First athletic awards banquet honors Golden Eagles players

La Sierra University celebrates its first sports awards ceremony following a successful season.
La Sierra University celebrates its first sports awards ceremony following a successful season.

May 25, 2011
By Darla Martin Tucker

Ireland native David Nolan has played soccer a long time, “since I can walk,” he said. And he hopes to keep the sport at the front and center of his life by becoming a college coach one day.

Nolan’s soccer playing abilities, honed over a lifetime, got a good lift recently when he received the La Sierra University Golden Eagles Award for his achievements last season on the Golden Eagles soccer team. Nolan was one of four students to receive the top Golden Eagles Awards and Rookie of the Year trophies during La Sierra University’s first Athletic Sports Awards Banquet on May 10. Volleyball setter and University of Connecticut transfer Samantha Arriaran also received a Golden Eagles Award while women’s basketball top scorer Joirdan Jones and men’s basketball power forward Taylor Scharffenberg each received Rookie of the Year awards.

The student athletes were unaware they had won until their names were announced during the ceremony. “I was very surprised,” said Nolan. He also received an award for sportsmanship, abilities he strengthened while playing for La Sierra, he said.

Nolan is a junior business and marketing major and a transfer from California Baptist University in Riverside. He previously won soccer awards while playing in a league in Ireland. He grew up there in the town of Dundalk. He currently coaches club games while studying at La Sierra and playing with the Golden Eagles. Through participation on the university’s soccer team this past season he learned leadership “and how to be a better player and a better person,” Noland said.

The athletics awards banquet was held to cap off a successful sports season for several of La Sierra’s teams. The Golden Eagles men’s basketball team brought home La Sierra’s first conference championship banner as winner of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference games and its first conference Most Valuable Player award. La Sierra’s women’s basketball team achieved a record 12 wins last season that buried the previous season’s non-winning stretch. The volleyball team pulled out all the stops with a 12-win-9-loss season and soccer also finished in strong standing with eight wins and two losses.

“We were excited to have the first ever Athletic Awards Banquet at La Sierra University to close this important and successful season,” said Golden Eagles Athletic Director Javier Krumm. “In a season where we achieved so much, including a conference championship, a conference MVP, and record wins for several sports, we felt it was the perfect time to institute an end of the year banquet to spotlight our successful student athletes. We hope this will be the beginning of an important tradition for La Sierra University athletics.” Click here for a slide show of the sports awards banquet and ceremony:

Scharffenberg was as surprised as Nolan that he had won a top award. “Until they called me I had no idea,” said the Golden Eagles basketball player. Scharffenberg, a freshman pre-physical therapy major said he learned time management while playing on the basketball team, and about the commitment necessary “to play on the team and to go to school. You have to be committed to both things, but school is first,” he said. Scharffenberg arrived at La Sierra from Corona Santiago High School. He plans in the coming season to move to the small forward position and improve his game.

The following additional awards were given out during the sports banquet:
Samantha Arriaran, volleyball, Most Valuable Player
Gabriel Esqueda, soccer, Most Valuable Player
Joirdan Jones, women’s basketball, Most Valuable Player
Daveon Woods, men’s basketball, Most Valuable Player
Kenny Curiel, baseball, Most Valuable Player
Barbara Torres, softball, Most Valuable Player
Rebecca Barcelo, volleyball, Most Improved Player
Cole King, soccer, Most Improved Player
Victoria Lowe, women’s basketball, Most Improved Player
Connor Madden, men’s basketball, Most Improved Player
Rudy Armendariz, baseball, Most Improved Player
Alisha Provost, softball, Most Improved Player
Imari Palma, volleyball, Sportsmanship
David Nolan, soccer, Sportsmanship
Laura Ramos, women’s basketball, Sportsmanship
DePaul Williams, men’s basketball, Sportsmanship
Luis Holguin, baseball, Sportsmanship
Veronica Millan, softball, Sportsmanship


PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University
Riverside, California
951.785.2460 (voice)

  • Last update on  May 25, 2011