It’s been an eventful year for USF Athletics, and for the first time since 2019 (Thanks COVID), we hand out our yearly TDS Awards. and reflect back on a fun year in #ChampaBay. Let’s get it started.
Jamie: Women’s basketball, despite a late charge by baseball. I think they would have made it at least as far as baseball did if not for COVID.
Steeg: Women’s basketball. If they don’t get dealt a crap hand in the tournament, they go much farther. Also future stamp they are the best team in 2022 for these awards.
Ken: Women’s basketball. Should have went farther, but a terrible seed and a Covid outbreak that they never really recovered from stopped them from reaching their full potential at the end.
AJDNPO: Women’s basketball was one of the most wire-to-wire dominant teams I’ve seen at USF, and they were only denied a Sweet 16 by a COVID outbreak and some absolutely brutal seeding. They edge out baseball for me, but it’s a rare pleasure to be able to choose from two (!!) conference title-winning teams in relatively major sports.
Nick: Baseball made a strong run towards the end there but it’s still women’s basketball. Finally got over the conference title (league and tournament) hump in spite of COVID and they’re gonna be loaded next year.
Vito: Women’s basketball finally got a chance to hoist a conference championship with a team that weathered a month long COVID stoppage that clearly affected them upon return. Jose Fernandez finally gets the trophy and the best team on campus has never looked better. Honorable mention: Baseball.
Collin: In any other year, the women’s basketball team would be a lock here. But what baseball did over the last two weeks of the season was unforgettable. Winner’s bracket in Clearwater, beat C. for the ring. Beat UF to open a regional, then beat Miami for the winner’s bracket spot, then got to a Super Regional for the first time in team history. And the fact they did it with a team so young, they get the nod here.
Nathan: It’s so close between women’s basketball, and baseball, but I gotta go with WBB. Pulling off the double while beating C. Florida both times to clinch the titles is icing on the cake.
Jamie: Football beat zero FBS teams and often got destroyed in a league that really was not very good. This is harsh on Jeff Scott, he just had nothing to work with and the team was jacked out of an offseason… but facts are facts.
Steeg: Football, again. Dealt a crap hand and couldn’t recover. But Jeff Scott seems to be putting them in the right direction.
Ken: Football. At least they beat The Citadel but this team was unwatchable for long stretches this year.
AJDNPO: I have a lot to say on men’s basketball below, so I will use this space to bid a brief and merciful adieu to the 2020 USF football season, the football equivalent of pulling a hammy in the first 200 yards of a marathon and insisting on spending the next week crawling the remaining 26.1 miles on all fours. It will only get better from here, even if through pure inertia.
Nick: Football, but we knew that going into the fall. COVID and previous staff related circumstances made the 2020 squad the worst team in program history.
Vito: Football, but I don’t feel right putting that without context. First year coach, no spring or summer sessions due to COVID, multiple players in-and-out due to protocols. But with a lot of athletic teams on the rise and no wins against FBS competition, it has to be the team that started the athletic year.
Collin: Football. Not a reflection on current staff or administration, but if they’re winning this award next year, we’ve got a problem.
Nathan: Football. I mean, you watched the games, too. They’ll be better, but this was tough to watch.
Best Male Athlete
Jamie: Jakub Wojcik. Not a great field of candidates this year. Honorable mention to Jack Jasiak, who has a really good chance of winning this in the future.
Steeg: KJ Sails, football aside, the efforts KJ makes on the field and off the field are impeccable and admirable.
Ken: Albin Bergstrom. Plenty of options from the baseball team but Alvin ran away with the AAC individual and held off SMU by himself to give USF the team title.
AJDNPO: Any number of baseball players have a good argument here—Jack Jasiak in particular—but I’m going to go off the beaten path and give it to the player who was the most fun to watch during USF’s most thrilling games of the athletic year: Jarrett Eaton, who went from playing sparingly to hitting a blistering .369 with 10 runs and 9 RBIs in baseball’s eleven postseason games.
Nick: Gonna go with AAC men’s golf tournament champion Albin Bergstrom here.
Vito: Freshman All-American 3B Carmine Lane from baseball. Led the team in batting average (.306), RBI (43) and third in homers (11) while starting all but one game in the opening series. He became a catalyst for this team hitting lead-off.
Collin: Albin Bergstrom, AAC men’s golf medalist.
Nathan: RHP Jack Jasiak from baseball. Between May 7 and June 12 he allowed just five earned runs over six starts. His 8.2 IP, 12 strikeout performance in the AAC tournament versus Tulane was one of the most dominating outing in program history.
