Alabama A&M Athletics Story No. 4: Bulldogs Rack Up Unprecedented Honors

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – With the close of the most unique season in program history, the Alabama A&M Sports Information Office is counting down the Top-10 stories of the 2020-21 season throughout the summer. Today, we continue with the No. 4 story of the season – Bulldogs Rack Up Unprecedented Honors.
 
Make sure to check www.AAMUSports.com every Friday to catch the latest release.
 
Story No. 4: Bulldogs Rack Up Unprecedented Honors
The 2020-21 campaign, while among the most unusual and challenging in program history, also ranks among one of the most impressive seasons since the program moved to NCAA Division I at the turn of the century – and the boatload of honors earned by Bulldog student-athletes back that up.
 
WEEKLY
This year 14 of A&M’s 16 programs competed and 10 of those had the opportunity to earn Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) weekly honors – an each of those 10 programs did just that. Men’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis and bowling currently do not present weekly honors and women’s volleyball and women’s cross country did not compete.
 
A total of 18 individuals compiled 35 such honors, led by softball pitcher and designated player Esperanza Coe who collected five on her own (Player: Apr. 7, Apr. 23, Pitcher: Mar. 25, Apr. 1, Apr. 7). That was a performance matched by women’s basketball’s Dariauna Lewis who was SWAC Player of the Week four times (Dec. 2, Feb. 2, Feb. 9, Feb. 26) and the league’s Impact Player (Mar. 2) once.
 
Women’s outdoor track & field produced five honorees with Akia Slaughter earning Track Athlete of the Week four times (Mar. 30, Apr. 4, Apr. 27, May 4) and Danice Loney notching Field Athlete honors on March 30. Men’s track & field notched a sweep of the first indoor awards and then replicated the feat in outdoor on March 30. Women’s indoor posted a sweep on January 28 before Loney collected another field honor on February 5.
 
Continuing the theme of sweeps, women’s soccer would do just that with three awards on March 12 before Jodi Medina picked up Goalkeeper of the Week honors on March 31. Both men’s basketball (Garrett HicksJan. 26, Jalen JohnsonDec. 2, Dec. 22, Feb. 26) and football (Troy Lendvay – Specialist Mar. 8, Apr. 12, Aqeel Glass – Player, Apr. 12 Apr. 20, Spencer Corey – Specialist Apr. 20) would equal that mark and baseball’s Jose Figueroa would round things out with a Co-Pitcher of the Week award on March 25.
 
CONFERENCE
Those honors would lead to even more recognition when it came time for the SWAC to hand out All-Conference honors – or in the case of track & field, earn them in competition at the league meet.
 
Overall, 30 different Alabama A&M student-athletes would account for an impressive 40 All-SWAC honors from just eight sports. That group would be led by football with a program record 11 selections while women’s track & field would combine to earn 18 – seven in indoor (Day 1, Day 2) and 11 on the final day of the outdoor championships. Both indoor and outdoor would see Loney bring home championships in the pole vault as part of those all-conference marks.
 
Women’s soccer would add three with a rare first First-Team honoree and softball would be one of four teams with a pair of selections as Coe took home First-Team honors as both a pitcher and designated player. Women’s tennis, men’s basketball and women’s basketball each garnered two selections to round out an impressive league award season.
 
REGIONAL/NATIONAL/SPECIALTY
The accomplishments of Bulldog student-athletes also reached beyond the weekly and all-conference recognitions as they hauled in national and conference player of the year awards, national award finalists, tournament MVPs, coaching recognition and major academic awards.
 
To grasp the scope of just how impressive these accomplishments are, rather than link to the original releases, each of the awards A&M raked in are listed below to show the sheer amount of honors in 2020-21. For those wishing to read all the details of these honors, they can be found using the Archive Link on www.AAMUSports.com.
 
ALL-AMERICANS
Men’s Basketball (1)
Jalen Johnson, BOXTOROW Second-Team
 
Women’s Basketball (2)
Dariauna Lewis, BOXTOROW First-Team
Dariauna Lewis, Black College Sports Network First-Team
 
Football (12)
AFCA (1)
Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim, Second-Team
 
BOXTOROW – Postseason (6)
QB Aqeel Glass
OL Jonathan Williams
WR Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim
DL Marcus Cushine
RB Gary Quarles (Honorable Mention)
WR Zabrian Moore (Honorable Mention)
 
HERO Sports (1)
Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim (Sophomore)
 
BOXTOROW – Preseason (4)
Kendric Johnson
Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim
Marcus Cushine
Armoni Holloway
 
NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Women’s Basketball (1)
Dariauna Lewis, Black College Sports Network
 
Football (1)
Aqeel Glass, Black College Football Hall of Fame Player of the Year (First in Program History)
Aqeel Glass, BOXTOROW (First in Program History)
 
NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Football
Aqeel Glass, STATS Perform FCS (Apr. 12)
Aqeel Glass, BOXTOROW (Apr. 12)
 
Men’s Basketball
Jalen Johnson, Sports Madness (Dec. 21)
 
Women’s Basketball
Dariauna Lewis, BOXTOROW (Feb. 9)
 
SPECIALTY HONORS
Football
Aqeel Glass, SWAC Player of the Year (First in Program History)
Aqeel Glass, SWAC Championship MVP
Aqeel Glass, Walter Payton Finalist (Top Player)
Connell Maynor, Eddie Robinson Finalist (Top Coach)
Marcus Cushine, CoSIDA Academic All-District
Marcus Cushine, CoSIDA Academic All-America (Second-Team)
 
Women’s Basketball
Dariauna Lewis, CoSIDA Academic All-America (First in DI Era, Fourth All-Time, First in 29 years)
Dariauna Lewis, CoSIDA Academic All-District
 
Men’s Tennis
Natiphat Mulada, Tournament MVP
Fermin Ruiz Crespo, CoSIDA Academic All-District (First in Program History)
 
Softball
Esperanza Coe, Freshman of the Year (Second in Program History)
 
TALE OF THE TAPE
With one possible All-America honor still waiting to be decided (Ruiz Crespo and CoSIDA Academic All-America), Alabama A&M Athletics has compiled an incredible 108 honors during an unprecedented 2020-21 campaign, a performance that ranks No. 4 in this year’s countdown.
 
The Schedule
Every Friday throughout the Summer and leading up to the 2021-22 preseason, the SID Office will release the list one at a time beginning with the No. 10 story on June 4. The No. 1 story in Alabama A&M Athletics, as chosen by the Sports Information Office, will be released on Friday, August 6.
 
Countdown to the Top-10 Alabama A&M Athletics Stories from 2020-21
No. 1 – Coming August 6
No. 2 – Coming July 30
No. 3 – Coming July 23
No. 4 – Bulldogs Rack Up Unprecedented Honors (July 16)
No. 5 – Women’s Track & Field Brings Home Championships and Numerous Honors (July 9)
No. 6 – Women’s Basketball’s Dariauna Lewis Delivers Season For The Ages (July 2)
No. 7 – Men’s Tennis Earns First SWAC Championship and NCAA Tournament Berth (June 25)
No. 8 – Softball’s Coe Bursts Onto The Scene With Award Winning Season (June 18)
No. 9 – Women’s Soccer Produces Record-Setting Defensive Effort In Spring Campaign (June 11)
No. 10 – Baseball Delivers DI Era Record-Tying Seven-Game Win Streak (June 4)
Honorable Mention (June 2)
 

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