The Alfred State athletic department recently held their annual end of the year athletic award ceremony. Highlights of the 2016-17 season were shared by each coach and several student-athletes were honored for their success on and off the field of play.
Pioneer Award: Given to the male and female athletes who have achieved success on and off the field throughout their career at Alfred State. The nominees have demonstrated Sportsmanship and Leadership, been involved in Civic Engagement activities, along with earning athletic honors during their career.
2016-17 Winners: Stormi Kruger and Bobby Mahany
Kruger, a four year member of the soccer and softball teams, is a three-time softball All-American and was named honorable mention All-American this year for soccer to become the first Pioneer athlete to earn All-American honors from the USCAA in multiple sports. She finished her softball career as a .407 hitter with 20 doubles, 12 triples, 4 homers, and 88 RBI in 125 games. On the soccer field she scored seven goals and had three assists from her defensive position in 66 career games on the soccer field. During her time on the soccer team the Lady Pioneers made four straight appearances in the USCAA National Championships. She continued to play even though she has had to deal with injuries and is willing to go above and beyond for her team and for the athletic department. Last year she was the recipient of the Leadership Award.
Mahany, a three-year member of the soccer team, was named USCAA honorable mention All-American this season along with earning 2nd team All-Independent and USCAA All-Academic Team honors. Served as a team captain, leads by example, and was a key member of the Pioneer defense. He has been a member of the Emerging Pioneer Leadership Program, has worked in the civic engagement department on campus, and recently was awarded the Chancellor's Award for Excellence. This is the second year in a row he has been the recipient of the Pioneer Award.
Athlete of the Year: Given to the male and female athletes that have participated more than one season while achieving career excellence and exhibited good character.
2016-17 Winners: Catherine Bialecki and George "Ian" Van Valen
Bialecki, a two-year member of basketball team, helped lead team to the ACAA Championship title and to the USCAA National Championships. She scored 523 points, grabbed 307 rebounds and blocked 105 shots this season. At the end of the season she was named the USCAA Division I Player of the Year, 1st team USCAA All-American, 1st team All-Independent, and 1st team ECAC North. This followed a freshmen season in which she was named the Alfred State Newcomer of the year after being a 2nd team USCAA All-American.
Van Valen, a three year member of the wrestling team, finished the season with a 39-7 overall record with 14 pins. He finished 2nd at the NCWA National Championships. His 2nd place finish is the highest by any wrestler in the history of Alfred State competing in the NCWA. Earlier in the season he won his weight class at the NCWA Northeast Conference Tournament, the USCAA Invitational, and the Brockport Open. He now has 75 career victories and 26 pins and this is the second year in a row that he has been named the Athlete of the Year.
Newcomer of the Year: Given to the male and female athletes who have made the largest impact upon Alfred State athletics and exhibited good character in their first year as Pioneers.
2016-17 Winners: Brooke Geibel and Anders Presthus
Geibel led the women's soccer team with 13 goals and eight assists and helped the team to a 9-8 record and a trip to the USCAA National Championship. For her accomplishments she was named 2nd team USCAA All-American and was named 1st team All-Independent.
Presthus, a transfer track and field thrower from Alfred University, has qualified for the ECAC Championships for the outdoor season in two events, shot put and discus. In the school record book he is 4th all-time in the shot put (14.93 m), 5th in the discus (42.80 m), and 9th in the hammer throw (43.69 m) during the outdoor season and 8th in the shot put (14.02 m) in the indoor season. He won the shot put, finished 2nd in the discus and hammer, and finished 3rd in the javelin at the USCAA Invitational.
Academic Award: Honor the male and female athletes who have competed in athletics for at least two years, while achieving the highest overall grade-point average during that time.
2016-17 Winners: Michayla Salatel, Joe Johnson, and Gordon Trahan.
Salatel, a two-year member of the soccer and basketball teams, has a 3.94 GPA in Financial Planning.
Johnson, a two-year member of the lacrosse team, has a 4.0 GPA in Construction Management.
Trahan, a two-year member of the wrestling team, has a 4.0 GPA in Agricultural Technology.
Daniel J. Neverett Sportsmanship Award: Given to the male and female athletes who best exemplify the principles of fair play and gamesmanship. The winners are athletes who have participated for two years who take defeat without complaint, who achieve victory without gloating, and who treat their opponents with fairness, generosity and courtesy.
