2017 Female Collegiate Award Winner
Senior basketball standout Lauren Day is the All Sports Association’s Female Collegiate Award winner for 2017. Lauren is a senior at Troy University, majoring in global business with a concentration in marketing. After playing for both the Niceville Eagles and the Choctawhatchee Indians in high school, she is currently a starting forward for the Lady Trojans’ basketball team alongside her freshman sister, Jessie. Lauren Megan Day was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. After moving to Florida, she joined the Niceville varsity basketball team as a freshman in 2009 and played two seasons for the Eagles. She was named first-team All-District as a sophomore. Day transferred to Choctawhatchee High for her junior season, where she played under Coach Don Brown and averaged 12.0 points and 11.0 rebounds for the Indians. She was again named first-team All-District, an achievement she yet again earned her senior year.
As a senior, Day led the Indians to a 31-1 record as well as a combined 56-3 record over her two seasons with the team. Her 14.7 point per game average and 10.2 rebounds per game during her senior year was a key ingredient in the Indians’ run to the FHSAA Class 6A State Championship game. Following the title game, she was named FHSAA Class 6A State Final Four Most Valuable Player. Lauren, along with former Indians Andrea Kelly, Brittany Brown, and Nadia Fingall, represent the Varsity Girls basketball members of the Choctawhatchee Hall of Fame.
During her prep career, Lauren won two Florida Class 6A district championships and a Region 1 title. She earned a starting spot in the Halifax Classic All-Star Game in Panama City and recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. She graduated Cum Laude from CHS in May 2013. Lady Trojan Head Coach Chanda Rigby was impressed by Lauren’s accomplishments. Following graduation, Coach Rigby was able to recruit the forward to join an impressive Troy line-up. From the first day, Rigby was thrilled with the 6’-1” signee: “Lauren is a proven winner who possesses many qualities that we will need in our program. I can’t wait to bring her in on the team and get started with her.”
In her freshman season, Lauren saw playing time in nearly half of the Lady Trojans’ games. Her significant playing time as a freshman included 10 minutes of action against national powerhouse Tennessee Lady Volunteers. The 2014-15 season saw her playing time increase with participation in all but five of Troy’s 31 games. She converted the game-winning layup against Southeastern Louisiana, finishing that game with five points and five boards. On the year, she shot 43.5%, including 5-of-6 from the free throw stripe and hitting her only three-point attempt.
Her junior year, resulted in similar participation and production, with a 49% shooting percentage. The Lady Trojans upset defending Sunbelt Conference champs Little Rock to win the 2016 Sunbelt Conference Tournament. As a senior, Day is a solid starter and has helped lead her squad to a 13-5 overall and 6-1 conference record (through January 25). She averages more than six points per game and established a career high of 14 points against Nicholls State last December. Lauren has finished on the Sun Belt Academic Honor Roll every year to date.
Lauren is the daughter of Becky and David Day of Niceville. Her older sister, Emily, is a UCF graduate and art teacher at Niceville High. Her younger sister, Jessie, is a freshman teammate. Lauren is graduating this May. With a game last night (Thursday, Feb 9) in Monroe, Louisiana (vs. UL-Monroe) and another scheduled tomorrow night in Lafayette, Louisiana (vs. UL Lafayette), we thank Lauren and her family for making the time to attend tonight’s Awards Banquet and congratulate her on her 2017 Female Scholastic Award.
2017 Male Collegiate Award Winner
The All Sports Association proudly announces Nick Haynes, starting left guard for the University of Kentucky Wildcats, as the 2017 Male Collegiate Award Winner. This 2013 Niceville graduate is a redshirt junior at the University of Kentucky double-majoring in economics and management.
Born in Peoria, Illinois, Haynes’ football career began in his junior year at Niceville High School where he earned the title of District Athlete of the Year, participating in football, basketball, weightlifting and shot put. Based upon Haynes’ minimum years of football experience, head coach Mark Stoops is extremely pleased with the decision to recruit the No. 18 prospect in the 2013 class and agrees they would have missed out on the opportunity to develop and coach one of the most productive offensive lineman in the SEC. Kentucky’s offensive line helped produce the first pair of 1,000 yard season rushers in the school’s history (Boom Williams and Benny Snell) and Haynes was a HUGE part of their success.
Underwriting Kentucky’s offensive line as one of the 18 semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award—which recognizes the most outstanding unit inthe country—this 6’3” Wildcat steered the way for Kentucky’s offense on the blind side resulting in their first appearance in a bowl game since 2010. Alabama’s star Defensive End Jonathan Allen recently recognized the competitiveness of the Wildcat offensive line: “When I say that was probably the most physical game that I’ve played in this year, I have to give it to them. They came with it that game. It kind of caught us by surprise.”
In addition to his endeavors in the classroom, he has received the SEC’s Academic Honor Roll award for outstanding scholastic accomplishments in 2013-14 and 2015-2016. “He’s very intelligent,” offers O-line coach John Schlarman. “He smart, he studies the game—sees things before they happen.” His efforts have resulted in academic excellence as well as earning him a staunch and dedicated reputation on the gridiron in the SEC.
In his limited free time, Nick enjoys chess, singing and bowling. He picked up these hobbies in large part by seeking indoor activities while his dad, Stephen, was stationed at Eielson AFB outside of Fairbanks, Alaska, where temperatures often remained below zero. Haynes explains his simple strategy as a kid each time his family relocated: “Find the closest church, find the closest bowling alley.” Now, as an accomplished bowler, he has recorded five—yes, five—perfect games (i.e. 12 strikes in a row), earning him the United State Bowling Congress’ coveted “300-game” ring.
There is an indescribable excellence about great athletes that sets them apart, an intangible that cannot be outlined. It can separate good athletes from great ones, victors from underdogs. While there is no methodical term for this characteristic, most coaches, fans, family and other onlookers simply know when an athlete has “IT.” Detected at a very young age, Nicholas Haynes has demonstrated his ownership of “IT”—athletically, academically, socially, and spiritually. Nick Haynes is the son of Chris and Dede Haynes and brother of Stephen Haynes and Bria Haynes. He is scheduled to graduate from UK this May. Congratulations, Nick, on your growing list of accomplishments and for earning the All Sports Association Male Collegiate Award for 2017.