Athletic Department Hands Out End of Year Awards

The athletic department recently held their annual awards banquets where Pioneer student-athletes were honored for their work on and off the fields of play.

Senior Athletes of the Year: Haley Witchella (Basketball & Indoor Track & Field) & Brian Edwards (Track & Field)

Witchella was a two-year member of the basketball team and participated in Indoor Track this winter. She scored 457 points, grabbed 380 rebounds, and blocked 108 shots this season for the basketball team on her way to being named 1st team All-Region. She also won the Region III Indoor Track & Field title in the shot put. Witchella was named the Region III Division II player of the year, NJCAA All-American, and Alfred State freshman athlete of the year following the 2011-12 season. Her 793 career points are 5th most on the school's all-time scoring list. Also grabbed 607 rebounds and blocked 179 shots in her two years.

Edwards was a two year member of the indoor and outdoor track & field teams. He has earned All-Region 1st team in the shot put and discus and has been named All-Region both years. Recently, Edwards won the 2013 National Championship in the Discus and finished 3rd in the shot put. In 2012 he finished 5th in NJCAA DIII in shot put, 6th place in discus, 8th place in Javelin. He ranks #3 in the shot put in school history indoors and is #4 in the discus and #6 in the shot put in the outdoor record book.

Freshmen Athletes of the Year: Kali Muhleisen (Soccer) & Desmond Chambers (Track & Field)

Muhleisen led the women's soccer team to a 17-2 season that included a 17-game winning streak and moving up to the #1 ranking in NJCAA DIII. On the season she scored 31 goals and passed out eight assists. Her 70 points and 31 goals were 3rd best in the country. She scored in 15 of the teams 19 games and recorded six hat tricks. At the end of the season, She was named 1st team All-WNYAC, 1st team All-Region, and 1st team All-American. Muhleisen is one of only three women's soccer players to earn NJCAA All-American honors.

Chambers is a member of the Region III Champion Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field Championship teams. He placed 3rd in the Long Jump at Indoor Nationals and earned All-American honors in the 4x100 relay at Outdoor Nationals. He also finished 5th in the long jump at Outdoor Nationals. Chambers earned All-Region in three events during both the Indoor and Outdoor Seasons. He holds the indoor school record for the long jump and is 4th in the 60m and is currently 2nd all-time in school history in the long jump outdoors, 8th in the 100, and 8th in the 4 x 100.

Leadership Awards: Destiny Brito & Steve Pinell (Baseball)

Brito has been a member of the basketball team the past two years.  She ran the Lady Pioneers offense and very rarely came out of the game.  Brito scored 151 points, passed out 132 assists, and grabbed 197 rebounds thus far during her career.  She is credited for having a strong work ethic, being a positive influence, and leading by example.  Also credited for being a spitfire on the court who kept the team going.

Pinell is a two year member of the baseball team and appeared in 35 games.  He Has never complained about his role on the team and is willing to do whatever coaching staff asks.  Pinell has been part of three team community service project and is active in other activities on campus as well.

Sportsmanship Awards: Kristen Potter (Softball) & Robert Howard (Football/Track & Field)

Potter recently completed her second year as a member of the softball team. She was the only sophomore on the team this year and pitched 193 innings and earned six wins in her career. For her career she hit .280 and drove in 30 runs. Potter is credited for being very humble, positive, and a person of high character. She will graduate with a Vet Tech degree and already has a job lined up.

Howard is a two year member of the football and track & field teams. He has been a member of three Region III Championship teams. On the football field he recorded 78 tackles and four sacks and earned 1st team All-Region in 2011. As a thrower on the track team he earned 1st team All-American honors and 2nd team Outdoor All-Region honors in shot put. He also was 2nd team All-Region in the discus. Howard is credited by his coaches for his down to earth attitude, great work ethic, and ability to keep things under control. Howard has received a full ride to play football at the University of Rhode Island.

Academic Awards: Kay Pfleghardt (Volleyball) & Brian Edwards (Track & Field)

Pleghardt is a two year member of the volleyball team. She was named All-Region 1st team and 2nd team All-WNYAC. For her career she has recorded 700 kills, 650 digs, 114 aces, and 38 blocks in her career. Pleghardt serves as vice president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and holds a 3.49 GPA in Financial Planning.

Edwards is a two year member of the indoor and outdoor track & field teams He earned All-American and All-Region 1st team in the discus and All-Region honors in the shot put Edwards has been named All-Region both years while maintaining a 4.00 GPA in Engineering Science.


William Havens Award: Casey Cowburn (Assistant Basketball Coach)

Cowburn has served as assistant men’s basketball coach for the past five years.  He is a very influential and calming force within the basketball program.  Cowburn is willing to help out in any way necessary to help either basketball team or the rest of the athletic department.  He also has helped counsel student athletes through his position in the learning center and has volunteered his time to help execute the Special Olympic event.