Golden Jacket Awards honor Seniors’ legacy

CEDARVILLE, Ohio – Women’s cross country and track & field standout Rachel Sweeney-Bredeson and men’s basketball player Branden Maughmer are the 2021-22 Yellow Jacket Club Athletes of the Year.

They were chosen by vote of Cedarville University’s head coaches and announced at the annual Golden Jacket Awards in the DeVries Theater on April 20.

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee produced the event celebrating the Cedarville University athletics season.

The show aired on Stretch LIVE and the G-MAC Digital Network. (Click the On Demand tab to watch the archived video.)

A total of 74 senior student-athletes, cheerleaders, and athletic trainers were honored along with multiple special award winners throughtout the evening.


RACHEL SWEENEY-BREDESON (Graduate Student; Xenia, Ohio), Women’s Cross Country / Track & Field

  • NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championship qualifier in the steeplechase (13th place)
  • NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championship Elite 90 Award (top GPA among all competitors)
  • 2022 G-MAC Indoor Track & Field Championship Elite 25 Award (top GPA)
  • 2022 G-MAC Indoor Champion (distance medley relay)
  • Holds the school record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase and outdoor 5,000 meters
  • NCAA provisional qualifier in the outdoor 5K
  • NCAA provisional indoor qualifier in four events (mile, 3K, 5K, and distance medley relay)
  • 2022 NCCAA Indoor Track & Field Champions
  • Top finisher on cross country team that placed 11th in NCAA Division II Championship
  • All-G-MAC First Team placing seventh in the conference meet
  • Team placed third in NCAA Midwest Regional
  • 2021 G-MAC Cross Country Champions
  • CoSIDA Academic All-America® First Team
  • Dean’s Honor List student as a pharmaceutical science major

BRANDEN MAUGHMER (Senior; Chillicothe, Ohio), Men’s Basketball

  • Four-year starting guard
  • Three-time NCCAA All-American (2021 First Team; 2020, 2022 Second Team)
  • Four-time All-NCCAA Midwest Region
  • Three-time All-G-MAC First Team
  • Three-time All-G-MAC Defensive Team
  • Led team in scoring (16.6), rebounding (6.0), FT% (.831), assists (102), and steals (66)
  • Ranks 15th at Cedarville in career scoring (1,709), eighth in assists (420), and fifth in steals (202)
  • Led the Yellow Jackets to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II Championship
  • Guided Cedarville to back-to-back G-MAC Tournament runner-up finishes
  • Sport business management major

The Yellow Jacket Club was established in 1978 to allow friends and alumni of Cedarville University to support the school’s athletic programs. The Club has been naming the University’s Athletes of the Year for over 40 years empowering the head coaches to nominate and vote for the recipients.


REESE AWARDS – Aleah Martone (left) and Conner TenHove

ALEAH MARTONE (Senior; Spencerport, NY), Women’s Soccer

  • Four-year women’s soccer player and three-year starter
  • Tallied 12 career goals and nine assists
  • Scored the game winning goal in the 2019 NCCAA National Championship
  • All-NCCAA Midwest Region and All-G-MAC
  • Dean’s Honor List student in civil engineering
  • NCCAA Scholar-Athlete; G-MAC Academic Team; and United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-Region Team

CONNER TENHOVE (Graduate Student; Valparaiso, Ind.), Men’s Basketball

  • Five-year starter in men’s basketball
  • 2021 NCCAA Pete Maravich Award recipient
  • NCCAA All-American; NCCAA Midwest Region Team; All-G-MAC
  • Graduates with 1,698 career points and 908 rebounds
  • Owns the school record for best free throw percentage in a season at .949 (75-of-79)
  • Dean’s List student as a political science and history double major
  • Twice named to the NABC Honors Court; NCCAA Scholar-Athlete; G-MAC Academic Team

This award is presented in honor of former athletic director Pete Reese and his wife, Joyce – both of whom are members of the CU Athletic Hall of Fame. The recipients must be seniors at Cedarville University with all four years of eligibility used as a Yellow Jacket. Athletes are nominated by their coach and selected on the basis of athletic ability, Christian service, scholarship, Christian character, and leadership.


2021-22 Callan Sports Ministry Award
CALLAN SPORTS MINISTRY AWARDS – (from left-to-right) Gui Fernandes, Dr. Don Callan, and Maddy Nelson

MADDY NELSON (Sophomore; West Chester, Ohio), Women’s Soccer

  • Played for the Chicago Eagles; a division of Missionary Athletes International
  • Went with her team for two weeks of service in Colombia directing sessions and sharing the gospel
  • Upon returning to the states, she served as a camp coach with her teammates for five weeks
  • She has also signed up to serve this summer with a trip to Brazil
  • Played in 31 games with three starts in two seasons for the Lady Jackets with one goal and one assist

GUI FERNANDES (Senior; Sâo Paulo, Brazil), Men’s Soccer

  • Traveled on the team’s 2020 mission trip to Portugal
  • Participated in the Li’l Dribblers ministry in the Village of Cedarville
  • Dean’s List student as a civil engineering major, who desires to seek a career in ministry
  • Four-year Yellow Jacket and three-year starter with 15 goals and six assists
  • Three-time All-G-MAC, NCCAA All-Region, and two-time G-MAC Academic Team

The awards are presented in the names of Dr. Don Callan and his late wife, Nedra. Dr. Callan has been associated with the University since 1960 and has been involved in worldwide sports evangelism for over 60 years. He is a member of five Halls of Fame and is a charter member of the CU Athletic Hall of Fame. The recipients are nominated by their coach and selected for their evangelism in and through sports activities while at Cedarville University.


2021-22 Wood Family Scholarship
WOOD FAMILY SCHOLARSHIPS – (from left-to-right) Sharon Wood, Olivia Hoffman, Will Evans, and Casey Wood

OLIVIA HOFFMAN (Junior; Chattanooga, Tenn.), Women’s Soccer

  • Dean’s Honor List student as a nursing major
  • Three-year starting forward and named to the NCCAA All-America First Team
  • NCCAA All-Midwest Region, All-G-MAC, NCCAA Scholar-Athlete, G-MAC Academic Team
  • NCCAA Indoor Track Champion and G-MAC Indoor Track Champion

WILL EVANS (Junior; Worthington, Ohio), Men’s Golf

  • First year with the Yellow Jackets after transferring
  • Averaged 76.71 strokes per 18 holes which ranked fourth on the team
  • Carded a career-best two-under par 70 in the Hillsdale Bell Collegiate
  • Helped Cedarville establish new team school records this season for 18, 36, and 54 holes
  • G-MAC Academic Team

The late Dr. Duane Wood and his wife, Sharon, established this scholarship in 1988 to assist students who have evidenced Christian character, leadership on campus, academic achievement, and varsity athletic performance. Dr. Wood previously served as Vice President of Academics at the University for 18 years from 1987 to 2005 at a time when the Academic VP oversaw the Athletic Department. The recipients are nominated by their coach and must be full-time senior students next academic year with a minimum GPA of 3.30 and are selected by the Wood family.

(Nominated and voted on by student-athletes)

Recognizing the team that best exemplifies the Cedarville Athletics core values: Christ-centered, excellence, community, integrity, and humility.

TEAMMATE OF THE YEAR – Paige Hale (Women’s Volleyball)

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Brooke Ackley (Women’s Soccer)

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR – Jackson Isaacs (Men’s Soccer)

STAFF MEMBER OF THE YEARZach Harris (Assistant Athletic Director of Operations)

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