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  Rare Act of Sacrifice Earns AU Wrestler National Award

 

Anderson University wrestler Anthony DiCarlo was recently recognized by Conference Carolinas with the league’s sportsmanship award, and the honors continue to roll in for Anthony.

 

DiCarlo has been named the 2009 NCAA National Sportsmanship Award winner, winning the NCAA Division II Sportsmanship Award as well. Additionally, he was honored at the AT&T National Sportsmanship Awards in St. Louis on November 21. 

 

“The honor of winning the award was something that was a big surprise to me, and it is humbling.  It is a huge honor, and I certainly don’t deserve it, but I hope to live up to it,” DiCarlo said.  “I am very thankful to be able to represent the school, my family, and the wrestling program in a positive manner.”

 

Nominees for the NCAA’s Sportsmanship Award exemplify the good sportsmanship that characterizes the highest level of respect, caring, fairness, civility, honesty, integrity and responsibility during competition.

 

“Anthony exhibits every aspect of what sportsmanship embodies on and off the wrestling mat.  He has always represented our program, as well as Anderson University, in the best possible manner,” Anderson wrestling coach Dock Kelly said.  “I am both blessed and honored to have had the opportunity to coach Anthony for the past four years.”

 

DiCarlo represents the finest ideals of sportsmanship, and these qualities were never more fully displayed than in a match against an opponent from Central Missouri State University.

 

Anthony moved up from his normal spot at 141 pounds to the 157 pound weight class, filling the spot of an injured teammate.  In a seemingly impossible feat, the undersized DiCarlo was holding his own in the showdown that would determine the overall match result.

 

With 45 seconds remaining in the match, DiCarlo’s opponent was rendered helpless when his vision became blurry. Needing only one takedown to secure the victory for himself and the team, Anthony refused to execute any offensive moves, showing more concern for his opponent’s safety than for winning the match.

 

As time expired, the disappointment in losing the match disappeared, and Anthony’s teammates congratulated him on doing the right thing.  Anthony’s opponent, as well as the Central Missouri State coaches and other wrestlers, expressed their respect and admiration for the sportsmanship shown by Anthony.

 

“I was undersized to be in that weight class, and I was (making a) comeback.  He called injury time for his eyes and I quit wrestling,” DiCarlo said.  “It was one of those matches where things didn’t go my way and I didn’t win, but if someone is able to see a demonstration of sportsmanship in it then I’m thankful for that.”

The National Sportsmanship Awards, hosted by the St. Louis Sports Commission and the Citizenship Through Sports Alliance, celebrates all that is right in sports by highlighting the most remarkable examples of sportsmanship.  The event will be broadcast in a 60-minute special by CBS College Sports in December. 

 

Anderson University President Evans P. Whitaker said that the central concept of the student-athlete is the development of more than athletic ability and that DiCarlo is the model for what a student athlete should strive to be.

 

“We are very proud of Anthony’s honor.  I am not surprised that the NCAA would recognize him as exemplary of the high ideals of sportsmanship.  He is a model student-athlete and one of the finest young men I know,” Whitaker said. “At Anderson, sportsmanship is a high priority for our coaches, student-athletes and the entire university community. Anthony clearly lives out that priority, and we are exceedingly proud of him and the example he sets.”

 

DiCarlo’s twin brother Nick also received a high honor when Dr. Whitaker presented him with the President’s Award at last year’s commencement.  The President’s Award is given to the Anderson University student who exhibits excellence in all areas during the college career.

 

 

Anderson University is a comprehensive university affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention offering bachelors and masters degrees. Anderson is ranked in the Top Tier (top 25) of colleges and universities in the South, and one of “77 Schools to Watch in America, by U. S. News & World Report.  Anderson has also been named one of “Americas 100 Best College Buys,” Located in The Upstate region of South Carolina near the foothills of the Appalachians, Anderson University features a rigorous education in a supportive Christian environment.

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