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Liberty's Darnell Honored by the Big South Conference With Prestigious Christenberry Award
The Big South Conference has honored Liberty men's soccer player Daniel Darnell with the prestigious George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence. The award is given to one male student-athlete and one female student-athlete who attain the highest GPA during their college careers and are graduates of a member institution during the past year (in case of ties, additional awards are provided).
Along with Darnell, the league also honored Coastal Carolina softball player Brittany Nelson, UNC Asheville tennis player Natasha Lucki, Winthrop's soccer Erica Devine and Charleston Southern football player Adam DeGraffenreid.
Darnell graduated in May with a 4.00 in business management and was a member of the Dean's List all eight semesters at Liberty after transferring from Rowan Cabarrus Community College. He was involved in community outreach organization Campus Serve in Lynchburg – an organization that provides programs and support for families and children. He also was a Dorm Prayer leader for two years and overcame an ACL injury in 2004 to return to the line-up in 2005. A three-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll member, Darnell appeared in a career-high 12 games in 2005, finishing with 33 appearances in his career, with 12 starts. Among his career highlights include his first collegiate goal and assist in the same game as a freshman in 2002.
The conference honor is named for George A. Christenberry, the former president of Augusta College (now Augusta State University) and one of the founders of the Big South Conference. A member of the Big South Hall of Fame, Christenberry served as the conference's first president from 1983-86. It is the second time in the last three years that five student-athletes have been so honored.
One male and one female student-athlete from each member institution – regardless if the sport is sponsored by the Big South – are nominated for the Christenberry Award. The 2005-06 candidates included:
School Male Nominee (sport) Female Nominee (sport)
Birmingham-Southern Alex Krempa (golf) Sarah Martin (volleyball)
Charleston Southern Adam DeGraffenreid (football) Danielle Baskin (basketball)
Coastal Carolina Brian Dowis (tennis) Brittany Nelson (softball)
High Point Jeffrey Fairman (cross country/track) Sarah McDonaugh (tennis)
Liberty Daniel Darnell (soccer) Brenda Tolsma (track & field)
Radford Patrick Colas (soccer) Dana Doganes (golf)
UNC Asheville John Chapuis (soccer) Natasha Lucki (tennis)
VMI Chris Brandriff (track & field) none
Winthrop Nic Bly (baseball) Erica Devine (soccer)