June 13 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College athletic department has announced its top seniors for the 2011-12 season. The William B. Hanna Award winner for top Male Athlete is football player Eric Walker (New Brighton, Pa.) and the Susan B. Hanna Award recipient is volleyball player Carrie Talkington (Moundsville, W.Va./John Marshall) and the Senior Scholar-Athlete Award winner is volleyball player Megan Hoffman (Cambridge, Ohio/John Glenn).
The three award winners will be recognized during Homecoming next fall at Bethany. On Friday, Oct. 5th, they will be honored as part of the Hall of Fame dinner on campus and the next day at halftime of the BC football game against Geneva, the trio will be recognized again as part of the Homecoming festivities.
Walker finished his career on the gridiron with nearly every rushing record in the Bison record book. He set new career records with 3,043 rushing yards, 41 rushing touchdowns and 47 total touchdowns. In addition, he finished second in career all-purpose yards (3,949) and carries (344) and set single-season records with 12 rushing TDs in 2010 and tied the total touchdown mark with 15 in 2009. Walker also owns one single-game standard with three receiving touchdowns in a win at Kentucky Christian in 2009.
Overall in his time in a Bison uniform, Walker earned four All-PAC awards, including Second Team accolades his sophomore and junior seasons and Honorable Mention status as a freshman and senior. He also received PAC Offensive Player of the Week honors once, which came after he rushed for a career-high 220 yards (fourth-most in Bethany history) and three touchdowns in a victory at King’s (Pa.) College.
Due in large part to Walker’s contributions, the Bethany football program looks like it is turning the corner. Aided by consecutive 5-5 records his final two seasons, the Bison won 16 games during his career, the most wins over a four-year span when the 2002 senior class claimed a total of 18 victories.
A communications major, Eric is the son of Lorraine Walker of New Brighton, Pa.
Talkington also led a major turnaround in the Bethany volleyball program. During her freshman season in 2008, BC went 5-24 overall and 2-12 in the PAC. A short four years later, the 5-10 middle blocker had developed into one of the dominating players in the conference and the Bison were transformed into a conference power. As a junior, Talkington helped guide the Bison to a 24-13 record and an ECAC South Region Championship in the program’s first postseason appearance. In addition to earning Second Team All-PAC, she was also named the ECAC Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
The Bison would go even further in 2011, Talkington’s senior campaign. The program set a new school-record for single-season wins by going 31-6, went 14-4 in the PAC to set a record for most league victories and advanced to the PAC Tournament Championship match. Despite falling just short of the league crown and a bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Bison were rewarded with another bid to the ECAC Tournament, where they would repeat as champions.
Talkington’s individual honors included two all-conference awards, including First Team distinction as a senior. She became just the fourth player in BC history to surpass 1,000 kills and ranks third all-time at the school with 1,161. In setting those numbers, Talkington posted two seasons with 400 or more kills (419 in 2010, 452 in 2011), a mark only two other players have reached in one year at Bethany. Talkington also owns the career mark with 252 assisted blocks and ranks eighth with 187 career solo blocks.
A physical education major, Carrie is the daughter of Bill & Sandy Talkington of Moundsville, W.Va.
Hoffman was also an integral part of the Bison volleyball success. On the court, she became just the 12th player in school history to surpass 1,000 career digs (1,002) and finished her career ranked eighth in all-time aces with 127. She also earned All-Tournament Team status at the Haverford Tournament to open the 2011 season when Bethany went 4-0 to start their record-breaking year.
Off the floor, Hoffman was even more accomplished. She graduated from Bethany with a GPA above 4.0 in biology. She earned Capital One Third Team Academic All-American honors, one of three Bison volleyball players to earn Academic All-American laurels. Hoffman earned a spot on the President’s List for a perfect 4.0 GPA six times and was on Dean’s List her other two semesters. She was a member of the Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society and was a Relay for Life team captain for three years.
Megan is the daughter of the Cindy & Greg Hoffman of Cambridge, Ohio.