During these unprecedented times, we have been without live sports for roughly two and a half months. This new way of life has not been the easiest to adjust to, but we have to remember to see the positivity in everything. No, we no longer have live sports for the time being, but it’s still important to remember and appreciate the hard work our student-athletes endured in the past academic year. This past week, Temple Athletics did exactly that, unveiling the winners of the 2020 Stella Awards.
The Stella’s are named after Temple’s live mascot, Stella the Owl. The awards are given to the Owls top student-athletes for the efforts not only on the field/track, but in the classrooms/labs as well. There were eight individual awards announced, including the men’s and women’s Newcomer of the Year Award, and the men’s and women’s Performer of the Year Award. Fencing’s Margherita Calderaro and football’s Re’Mahn Davis were the women’s & men’s Newcomers of the Year, while track & field star Millie Howard and now Atlanta Falcons center Matt Hennessy were the 2019-20 men’s and women’s Performer’s of the Year.
Margherita Calderaro, the Rome, Italy product represented the NIWFA Champion Owls fencing team in the NCAA Mid Atlantic/South Regional with a fourth place finish. Calderaro, who finished with a 40-14 record in dual play earned first place at the Penn State Open and took the epee title in the NIWFA Championship. Calderaro was selected to represent the Owls in the NCAA Championships before it was cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Re’Mahn Davis, running back for Owls football, also shined in his first season as an Owl. Davis played in all 12 games for Temple this season, racking up an impressive 936 yards on the ground with 8 touchdowns, inculding a season long 55 yard touchdown vs UCONN. The San Francisco born halfback also picked up another 181 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 receptions. Davis finished 7th in the AAC in rushing yards and 5th among all freshmen in Division I football (FBS).
Millie Howard will go down as possibly one of the greatest women’s runners in Owls history. The North Yorkshire, England native was recently named to the 2020 Philadelphia Inquirer’s All-Area women’s track and field team for the third consecutive season following the conclusion to her impressive career as an Owl. Howard ran a mile time of 4:36.37 at the Boston Invitational, a school and AAC record. Howard would have qualified for the 2020 NCAA Championships that were unfortunately cancelled, which brought about a disappointing end to a stellar collegiate running career. Almost as, if not more impressive than that, Howard was also stellar in the classroom, earning a 3.98 gpa in Economics, earning her a spot as a Trustee 10 member for 2019.
Finally, to round out the “Big 4” Stella Award winners, is Matt Hennessy, who was a star center for the Owls football program. A finalist in his senior year for the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center, Hennessy played 38 games in cherry & white, earning first team honors in the AAC. Hennessy was recently drafted in the third round of last month’s NFL Draft to the Atlanta Falcons. For more on Hennessy’s background and career as an Owl, click the link here.
The Stellas Awards also highlighted team efforts, including the women’s basketball team which earned the 2020 Big 5 title. There’s also the gymnastics program, which earned their second consecutive ECAC Championship. And the aforementioned fencing program which earned its 25th consecutive conference title, and the 2020 Owl Cup, as the university’s top athletic program.
Congrtaulations to all of the winners of the Stella Awards, both individual and team. In your efforts on and off the court/field and in the classrooms, you all personify what it means to be “Temple Tuff.”