NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB News Channel 5) – With excitement building about what could be a highly-successful 2014-15 athletic year for Northwestern State, Demon fans can vote at NSUDemons.com this month to select the most outstanding NSU sports accomplishment of a landmark-filled 2013-14 campaign.
Sixteen top achievements, dubbed "Demon Delights," have been chosen and paired in eight "first-round" voting matchups. In each, fans will have two days to choose their favorite, advancing it to the quarterfinals, then semifinal rounds, with winners selected in a 24-hour span. The finalists will be open for voting for two days with the "2013-14 Demon Delight of the Year" selected on Aug. 3, just before the NSU football team holds its first practice in preseason camp under second-year coach Jay Thomas.
Voting at NSUDemons.com begins Sunday at midnight on the first quarterfinal matchup, where fans will decide between point guard Janelle Perez's game-winning layup sparking a run to the Southland Conference Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament berth for the Lady Demon basketball team, or the NSU softball team's successful defense of its Southland Tournament crown and second-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
"We had a wonderful 2013-14 athletic year and it was not easy to settle on this list of 16 top achievements," said NSU director of athletics Greg Burke. "This is a great way to take one last look back at the fun and remarkable accomplishments by our student-athletes and coaches this past year, thanks in no small part to the great support by our fans and donors."
The 2013-14 highlights feature one bracket filled almost completely with team accomplishments, and the other side showcasing spectacular individual accomplishments.
"This is more about showing appreciation for what has been accomplished across the board in our athletic program in the past 12 months, than singling out one event above the rest," said Burke. "It's exciting to consider that in many cases, prospects are equally bright if not more so for more success in 2014-15."
The 16 "Demon Delights" of 2013-14 up for fan vote this month:
· Janelle Perez' last-second layup beats Lamar, Lady Demon basketball smashes SFA to win Southland tournament; plays Tennessee tough in NCAA Tournament
· Softball repeats as Southland tournament champ, makes second straight NCAA appearance
· Women's tennis wins Southland regular-season championship, posts 20 wins for second time in school history; falls in Southland tournament final
· Baseball sets Southland record with 14-win improvement, ties school record with 17-game turnaround overall while winning 33 times
· Volleyball's best-ever season carries Lady Demons to Southland Tournament final, just three points shy of first-ever NCAA berth
· Football starts a 3-1 November surge by knocking off No. 15/18 Central Arkansas 31-28 at Turpin Stadium for first win over a nationally-ranked FCS team since 2010
· Football returns Chief Caddo home with a 40-27 season-ending win in Turpin Stadium over Stephen F. Austin and posts best record since 2008 under first-year coach Jay Thomas
· Instant impact for football: Quarterback Zach Adkins is Southland Newcomer of the Year while breaking seven school passing records; defensive end JeMarcus Marshall earns Freshman All-America honor
· Justin Walker's 9.95 100 meter dash time tops world list in winning three conference sprint titles at Southland Outdoor Championships
· Pitcher Adam Oller wins Southland Conference Freshman of the Year and Freshman All-America honors for the Demon baseball team
· Stephen Spann carries a no-hitter into the eighth inning, four-hits regular-season Southland champ Sam Houston State as Demons eliminate eventual NCAA entry from conference tournament
· Keelie Arneson is voted Southland Conference Libero of the Year and SLC Volleyball Student-Athlete of the Year honors while helping the Lady Demons to their best-ever season
· Finishing third in the 200 meter dash and fourth in the 100, Justin Walker scores 11 points for NSU at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, placing the Demons 20th in NCAA team standings
· Zeek Woodley leads the nation's guards, finishes fourth overall in NCAA basketball stats for shooting aim (61.7 percent) while earning Southland Freshman of the Year honors
· After sweeping the long and triple jump titles at the Southland Indoor Championships, Emmanuel Williams finishes fourth in the long jump at the NCAA Championships, giving NSU its first indoor track and field All-American honor since 2004
· Jalan West earns Mid-Major All-America, Southland Defensive Player of the Year honors in a breakout sophomore season