BUCKHANNON – Men's basketball player Tanner McGrew and women's soccer player Rachel Ritchey were named the 2016 West Virginia Wesleyan Culpepper Senior Athletes of the Year at the Bobcat Senior Student-Athlete Banquet held Tuesday evening in the Social Hall.
The Culpepper Award is voted on by the College's 13 head coaches and members of the Wesleyan athletic department based on overall athletic excellence on the playing field and representing the college in a positive manner.
McGrew was a 6-6 forward from Buckhannon, W. Va. on Gary Nottingham's basketball team this past season.
McGrew led the nation in the NCAA Division II ranks in rebounding with 12.4 rebounds per contest.
He was first in the MEC in double-doubles and was tied for second in the nation with 19 double-doubles.
He was fourth in the Mountain East Conference in scoring with 22.4 points per game.
His best performance this season was a 46-point, 18-rebound effort against Shepherd.
The post-season honors rolled in for McGrew as he was named to the MEC All-First Team, the All-Atlantic Region Second Team, the CoSIDA NCAA Division II Academic All-American Third Team and the D2Bulletin.com All-America Honorable Mention Team.
Last season as a junior, he was in the top five nationally in rebounding and led the MEC in rebounding.
He was also named to the All-MEC First Team as he led the conference in double-doubles with 16.
"Being able to look back at how far my career has come is amazing," remarked McGrew who came to Wesleyan as a walk-on. "As I sat and listened to Rachel's list of accomplishments tonight when she won was so unbelievably impressive just because she has been on top of the game from the start.
"But for me, it was a gradual growth that I worked hard for. Although I wish I could've been able to perform at the top all throughout my time here, seeing the difference for me gives me hope that I can continue that growth and be even better in four more years."
Ritchey was a 5-5 defender from Pittsburgh, Pa. on Patrick Holguin's women's soccer team.
She scored three goals and had two assists and was the leader of the Bobcat defense that posted 18 shutouts in 21 games.
Ritchey put together quite the accomplished senior season.
Within the MEC, she was named Defensive Player of the Week on two different occasions, the Defensive Player of the Year, the First All-Conference Team and to the All-Tournament Team.
She was also named to the Atlantic Region and D2CCA All-Region First Teams.
Nationally, she was named an All-American by D2CCA and the NNSCCA and was named a Scholar All-American by the NSCCA.
Hero Sports named Ritchey as their Division II Women's Soccer National Defensive Player of the Year.
Ritchey helped the Lady Bobcats to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.
As a junior, she was MEC All-First Team, MEC Defensive Player of the Year and named to the MEC All-Tournament team as well as being named First Team All-Atlantic Region and Daktronics All-Atlantic Regional First Team.
She was Wesleyan's Sam Ross Scholar Athlete of the Year and helped the Lady Bobcats to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16.
It's so humbling to receive an award that reflects on everything I've accomplished over my athletic career at Wesleyan," remarked Ritchey. "What a powerful reminder of all the work I've put in through the ups and downs. I never stopped reaching higher and I'm so thankful athletics has helped shaped into person I am now."
Ritchey also thanked Marvin Culpepper for his support of the Senior Award.
"As we all know, Marvin Culpepper is a huge part of the Wesleyan family, and athletics are very close to his heart," said Ritchey. "I met him as a freshmen and he's been rooting for me every step of my athletic career. It means a lot to be recognized for what I've accomplished and even more to be honored by someone who's always been in my corner!"
Photo ID: Rachel Ritchey, Marvin Culpepper, President Pamela Balch, Athletic Director Randy Tenney and Tanner McGrew.