On Thursday, March 31, Montreat College held its 2nd Annual Cavalier Court of Excellence Banquet to showcase and honor the most exceptional, academic student athletes who pursue excellence in personal character, spiritual growth, and athletic competition for the 2016-17 academic year. All Court of Excellence nominees must have a minimum 3.5 GPA, be a positive contributor on a varsity athletic team, and demonstrate the five core NAIA “Champions of Character” values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.

“The 2017 Cavalier Court of Excellence featured another tremendous class of academic student athletes,” said Montreat College Athletic Director Jose Larios. “Over 140 students, faculty, administrators and trustees attended the banquet. We especially celebrate Taylor Johnson for earning the Cavalier Award of Excellence—the highest honor a Cavalier can earn at Montreat College.”

Hailing from Statesville, N.C., Taylor Johnson graduated magna cum laude from Montreat College on May 13, having made the college’s Distinguished Scholar List and Dean’s List. He was also the #1 player on Montreat’s men’s golf team and is club champion of his home golf course, Twin Oaks Golf Club. Johnson amassed numerous Top 10 finishes during his collegiate career, and recorded his lowest collegiate round in Montreat’s national qualifier during his junior year.

“Taylor is just an incredible young man,” said Montreat College Golf Coach John Sullivan. “He is set to graduate this May, and I am going to miss him immensely. Taylor is one of those players that is the whole package, from athletics to the classroom, he excels and is a wonderful teammate and a pure joy to coach. I am honored to not only count Taylor as one of my student/athletes, but my true friend as well.”

In addition to Johnson, the court also honored Montreat College athletes Abigail Chevalier (Track & Field and Cross Country), Jesse Daniel Collins (Baseball), Callie Deanda (Soccer), Abigail Graham (Volleyball), Daniel Lancaster (Track & Field and Cross Country), Taylor Lunsford (Tennis), Philip Cody Penland (Lacrosse), Miguel Tudon (Soccer), Miranda Walker (Lacrosse), and Tanner Wilhoit (Tennis).

The Cavalier Court of Excellence Banquet was sponsored by DePaolo Orthopedic of Asheville.