2016-17 Winners: Jessica Padley and John Mormino
Padley, a four-year member of the volleyball team, helped team to three straight USCAA Championship appearances. Played in 113 of the team's 115 sets this season and recorded 230 kills, 233 digs, and 41 service aces. Served as a team captain this season. She is credited for her calm and steady influence on the team, for being a great role model in how she carries herself, and for her hard work and commitment to balancing life as a student-athlete. She is also one of the most positive and encouraging people, always shows great respect for her teammates and anyone around her.
Mormino, a three-year member of the men's soccer team, scored one goal and was credited with one assist this season while playing a handful of different positions. Credited for being the ultimate team player willing to do whatever to help the team be successful and for always considers team first. He is also the first to step up to help his teammates and is always considerate of the opponents. This spring he Served as a captain and will be one of the co-captains of the team next year.
Leadership Award: Given to the male and female athletes who have participated for two years and whom have taken the initiative to lead their team on and off the field.
2016-17 Winners: Madison Szpaicher & Brandon Teboe
Szpaicher, a four-year member of volleyball team, helped lead the Lady Pioneers to three straight USCAA National Championship appearances. The is season she earned 2nd team USCAA All-American and AVCA All-American honors after transitioning to setter and in which she recorded 962 assists, 328 digs, 110 kills, 51 service aces, and 42 blocks. She changed positions this season for the betterment of the team and was a team Captain that led on and the off the court. She was instrumental in the organization and execution of the Pink Pride game the past three years. In the classroom she has been honored with USCAA All-Academic honors.
Teboe, a four-year member of the track & field team and recipient of this award for the second straight year, has battled injuries the past two seasons but still has found ways to help the team. He finished 3rd in the pole vault in the USCAA Invitational. He is an active member of Student Athlete Advisory Committee and is credited for always being willing to help anyone on his team or in the athletic department. He has helped various coaches with prospective recruits and student athletes with strength and conditioning activities. Throughout his career he has been honored as a USCAA All-Academic team member.
William Havens Award: Given to the person within the athletic department who has gone beyond the call of duty in making the greatest contribution in aiding the mission of the athletic department during the past year.
2016-17 Winner: Michele Cole
Cole has served as the athletic department secretary for the past two years. She is willing to help in all capacities to achieve success and has been able to work to streamline processes and procedures to make everyday operations run smoother. She is always available to answer questions or help solve issues and has worked diligently with new coaches to make sure they are informed of all policies and procedures.
Pioneer Honors: This distinction is given to an individual(s) that have gone above and beyond to aid the mission of the athletic department during the past year
2016-17 Winner: Matt Lawrence
Lawrence has served as the faculty athletic representative for the past three years. He leads the intercollegiate athletic board and has served on countless athletic department search committee. He also serves as the liaison to academics and is always willing to help coaches with their recruiting efforts.
Four-Year Pioneers: Given to the student-athletes that have competed at Alfred State for four-years.
Ryan Amidon: Lacrosse, Austin Baker: Baseball, Brianna Byrnes: Track & Field, Joe Carr: Lacrosse, Marshall Forbes: Football, Cullen Franz: Baseball, Kyle Glaub: Cross Country/Track & Field, Grace Hall: Volleyball, Kelly Healy: Cross Country/Track & Field, Joselyn Johnson: Basketball, Konnor Kremer: Wrestling, Stormi Kruger: Women's Soccer/Softball, Brian Markel: Soccer, Pedro Mora: Baseball, Aubri Mosier: Softball, Josh Mosolf: Soccer, Jessica Padley: Volleyball, Steffanie Preston: Basketball, Desmond Radcliffe: Football, Brady Sass: Baseball, Trisha Shingleton: Softball, Trevon Smith: Football, Kyle Sporysz: Swimming & Diving, Trevor Stiles: Track & Field, Madison Szpaicher: Volleyball, Brandon Teboe: Track & Field, Justin Wallace: Basketball, Colby Wright: Soccer, Josh Zernickel: Cross Country
PIONEER EXCELLENCE CUP: The Pioneer Excellence Cup honors the team that has combined success in athletic achievements, academic excellence, and in civic engagement.
2016-17 Winner: Volleyball