MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Morrisville State College athletics department has selected senior student-athletes Jordan Anderson (West Edmeston, N.Y.) and Byron Evans (Cazenovia, N.Y.) as the female and male student-athletes of the year, announced at the senior banquet at the conclusion of the semester.
"When we recognize our outstanding senior female and male athletes each spring, usually each recipient has a unique quality that separates them from the other; whether it's natural talent, a specific attribute like leadership, sense for service, academic success or another quality," said Athletic Director Greg Carroll.
"This year's recipients share many of the same characteristics," he continued. "Jordan and Byron have been blessed with athletic skills in their respective sports, but those skills would have not truly blossomed had they not demonstrated unrelenting work ethic."
Anderson, the most decorated female student-athlete to play for the Mustangs, leaves Morrisville State with a slew of academic and athletic accolades to her backing, wearing the green and white jersey across two sports during her career.
The senior stood out on the basketball court where she directed the team for four seasons from the point guard position, and three straight appearances in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Championship Tournament, reaching the finals twice.
Across her four-year career, she started all 108 games for the Mustangs, played 3,811 minutes (an average of 35.3 mins/gm), scored 1,400 points, collected 421 rebounds, dished out 515 assists and registered 334 steals.
A NEAC Rookie of the Year honoree as a freshman, and two-time first team All-Conference selection, Anderson led the NCAA, Division III, in assists on the year in her final season, recording 203, setting one of a total seven all-time records for the Mustangs.
Anderson became the first Morrisville State women's basketball player to reach the 1,000 point milestone, doing so as a junior, while writing her name into the all-time record books at the top in six additional categories: having played the most games, scored the most two-point field goals, total field goals made, total free throws made, most assists and most steals.
Her efforts on the court also carried over to the lacrosse field where she played defense for the Mustangs and for three straight seasons, played an integral part in Morrisville State capturing not just their first, but two NEAC Titles and the programs first ever berth to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
Across her three year career as the captain of the defensive unit, Anderson started 48-of-51 total games, collected 143 ground balls, 63 draw controls, caused 130 turnovers and contributed offensively with 28 points on 20 goals and eight assists.
Her single season total 68 caused turnovers this past season set the new all-time single season record in the Mustang record books, while finishing third overall in the career records.
The two-time NEAC All-Conference first team selection at defense is the lone player in Mustang history to be named the Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons.
Anderson, who graduated from Unadilla Valley High, earned her bachelor's degree in human performance and health promotion from Morrisville State on May 6th. The following day she was named the NEAC Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Her athletic accomplishments came on the back of her dedication to being as equally competitive in the classroom and in the community, where she earned several academic accolades as well, including being a three-time NEAC Scholar-Athlete selection and eight time Dean's List honoree.
She is the daughter of Wendy and Steve Anderson of West Edmeston.
Evans has enjoyed one of the most storied men's cross country careers in the history of Morrisville State, being the lone men's runner to earn All-Conference honors four times.
Evans, a homeschooled student-athlete, competed for the first time as a freshman for the Mustangs in 2013, where he raced to a third team NEAC All-Conference selection.
The following season, he assisted the Mustangs to a third overall finish at the NEAC Championships, earning second team All-Conference accolades.
Evans' junior season became the breakout year for the Mustang, posting his first invitational victory while pacing Morrisville State as the lead runner. Come season end, the junior finished as the conference's runner-up, finishing second overall to earn first team All-Conference honors.
He also became the first in program history to earn NCAA MidEast All-Region accolades, finishing 25th overall in the field of 371 competitors. It was in that same meet that Evans shattered a 16-year old 8k Morrisville State record, finishing in 26:04.9, besting the record by 44 seconds to become the all-time leader.
Evans carried that success into his final season, where he became unstoppable and went on to add four additional invitational wins to his career, while becoming the first Morrisville State men's cross country runner in program history to walk away with the individual conference title.
The NEAC Runner of the Year and first team All-Conference honoree, outdistanced the 101 runner field by nearly 23 seconds to claim the top spot in November.
Over the course of his junior and senior seasons, Evans posted just two losses within conference competition.
His commitment to athletics also spoke volumes of his dedication to being successful in the classroom. Evans is a three-time NEAC Scholar-Athlete selection and seven time Dean's List recipient, was a 2015-16 USTFCCCA All-Academic Team selection, and was honored with the 2016-17 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Academic Excellence at commencement.
The Cazenovia, N.Y. native earned his degree in automotive management from Morrisville State on May 6th. He is the son of Merry and Jim Evans.
"In all the years I have been at Morrisville State, I don't know if we have seen any two athletes work harder than Jordan and Byron," Carroll said.
"That same diligence and persistence made each of them tremendous students, as well as outstanding citizens who will leave Morrisville and make a difference within the communities they choose to call home."
"During their careers, each of them made those around them not just better athletes, but more importantly, better people," Carroll stated.
"They will both be missed, but I can't thank them enough for their contributions to our college and to athletics."
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2016 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2016 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.