Swords Awards 2021

ORLANDO – The UCF student-athletes continued their tradition of celebrating another successful academic and athletic campaign with the annual Swords Awards banquet.
For the second-straight year, the UCF Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Student-Athlete Welfare and Development office took to social media to announce the nominees and winners for the 2021 edition of the Swords Awards.
The day began with by celebrating rowing's Julie Poulsen, who was named to the Order of Pegasus. The highest honor a UCF student can receive. Order of Pegasus recognizes exemplary performance by graduate and undergraduate students in the areas of academic achievement, outstanding university involvement, leadership and community service. 
The cross country squad posted the highest overall GPA at 3.74 while men's tennis earned the highest GPA of all the men's programs with a 3.45.
Named after Dr. John C. Hitt, who served as UCF's president for 26 years, the Scholar-Athlete of the Year recognizes a graduating student-athlete who exemplifies outstanding scholarly achievement through excellence in academics, leadership, participation, and performance. Julie Poulsen (rowing) and Yannik Oettl (men's soccer) were awarded the honor this year.
The day continued with the Dr. Bill Callarman Perseverance Award, which is named after UCF's former NCAA Faculty Representative. The award recognizes a graduating student-athlete whose determination and perseverance in overcoming obstacles academically, athletically, or even personally, is a testament to their tremendous character. Softball's Alea White and football's Jacob Harris were honored as the 2021 recipients.

The Dr. Richard Lapchick Servant Leader Award, which measures both athletic and academic achievements, along with community service, was presented to Tatum Cox (rowing) and Greg McCrae (football). 

The Shareholder's Society Donor of the Year was awarded to Jerry and Susan Roth.
The Swords Awards saw the addition of two awards in 2021, beginning with the Coach of the Year. After leading his squad to back-to-back American Athletic Conference titles and Sweet 16 runs in the NCAA Tournament, Bryan Koniecko was named the inaugural Swords Awards Coach of the Year.
The Newcomer of the Year is awarded to a true or redshirt freshman making significant contributions to the team by demonstrating outstanding work ethic and high performance in the classroom and field of play. The 2021 recipients were Charlotte Wiley (rowing) and Lucca Dourado (men's soccer).
The Iron Knight award, which is awarded to a female and male student-athlete who leads by example, gives maximum effort, and is a top performer in the weight room, went to softball's Shannon Doherty and baseball's Jordan Rathbone.
Awarded to the student-athlete who is the true embodiment of a team player, as exemplified by the contribution and inspiration provided to the team, the 2021 Heart of the Knight honors were awarded to Diamond Battles (women's basketball) and Greg McCrae (football).
Athlete of the Year is awarded to the student-athlete making the greatest contribution to the team in excellence, leadership, participation and performance. The 2021 recipients were track and field's Rayniah Jones and Gabriel Decamps of men's tennis.
The Swords Awards introduced the Noble Knight Award in 2021, which recognizes student-athletes who have excelled in the classroom, in the field of play and in the community. The inaugural recipients were softball's Hayley Bejarano and football's Samuel Jackson.
The day concluded with the Moment of the Year, which was voted on by UCF student-athletes. Rayniah Jones' silver medal finish at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship was the top vote-getter.

The following is a comprehensive look at Friday's award winners: 

Highest Team GPA 
Cross Country
Men's Tennis

Dr. John C. Hitt Scholar-Athlete of the Year 
Female: Julie Poulsen, Rowing
Male: Yannik Oettl, Men's Soccer

Dr. Bill Callarman Perseverance Award 
Female: Alea White, Softball
Male: Jacob Harris, Football

Dr. Richard Lapchick Servant Leader Award 
Female: Tatum Cox, Rowing
Male: Greg McCrae, Football

Shareholder's Society Donor of the Year
Jerry and Susan Roth
Coach of the Year
Bryan Koniecko, Men's Tennis
Newcomer of the Year
Female: Charlotte Wiley
Male: Lucca Dourado

Iron Knight Award 
Female: Shannon Doherty, Softball
Male: Jordan Rathbone, Baseball

Heart of the Knight 
Female: Diamond Battles, Women's Basketball
Male: Greg McCrae, Football

Athlete of the Year
Female: Rayniah Jones
Male: Gabriel Decamps
Noble Knight Award
Female: Hayley Bejarano
Male: Samuel Jackson
Moment of the Year
Rayniah Jones' Silver Medal Finish at 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship