of Champions is held at the Grand Ole Opry House in the Opryland complex off Briley Parkway. General admission tickets to the Celebration and a pre-event silent auction staged in the Opry House lobby will be available for $15 each at the door. The auction starts at 5:30 p.m., with the Celebration beginning at 7 p.m.
A complete list of Celebration of Champions’ nominees with Vanderbilt connections follows:
2012 Sports Person of the Year Award
James Franklin, Football
Franklin led Vanderbilt to a 9-4 record, and its most wins since 1915, along with back-to-back Bowl appearances. Franklin’s Commodores capped the season with a 38-24 victory over NC State in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, held in Nashville’s LP Field.
David Price, Baseball
The Murfreesboro native and former Vanderbilt All-American won 20 games and posted a 2.56 ERA, both stats that topped the American League, en route to winning the closest AL Cy Young Award vote in 43 years. Price also started for the AL in the Major League Baseball All-State Game.
Brandt Snedeker, Golf
A Nashville native and three-time All-American at Vanderbilt, Snedeker won the FedEx Cup by capturing the season-ending TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in Atlanta. He won the Farmers Insurance Open in January 2012. Snedeker also was a Team USA captain’s pick for the prestigious Ryder Cup.
Ed Temple Amateur Female Athletics Award
Ally Carey, Lacrosse
Carey was named a first-team All-American by the Intercollege Women's Lacrosse Coaches Assocaiation for the third straight year in 2012 after becoming Vanderbilt's all-time leader in draw controls and ground balls. Carey, who also ranks among Vanderbilt's career Top 10 in every major statistical category, earned a place on the U.S. women's national team's roster for the upcoming 2013 World Cup.
Christina Foggie, Basketball
As a sophomore, Foggie was named First Team All-SEC by writers and league coaches. She led the SEC in scoring and topped the league with a 42.1% 3-point shooting average.
Lauren Stratton, Golf
The 2012 Tennessee Amateur Player of the Year, Stratton became just the third women to capture the Tennessee Women's Amateur Championship and Tennessee Women's State Open in the same year. She also earned All-America honors for the Commodores during 2012.
Ed Temple Amateur Male Athletics Award
John Jenkins, Basketball
Jenkins topped all Division I players by making 3.8 3-pointers per game, and paced the SEC with a 19.9-pt. scoring average. He earned First Team All-SEC and Third Team All-America recognition.
Zac Stacy, Football
Stacy became the Commodores’ all-time leading rusher and the first Vanderbilt running back to produce back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. At the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Stacy rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown as the bowl’s MVP in helping Vanderbilt to the win.
Numerous Vanderbilt sporting highlights from 2012, from the gridiron accomplishments and men’s basketball SEC Tournament championship to individual moments enjoyed by Stratton and Snedeker, also are under consideration for Middle Tennessee’s Top 10 Moments.