June 12, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - Santa Clara University men's tennis held their annual team banquet Sunday afternoon in Hillsborough, Calif. The event brought players, friends and family together to celebrate the season and honor several Broncos with awards.
Junior Jan Macek received the Bronco of the Year Award, while freshman Tommy Hicks was named the Mad Dog of the Year and the Roy T. Zepponi Bronco Rookie of the Year. Sophomore Blane Shields took home the award for the Most Improved Bronco and the popular Bronco Fan of the Year award was shared by Scott and Mary Shields and Santa Clara University student Brian Belcher.
The Bronco of the Year award is given annually to the player who best exemplifies what it means to play Bronco Tennis, including attitude, effort, support of teammates, athletic and academic results and best representation of the program. Macek, who will graduate a year early with a degree in business finance, completed a successful Santa Clara career following his transfer from the University of Southern Mississippi two years ago. He held the top singles position this season and was named All-WCC first team for his efforts. He also garnered honorable mention all-conference accolades in doubles as he teamed with junior Bobby Rasmussen at the number one and two positions for the Broncos. An accomplished student-athlete in the classroom, Macek registered a 3.67 cumulative grade point average and is a two-time ITA Scholar-Athlete. He also earned a spot on the All-WCC Spring Academic Team.
The Mad Dog of the Year was named after former Bronco and 2000 graduate Scott Watters, who earned the nickname for his abilities to come through in the clutch when his team needed it most. Hicks, a Portland, Ore. native, anchored the number four and five singles positions and recorded a team-leading 24 singles match victories. The tally ranks fourth all-time for single season wins. He kicked off his Bronco career in impressive fashion last fall by capturing the SCU Bronco Classic `C' flight singles championship. Following a successful tournament season, he was victorious in eight of his first nine dual matches and registered notable wins over opponents from USC, Oregon, Fresno State and UC Santa Barbara. Also named the Bronco Rookie of the Year, Hicks earned All-WCC honorable mention in singles alongside fellow freshman Brian Brogan.
Shields, a sophomore from Novato, Calif., made noteworthy improvements in both singles and doubles. He leapt into the singles and doubles lineup following a freshman campaign that consisted of only brief appearances in tournament and dual match play. Shields competed in the number 3-6 singles and number 1-2 doubles positions. His biggest impact to the program's season came in doubles where he and redshirt sophomore Kevin McQuaid established a new program record for doubles team victories with 20. Shields recorded important wins with McQuaid over tandems from Cal, Oregon, BYU and Tulsa. He was awarded All-WCC second team honors in doubles for his outstanding play this season.
Fans of the Year Brian Belcher and Scott and Mary Shields showed their support of the Broncos in several ways this season. A model member of Hecklers on the Hill, the official fan club of Santa Clara Tennis, Belcher was a passionate and vocal leader at home matches throughout the year. The Shields displayed their support at Santa Clara's Degheri Tennis Center, while also traveling with the Broncos to all but one dual match on the road.
2005-06 Santa Clara Men's Tennis Awards
Bronco of the Year: Jan Macek
Mad Dog of the Year: Tommy Hicks
Roy T. Zepponi Rookie of the Year: Tommy Hicks
Most Improved Bronco: Blane Shields
Bronco Fans of the Year: Brian Belcher, Scott and Mary Shields