Laredo CC’s Santos, West Florida’s Cavalcante receive James O' Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Awards presented by Rolex Watch USA


Moacir Santos Suzana Cavalcante

Laredo CC’s Santos, West Florida’s Cavalcante receive James O' Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Awards presented by Rolex Watch USA

MOBILE, Ala. – Moacir Santos, a sophomore at Laredo Community College and Suzana Cavalcante, a senior at the University of West Florida received the 2008 James O' Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Awards presented by Rolex Watch USA Saturday at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Small College Tennis Championships presented by the USTA.

The James O' Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Awards go to players who display outstanding sportsmanship and exemplify the spirit of college tennis during the course of the ITA National Small College Championships hosted by the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile. The award is given in memory of Jim Sargent, former Media Manager for Rolex Watch USA, who was involved in a fatal car accident in 2000. He was a great friend of college tennis, an ITA All American who competed with outstanding success and sportsmanship at Lynchburg College, and afterwards continued as a special partner to the ITA in his role with Rolex.

In addition to displaying outstanding sportsmanship, Santos, who is from Curitiba, Brazil and Cavalcante, who is also Brazilian, hails from Sao Paulo, also had strong performances this week. Santos reached the JUCO men's singles final, falling to his doubles teammate Cledson DeCarvalho but the duo also captured the JUCO men’s doubles titles. Santos entered the tournament as the top seed after finishing No. 1 at nationals in both singles and doubles last year. His call calls him a “great leader” and has elected him as team captain. He also excels in the classroom, currently holding a 4.0 grade-point average.

Cavalcante reached the NCAA Division II women’s singles final and was up after the first set before dropping the final two to Atlantic Armstrong’s Sona Novakova. She was recently presented with the school’s Female Athlete of the Year as well as the winner of the Gulf South Coast’s Commissioner's Trophy. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the Conference and one of the most prestigious individual honors in Division II. The award combines athletic achievements and academic excellence with extracurricular activities, leadership and community service.

This event, administered by the ITA, dates back to 1986 and determines national champions for NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College men’s and women’s singles and doubles during the first two-and-a-half days of play. Those champions then compete to become the overall national small college champs (for all divisions) on October 18-19 in the ITA “Super Bowl” of Small College Tennis.

Each small college division features eight singles players and eight doubles teams who earned spots into this national event by winning their respective Wilson/ITA Regional Championships held over the past three weeks throughout the country. All told, nearly 5,000 student-athletes competed in 61 regional tournaments to earn spots in the national event.

This is the only national championship event for singles and doubles at the NCAA Division II and NAIA levels. It is also the only tournament that combines all levels of Junior/Community College (NJCAA Divisions I, II and III and the California division).

The overall ITA “Super Bowl” of Small College Tennis champions on Oct. 19 will earn wild cards into the Nov. 6-9 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, hosted by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. This tournament is the second of three national championships for Division I tennis and offers the small college participants the opportunity to become champions for all divisions of collegiate tennis.

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