Tennessee athletes dress to the nines for 2011 Volscars
Colorful dresses, high heels, suits and ties were in order on Monday night at the University of Tennessee’s “Volscars” awards ceremony at the Knoxville Convention Center.
The Vols and Lady Vols arrived via orange carpet for UT’s fifth annual Oscars/ESPYs parody honoring the school’s top athletes and coaches of the year.
Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley didn’t win any awards, but clips from his weekly news conferences drew the biggest laughs of the night.
“Yeah, we had some fun with it, but at something like this, you absolutely have to,’’ Dooley said. “This is such a great event because we’re rarely all together like this. So many of these young people are always training and competing, so this presents a rare opportunity.’’
Lady Vols pitcher Cat Hosfield said the timing for the show couldn’t have been much better for her No. 4-ranked UT softball team, which had its 13-game win streak snapped on Saturday.
“It’s a lot of fun seeing everyone all dressed up outside of their uniforms,’’ Hosfield said. “It’s also a nice break for us — we’ve been playing a lot of games lately.’’
The UT softball team enjoyed its strongest showing in the history of the ceremony, winning the Lady Vols’ “Team of the Year Award.’’
Co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly were honored with UT’s female “Coach of the Year” award, and senior Kelly Grieve was recognized for “Female Best Supporting Role.’’
The men’s tennis team also had a dominant showing, winning male Team of the Year as well as a number of individual awards: Male Rookie of the Year, Rhyne Williams; Male Best Supporting Role, Tennys Sandgren; Men’s Coach of the Year, Sam Winterbotham, and Male Athlete of the Year, J.P. Smith.
When the athletes weren’t presenting awards to one another or applauding their fellow teams’ efforts, smiles were abound.
In addition to the Dooley skit, UT receiver Justin Hunter drew chuckles with an outdated dance move in a mock competition against the Tennessee Dance Team.
Former Tennessee All-SEC defensive back Charles Davis, who served as master of ceremonies, challenged Hunter to a live event — snapping rolls of toilet paper through hula hoops.
Davis, a 1986 UT graduate who now works as an analyst with Fox Sports and the NFL Network, said he was honored to host the event.
“I’ve had the opportunity to call three national championship (football) games, but I think tonight is the highlight of my career,’’ said Davis, an Elizabethton native, “because it involves me being back home with my alma mater.’’