TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State student-athletes gathered on Wednesday for the 25th Annual Golden Nole Awards banquet, which is hosted by the Student Athlete Advisory Council (S.A.A.C.). The event honors the contributions made in the community and also recognizes those student-athletes that go above and beyond to display leadership on and off the field while striving to live unconquered.
“Tonight was an amazing event,” Director of Student-Athlete Develop and Events Sarah Petronio said. “This is one of a few times a year where we can get together as a department and embody that FSU family culture. It was exciting to see all of our teams celebrate their service and I am very proud of all of our winners.”
For the second time in three years, the women’s swimming program was awarded the Director’s Cup for Service, accounting for 1,278 community service hours this season. The team is led by junior Manuella Andrade who serves as the Atlantic Coast Conference S.A.A.C. representative for Florida State.
Florida State student-athletes registered 6,224 hours of community service during the 2018-19 academic year. Softball (1,162), Beach Volleyball (994), Football (706.5) and Men’s Swimming (486) were also recognized as top contributors this season.
“I’ so excited for the team and this honor,” FSU Head Swimming and Diving Coach Neal Studd said. “They really understand the importance of helping others less fortunate and giving back. It makes me so incredibly proud of them. They get it done in the classroom and the pool and community.”
Hunter Napier (m. track & field), Devan Hultquist (beach volleyball), DeCalon Brooks (football), Will Pisani (m. swimming & diving), Meghan King (softball) and Tiana Jackson (volleyball) were all selected as the ACC Top 6 for Service winners, which is awarded to those with the highest total of community service hours among all FSU student-athletes.
In addition to the 22 Golden Nole Award winners representing FSU’s 20 teams, eight other special awards were presented to exemplary student-athletes, including King, who was chosen for two of these honors.
King captured the Impact Award which is given to those who have made a difference in the community, in addition to the Senior Sensation that is awarded to the Seminole most likely to succeed after sports.
“There are a lot of things that are involved with being a student-athlete at Florida State, and character is one that we are most proud of,” FSU Head Softball Coach Lonni Alameda said. “Meghan has done a great job of embracing that more than just with her performance in the circle, but also with her passions in the community and her pursuit of a career in nursing. She really leads by example with how much time she spends making sure that she represents Florida State at the highest level.”
While in the circle in 2019, King has led the Seminoles to a 37-5 season while boasting a 19-3 record with a 1.58 ERA, 150 K and seven shutouts. Off the field, the Parkland, Florida, native, serves as a volunteer at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. She also holds a special connection with 11-year old Hayden Stone, who was the special guest of the evening.
Stone, who was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in December of 2018, was formally adopted by the softball team on Feb. 5, 2019 and has been around the team as often as she can throughout the season.
“Hayden Stone and the Stone family have been tremendous for us,” Alameda added. “What started out as an inspiration has turned into them becoming a true part of the family. She has been battling some very difficult circumstances and we have joined them in the fight, and yet she’s brought us more with her smile every day and her ability to be a warrior through everything. Proud of both of them and how they represent Florida State softball.”
The individual Golden Nole winners are presented to the student-athletes on each team who have portrayed the ideals of intercollegiate athletics. Head Coaches selected these Seminoles by evaluating athletic and academic success as well as their contribution to service to the university and community.
Phil Cofer (m.basketball) and Macayla Edwards (soccer) were chosen as this year’s Doc Fauls Award winners, which is given to the seniors who have overcome adversity in order to compete for the Garnet and Gold.
Golden Nole Award Winners
Women’s Basketball – Nicki Ekhomu
Men’s Basketball – Trent Forrest
Football – Jaiden Lars-Woodbey
Volleyball – Brianne Burkert
Soccer – Caroline Jeffers
Men’s Swimming – Kanoa Kaleoaloha
Women’s Swimming – Natalie Purnell
Men’s Diving – Cam Thatcher
Women’s Diving – Molly Carlson
Baseball – Drew Mendoza
Men’s Golf – Jon Pak
Women’s Golf – Frida Kinhult
Men’s Tennis – Lucas Poullain
Women’s Tennis – Ariana Rahmanparast
Beach Volleyball – Devan Hultquist
Men’s Cross Country – Caleb Pottoroff
Women’s Cross Country – Militsa Mircheva
Men’s Track – Kasaun James
Women’s Track – Ka’Tia Seymour
Men’s Field – Armani Wallace
Women’s Field – Shanice Love
Softball – Meghan King
Honorary Golden Nole – Hayden Stone
Impact Award – Patrick Butkovich (men’s Swimming), Meghan King (softball)
Mr. Unconquered Seminole – Chase Haney (baseball)
Miss Unconquered Seminole – Abby Evans (softball)
InspiratioNOLE – Jaiden Lars-Woodbey (football), Brianne Burkert (volleyball)
Senior Sensation – Meghan King (softball), Michael Hall (m. track)
Comprehensive Excellence – men’s track, women’s swimming
Doc Fauls Award – Phil Cofer (men’s basketball), Macayla Edwards
Directors Cup for Service – women’s swimming
ACC Top 6 for Service – Hunter Napier (men’s track), Devan Hultquist (beach volleyball), DeCalon Brooks (football), Meghan King (softball), Will Pisani (men’s swimming), Tiana Jackson (volleyball)