Monday, June 17, 2013

FOV Cavalier of the Year #7/#8

From Old Virginia celebrates its birthday in a unique way: by recognizing one of Virginia's student-athletes as the Cavalier of the Year. What are the criteria for the award? You decide; that's the beauty. I nominate the 12 athletes that I think have been the most outstanding during the latest season of UVA athletics, and provide a short summary of their accomplishments. You choose the winner in a poll that goes up after all 12 have had their moment in the spotlight. The full list of nominees is here.

Over the next few weeks, two athletes at a time will be profiled, and you'll hear about what they've accomplished while representing Mr. Jefferson's University this year. The athletes are presented in a totally random order so as to hopefully not imply any endorsement one way or another. Athletes from all fields are considered; the point is to emphasize that UVA is about excellence across the
entire department and doesn't shortchange its so-called non-revenue sports simply because they don't make headlines. The previous winners are Danny Hultzen (2009, 2011), Diego Restrepo (2010), and Mike Scott and Morgan Brian (2012); today's athlete's are Brittany Altomare and Steve Greer.

Brittany Altomare - Women's golf

Team accomplishments:

-- 3rd at ACC championships
-- 11th at NCAA East regional

Personal accomplishments:

-- Individual ACC champion
-- Unanimous ACC Women's Golfer of the Year
-- Unanimous VaSID player of the year
-- WGCA first-team all-American
-- Golfweek first-team all-American
-- 4th straight all-ACC selection
-- ACC women's golfer of the month for March
-- UVA school record for single-season and career stroke average

If you want a good candidate for your vote, how about UVA's greatest of all time in her sport?  Brittany Altomare finishes up her UVA golfing career this year with a long and distinguished array of firsts at UVA: first ACC Women's Golfer of the Year, first four-time all-American, first first-team all-American, and so on.  It's a shame the team didn't perform well enough to earn a berth at the NCAA championships, because she would almost certainly have been in the top 10 or 15, at least.

Don't need would'ves to give Altomare the credit she deserves, though.  It's a strong enough resume as it is.  In the spirit of honesty, UVA's women's golf program is barely 10 years old, so there's not a long history of prominent players to overcome when it comes to firsts; regardless, Altomare has enough accolades that she might've achieved all those firsts even in a fifty-year-old program.  She's as good as just about any college player in the nation, and with no argument the best in the conference.  A top contender for one more award.

Steve Greer - Football - Linebacker

Team accomplishments:

-- (silence)

Personal accomplishments:

-- First team all-ACC
-- Touchdown Club of Richmond LB of the Year
-- VaSID Defensive Player of the Year
-- Watch list for Lott, Lombardi, Nagurski trophies
-- Dudley Award finalist
-- Two-time ACC LB of the Week
-- Shrine Game selectee
-- Team captain
-- Finished career 6th all-time at UVA in tackles

I tend to think that a strong team performance makes for a stronger COY candidate, and you voters usually tend to agree, but these are two nominees today that might turn that wisdom around.  The football team put almost nothing of value in the win column this year, but Steve Greer wrapped up a tremendously productive career all the same.  One that was finally recognized by the ACC writers with a first-team selection, and well-deserved: not only did Greer finish his career 6th on UVA's all-time tackle list, but at the end of the regular season, no active ACC player had more career tackles than him, and only six other I-A players could say that they did.

And for the second consecutive year, he was named the state's top linebacker.  I know, I know, there's only one other I-A team in the state, and the I-AA guys aren't usually threats for an award like that, but Tech does pride themselves on their defense.  Greer went undrafted by the NFL but signed a contract with the Redskins, a function of the fact that he mainly used high-level smarts and understanding of the game to rack up all those tackles.  He came a long, long way from being a late, low-three-star tack-on to a largely ill-fated and underperforming 2008 recruiting class.

1 comment:

pezhoo said...

I'm not sure he'll get my vote yet, but Steve Greer was underappreciated during his time at UVa. I suspect in October I'll be saying how good Greer was, I didn't appreciate Pasztor until last year. Greer was more visible and I still missed him. Good luck in your next phase of life, Steve!