Best Female Athlete
Jamie: Georgina Corrick. Never has there been a USF team that one player carried further than she did. It is not blasphemous to wonder if she’s even better than Sara Nevins, no matter what Nate tells you.
Steeg: Sydney Martinez, just an absolute stone wall in goal for USF women’s soccer this past season.
Ken: Georgina Corrick. Carries the softball team to a couple regional wins and almost stole a game from UF. I don’t think softball would finish anywhere near .500 without her.
AJDNPO: Truly so many good options this year. I think Georgina Corrick is the clear winner for almost singlehandedly carrying the softball team into the NCAAs, but Sydny Nasello deserves a shout, as does Bethy Mununga and really any member of WBB’s starting five.
Nick: Georgina Corrick. Induct her into the USF Athletics HOF ASAP.
Vito: Georgina Corrick. 15 shutouts and four no-hitters. With her pitching USF Softball had a chance to beat anyone.
Collin: Georgina Corrick. Sara Nevins with lesser teammates, I’d love to see what she could do her senior year with a bit more talent around her.
Nathan: It’s Georgina Corrick’s world, and we’re just living in it.
Best Coaching Job
Jamie: Erik Jenkins. Track and field had basically been a Title IX make-weight for years. Now they have multiple conference champions and they’re competitive in everything else.
Steeg: Erik Jenkins, took track from bottom dweller to a rising progrum, crushing school records on a weekly basis.
Ken: Erik Jenkins. Track looks competitive for the first time in decades and Coach Jenkins has done a great job bringing players who can win conference titles
AJDNPO: Again, tons of options. I’ll go with Denise Schilte-Brown, whose consistent excellence with women’s soccer feels like it doesn’t get enough attention—2021 was the fourth straight season in which WSOC won either an AAC regular season or conference tournament title.
Nick: It’s amazing what can happen when you actually put effort and care into a program and the USF track and field team had eight athletes earn 11 All-American honors under Erik Jenkins. The turnaround under his leadership has been quick.
Vito: Erik Jenkins. Track and Field was perpetually behind the eight ball in these competitions and Coach Jenkins changed that almost overnight. Multiple conference champions, national representation, and rewriting the record book almost monthly. Don’t think any of us expected this from this squad. Honorable Mention: Denise Schilte-Brown
Collin: Denise Schilte-Brown locked up her spot as a first-ballot USF Hall of Famer this year. What she’s done with the resources she has is terrific. I hope she stays for good.
Nathan: Erik Jenkins is giving USF a competitive team in a sport that has been a Title IX crutch for years. But, you could talk me into Billy Mohl, Steve Bradley, Denise Schilte-Brown, and Jose Fernandez. So many great coaches at the same time.
Most Surprising Team
Jamie: I thought women’s soccer was due for a dropoff after losing Evelyne Viens. But they won the conference title and tournament, went unbeaten in the regular season, and only conceded 6 goals in 13 games. You could easily give Denise Schilte-Brown the best coaching job award and I’m delighted UF didn’t hire her away.
Steeg: Initially I had women’s soccer for not missing a beat when Evelyne Viens graduated, but now it’s baseball. Made a huge stride in the last week of the regular season and are now getting a top 30 national recruiting class coming in.
Ken: Baseball won the god damn conference and somehow got out of a regional with Florida and Miami. Just an amazing run for these kids.
AJDNPO: Baseball by a mile, of course. It was the 2015 USF football of baseball seasons, a face turn of such blissfully unexpected proportions that all we could do was enjoy the ride, for however long it lasted.
Nick: The biggest no-brainer here, it’s baseball. Went from a pretty ‘meh’ team mid-season to knocking on the door of a CWS berth outta nowhere.
Vito: Baseball hands down. This was a better version of 2015 football flipping the switch to success. Under .500 a month before the season to tournament conference champs and winning their first regional in program history as a 4-seed. USF baseball may have exorcised all of the USF demons in the span of a month. Billy Mohl, his staff, and this team deserve all of the credit. Honorable Mention: Track and Field.
Collin: A men’s baseball team picked to finish last in the AAC hit a ninth-inning 950-foot home run to tie Game 1 of a Super Regional at No. 2 Texas. I would have laid you 50000-1 against that happening in mid-March.
Nathan: Baseball. Not close. Get swept by FGCU in the first three weeks of the season, swept again by the middle school in Lubbock, then finally everything clicked. Between the AAC Tournament, and the Gainesville regional, those were the two most fun weeks I’ve had covering USF Athletics.