From a Rutgers record turnout for the Battle at the Birthplace to the sixth top-25 finish in 10 years for Scott Goodale, it was a year to remember for the wrestling team.
The R Awards became the latest spotlight in which Rutgers wrestling made an impact. The 2016-17 team of the year, individuals Ken Thoebod and Anthony Ashnault were stars of the night.
Theobold represents Rutgers as the male Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient. All-American Anthony Ashnault joins Theobold with honors as the Bauer Male Athlete of the Year and Junior Male Athlete of the Year.
“Kenny is proof that you don't always need to be the blue chip recruit,” Goodale said. “It's having a vision of what you are going to do, how to prepare, and how to live your life that really matters. Kenny has been an outstanding ambassador for our program and is the perfect example of what a student-athlete should strive to be during their collegiate career. I could not think of a better person for this prestigious award.”
The Rutgers wrestling team, and the entire athletic department, honored Sam Cali with a moment of silence at the beginning of the event. Cali wrestled for Rutgers and attended Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep before he passed away last year in a car accident.
Rutgers men's lacrosse and women's soccer brought proud moments to the school. Both received honors deserving of their accomplishments.
Brian Brecht's lacrosse team won Game of the Year after Saturday's overtime win over No. 3 Ohio State puts the team in position for an at-large NCAA bid. Kieran Mullins, who scored the winning goal, won Freshman Male Athlete of the Year.
In women's soccer, dominant scorer Madison Tiernan took home the Female Athlete of the Year. Tiernan scored 11 goals on her way to a professional career. Field Hockey's Alyssa Bull earned the Female Big Ten Medal of Honor.
Athletic director Pat Hobbs personally announced Medal of Honor awards for Theobold and Bull, including a thank-you message to the entire room.
“We wish we could watch every hour that you perform on the field,” Hobbs said. “That's what makes us excited about our jobs. … We talk about those chilling moments, those electric moments, you provide that every year so I want to say thank you.”