2018 Pioneer Hall of Fame Inductee Nancy Hopper speaks to IRSC student-athletes at the College’s annual Athletics Awards Banquet. Hopper was recognized for her outstanding accomplishments as an alumni and former IRSC volleyball player, her 15 years of service at John Carroll High School, and the impact recruits from her high-school program have had on the IRSC volleyball team.

FORT PIERCE — Indian River State College (IRSC) recognized outstanding student contributions to the College’s Athletics program during the 2017-2018 season at the annual Athletic Awards Banquet held in the Koblegard Student Union Thursday, April 19.

Indian River Pioneer Pride Award:
Awarded to a member of each athletic team, the Pioneer Pride Award honors IRSC student athletes for their demonstration of outstanding sportsmanship throughout the season.

Baseball: Nikolas Bitner
Men’s Basketball: Cedric Jackson
Women’s Basketball: Cyann Fox
Softball: Savannah Julylia
Men’s Swimming and Diving: Tucker Adams
Women’s Swimming and Diving: Sule Van Der Merwe
Volleyball: Kaira Smith

VanDuzer Sportsmanship Award:
The VanDuzer Foundation Sportsmanship Award highlights community support of IRSC student athletes with recognition for their exceptional goal to succeed while demonstrating outstanding sportsmanship throughout the season.

Baseball: AJ Hrica
Men’s Basketball: Oliver Ehrnvall
Women’s Basketball: Edley Drawhorn
Softball: Taylor Strickland
Men’s Swimming and Diving: Gavrilo Blijden
Women’s Swimming and Diving: Elizabeth Watts
Volleyball: Lindsay Glynn

Community Service Award:
The IRSC Women’s Vollyball Team is the recipient of the 2017-18 IRSC Community Service Award. This award is presented to the IRSC athletics team for their demonstration of exemplary community service projects and exhibits the greatest spirit of community involvement. The award is not based on the number of projects completed, but emphasizes the impact projects make in the community within the College’s service district.

The 2018 Pioneer Hall of Fame Inductee:
Nancy Blakeslee Hopper is the 2018 Indian River State College Pioneer Hall of Fame Inductee. Hopper was awarded her Associate in Arts Degree from IRSC in 1983 before transferring to Florida Southern College in 1986 where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Recreation. She then attended Marshall University in 1992 to earn her Masters of Arts in School Counseling.

Following a time away from Fort Pierce, Hopper returned to work at her alma mater, John Carroll High School. Over the course of her 15 years at John Carroll, served as teacher, volleyball coach, guidance counselor, and, most recently, as Athletic Director.

Hopper’s qualities as a coach have been acknowledged many times. Recognitions include Fort Pierce News Tribune Coach of the Year for 2006 and FACA District 19 Coach of the Year in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Throughout her tenure at John Carroll, Hopper has remained steadfast in her desire to continue coaching volleyball and serve as the Head Coach of the program. As a coach and community leader she has developed numerous players who have continued their playing careers at IRSC. These recruits have helped lead the IRSC Volleyball team to FCSAA State tournament qualifications, All-Conference, and All-State selections. Hopper is a devoted educator and coach, as seen through her love and care of the student-athletes she has had contact with for more than 25 years.

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