Athletics Award Night 2009
The Trinity athletics department hosted Awards Night 2009 for the student-athletes of the 2008-2009 seasons. The coaches, support staff, and athletes gathered in the Ozinga Chapel on May 5 for a program of award presentations followed by a time of dessert and fellowship.
This year’s ceremony was expanded from previous years as new award categories were added and the student-athletes were involved in the voting process. Each award was introduced by a different presenter from a variety of departments on campus.
The top award categories that hold the highest honor from the athletics department are the Keith Albers Memorial Award, the Women’s Athletics Award, and the Male and Female Athletics of the Year. Also holding special honor is the Rich Kooy Award, which is presented to a member of the Trinity community.
The Albers and the Women’s Athletics awards are given to a male and female athlete who exhibit exemplary play on the athletic field, high achievement in the classroom, outstanding leadership in campus activities, and a spirit of cooperation and teamwork during their careers at Trinity.
This year’s recipient of the Albers Award was senior Andy Jellema of Lansing, Illinois, a three-year cross country and track runner. Andy is a three-time NCCAA All-American in cross country and has participated in the NAIA National Championships in each of his seasons. This season he earned indoor track NCCAA All-American honors and has qualified to compete in the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters, and the marathon at the outdoor track championships. In addition Andy excels in the classroom, is a peer tutor, and has led team Bible studies.
“Andy is a true leader on the team,” said cross country coach Bob Brickman ’03. “He was not only our top performer, but he also made everyone around him better. He raised the expectations of his teammates and our program in general.”
The Women’s Award was given to senior Michelle Schurman of DeMotte, Indiana, a four-year starter on the volleyball team. In the past four seasons, Michelle, a team captain, has been a leader on the team in skill and character. This season she led her team in kills and in digs and for her career she tops the all-time records with 1,771 kills. She earned All-Conference, NCCAA All-Region, and NCCAA All-American honors as well as scholar-athlete recognition.
“Michelle is an amazing athlete who led the team in many statistical categories,” said Bill Schepel ’85, head volleyball coach. “She is also a great leader who wants what is best for the team above individual benefit. She always encourages and motivates on and off the court and is a positive Christian example for her teammates.”
The Athlete of the Year Awards are presented to a male and female athlete who produced the most impressive seasons. The Male Athlete of the Year is senior Kurt Gruppen of Zeeland, Michigan, of the men’s basketball team. This season Gruppen led the men’s basketball team in scoring with a 20.5 point average, while shooting 50.2% from three-point range. He was named CCAC Player of the Year, NAIA third-team All-American, and earned the NCCAA Pete Maravich Award. He helped the team to a 23-9 overall record, a first-ever conference regular-season title, and a trip to the NAIA national tournament.
The Female Athlete of the Year was senior soccer player Mindi Prins of Hudsonville, Michigan. Co-captain Mindi played a vital role in helping the women’s soccer team reach new heights, as they posted a 23-2 overall and a perfect 9-0 conference record and advanced to the Final Four of the NAIA National Tournament. She also helped lead the team to a school-record 18 shutouts. Mindi merited All-Conference, NAIA third-team All-American, NAIA National All-Tournament Team, and the NCCAA Michelle Akers Award recognition.
The Rich Kooy Award is an award presented to a member of the Trinity community who has made a significant contribution to the athletics department. It is named in honor of former Trinity mathematics professor Rich Kooy, who served Trinity for 27 years, was a founding member of the Trinity Athletics Committee, and held the position of faculty athletics representative. This year the Kooy Award was given to Alisha Rabbers, the administrative assistant to the athletics and physical education department. Alisha handles many necessary tasks that often go unnoticed, but are vital in the day-to-day administration of the department.
In addition to these top awards the other honors given throughout the evening were:
Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Jamie Prins of Jenison, Michigan – senior, men’s soccer
Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Nicole Billin of Hudsonville, Michigan – senior, women’s soccer
Scholar-Team: Women’s Volleyball
Tom Krygsheld Award: Eric VandenBerg of Hudsonville, Michigan – senior, men’s soccer
Male Freshman of the Year: Austin Warner of Dyer, Indiana – cross country/track
Female Freshman of the Year: Allison Doyle of New Lenox, Illinois – women’s soccer
Male Best Supporting Role: Andrew Boersma of Clive, Iowa – sophomore, men’s soccer
Female Best Supporting Role: Amber Slenk of Holland, Michigan – sophomore, volleyball
Male Best Individual Game Performance: Will Bruinsma of New Era, Michigan – junior, men’s basketball
Female Best Individual Game Performance: Carly Comerouski of Itasca, Illinois – junior, women’s soccer
Best Team Game Performance: Women’s Soccer
Coach of the Year: Josh Lenarz ’98 – women’s soccer
Courage Award: Amanda Learned of Geneva, Illinois – senior, women’s basketball
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