NEW ALBANY, Ind. – The Indiana University Southeast athletic department is proud to announce the honorees for the fifth-annual Champions Dinner.
IU Southeast student-athletes Demetrius Stanton (Men's Basketball), Hannah Barker (Volleyball) and Josh Beams (Baseball) will be recognized August 5 at Huber's Orchard and Winery's Plantation Hall. Grenadier alumni Bernie Merkel and Mark Reilly will also be honored as well as the 1998-99 members of the Grenadier women's basketball team.
Join IU Southeast Chancellor Dr. Ray Wallace, IU Southeast coaches, athletic alumni, and community leaders as we celebrate another great season for the IU Southeast athletic department.
The Champions Dinner is a celebration of IU Southeast Athletics, the positive impact it has on our community, and the people who help make it happen.
Jim Morris, the former IU Southeast men's basketball coach and first athletic director, will join us to present the Jim Morris Champion of Character Award for the fifth-straight year.
The Jim Morris Champion of Character Award is given to a student-athlete who exemplifies strong moral character, sportsmanship and the core values of the NAIA's Champion of Character Program.
For the third year in a row, the athletic department will also present the Grenadier Gratitude Award and the Distinguished Athletic Alumni Award. The Grenadier Gratitude Award honors those who have made significant contributions of time and resources to the University's athletic programs and the Distinguished Athletic Alumni Award recognizes a former student-athlete who has made significant professional and/or volunteer contributions to society and to their community.
Former Grenadier men's basketball player and women's basketball and volleyball assistant coach Bernie Merkel is this year's recipient of the Grenadier Gratitude Award. Former Jeffersonville tennis coach and IU Southeast alumnus Mark Reilly has been named the 2017 Distinguished Athletic Alumni honoree.
The evening begins with a private event for athletic alumni who are members of the Champions Club at 5 p.m. where the 1998-99 IU Southeast Women's Basketball team will be honored, followed by a reception for all guests at 6 p.m., and then dinner and the awards program at 7 p.m.
This year's award recipients are:
Demetrius Stanton – Male Athlete of the Year
Stanton, a junior guard from Louisville, Ky., was a NAIA All-American selection in 2016-17 and River States Conference First Team honoree. He helped lead the Grenadiers to the championship game of the River States Conference Men's Basketball Tournament. The Grenadiers advanced to the NAIA Men's Basketball National Tournament for the first time since 2014.
Stanton, a Fern Creek product, averaged 14.5.points, 4 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game this season. He played in all 31 games helping lead the Grenadiers to a 24-7 record and RSC regular season championship.
Hannah Barker – Female Athlete of the Year
Barker, a senior setter from Seymour, Ind., ranked second in the conference with 1,173 assists and 9.5 assists per set. For her efforts, Barker was named a RSC All-Conference First Team selection.
The Grenadiers finished with a 23-14 record and were 12-4 in conference play.
Barker ranks No. 5 in school history with 2,406 assists.
Josh Beams – Jim Morris Champion of Character
Beams, a redshirt junior from Louisville, Ky., is in his second year as one of the Grenadiers' two River States Conference Association of Student Athletes representatives. He is also a league representative at the national level. Earlier this year, Beams was elected President of the IU Southeast Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
He has been a great leader for the baseball program as well during his time on campus. Though he has battled through injury, he has been a positive force during the team's run of success of the last few seasons.
Bernie Merkel – Grenadier Gratitude Award
Merkel was a former men's basketball student-athlete and assistant coach at IU Southeast from 1992-2012. He graduated from IU Southeast in 1982.
As women's basketball assistant coach under Robin Farris, Merkel helped guide the Grenadiers to 12 regular season KIAC titles, six KIAC Tournament championships and seven NAIA Tournament appearances. The team won over 350 games during his time as an assistant.
He remains involved in the athletic programs as a volunteer on gamedays helping run the scoreboard and keep the official book during the volleyball and basketball seasons.
Mark Reilly – Distinguished Athletic Alumni
Mark Reilly earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in education from IU Southeast and began a 30-year teaching and coaching career at Jeffersonville High School in 1986. Reilly was the tennis coach at Jeffersonville where he earned 19 sectionals, 4 regionals and 1 semi-state championship with the boys' tennis team and 11 sectionals, 1 regional champions with the girls' tennis team.
During his collegiate tennis career at IU Southeast he was one of the first IU Southeast student-athletes to complete at the NAIA National Tournament for IU Southeast when he and doubles partner Danny Boesing competed in the 1981 NAIA Men's Tennis National Tournament.
Reilly also served in various roles for the Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association and spent time as an adjunct professor at IU Southeast.
1998-99 Women's Basketball Team:
The 1998-99 women's basketball team will be honored as the first Grenadier women's basketball squad to advance to the NAIA Women's Basketball National Tournament. IU Southeast finished the season 25-4 and 13-2 in conference play. The Grenadiers won the KIAC Tournament and were the Mid-South Region Champions.
1998-99 IU Southeast Women's Basketball Team:
The Champions Dinner will be held at Huber's Orchard and Winery's Plantation Hall located at 19816 Huber Road, Borden, IN 47106.
A limited number of tickets will be available to the public. Individual tickets cost $75. For $200, the purchaser would receive two tickets and be featured in the event program as a Friend of Grenadier Athletics. Tickets can be reserved online at www.ius.edu/champions
For questions about ticket sales or to purchase, please call (812) 941-2432 or send an e-mail to [email protected] - More info about the event can be found at www.ius.edu/champions.