Honors for outstanding performances in fall sports competition by Hope College athletes have been announced.
Competing in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), Hope teams captured conference championships in football, men's golf and volleyball. The women's golf and men's cross country teams finished second; the men's soccer and women's cross country teams were third, and the women's soccer team ended fifth.
The cumulative result was Hope gaining the lead after the fall sports season in the MIAA all-sports standings. Already the winner of a league record 22 all-sports championships, Hope teams amassed 84 all-sports points during the fall season followed by Albion 68, Calvin 66, Alma and Kalamazoo 56 each, Adrian 24 and Olivet 22.
Hope athletes were named the most valuable in three fall sports -- senior J.D. Graves in football, senior Aaron Vandenberg in men's golf and freshman Lacey Wicksall in women's golf.
Cross Country -- Eight Hope runners were afforded All-MIAA distinction. Achieving first team honors were senior Garett Childs of Breckenridge (Breckenridge HS), senior Jennifer Ernst of Westerville, Ohio (Westerville HS), senior Joe Veldman of Sawyer (Three Oaks/River Valley HS), and junior Dylan Wade of Beulah (Benzie Central HS). Veldman and Wade were honored for the third year while Ernst was named a second time. Second team All-MIAA runners from Hope were senior Fred Herschelman of Ortonville, Ohio (Ortonville Brandon HS), freshman Donavon Hornbeck of Ovid (Ovid Elsie HS), sophomore Kristen Post of Holland (West Ottawa HS), and junior Sarah Schripsema of Kalamazoo (Kalamazoo Christian HS).
Football -- Quarterback J.D. Graves of Troy (Troy Athens HS) became the first player in the history of MIAA football to win most valuable player accolades in consecutive years. Graves was voted the MIAA's most valuable offensive player as the Flying Dutchmen claimed its first outright MIAA crown in 14 years. The MIAA has presented MVP awards since 1938.
The Flying Dutchmen placed a total of 15 players on the coaches' All-MIAA teams. First team honorees included junior offensive tackle Bill Crane of Cedar Springs (Cedar Springs HS), sophomore center Josh Rumpsa of Grand Rapids (Forest Hills Central HS), senior tight end Jim Lamb of Mattawan (Mattawan HS), senior receiver Brian Adloff of East Grand Rapids (East Grand Rapids HS), senior running back Adam Magers of Battle Creek (St. Philip HS), senior quarterback J.D. Graves of Troy (Troy Athens HS), sophomore defensive end Ryan Kerstetter of Kentwood (Grand Rapids South Christian HS), senior linebacker Matt Bride of Petoskey (Petoskey HS), and sophomore punter Vince Scheffler of Chelsea (Chelsea HS). Adloff has been named to the All-MIAA first team for three years, twice as a tight end and this year as a receiver.
Voted to the All-MIAA second team were junior offensive tackle Nick Kunnen of Muskegon (Reeths-Puffer HS), senior fullback Scott Langlois of Hopkins (Hopkins HS), sophomore defensive lineman Andy Keller of Hastings (Hastings HS), senior linebacker Kevin Kudej of Mount Morris (Flint Powers HS), and sophomore linebacker Josh Baumbach of Wyoming (Wyoming Park HS).
Golf -- The league medalist and most valuable player in both MIAA men's and women's golf came from Hope College. Senior Aaron Vandenberg of Holland (Holland HS) led the Flying Dutchmen to their second consecutive conference championship while freshman Lacey Wicksall of Traverse City (Traverse City Central HS) marked her collegiate debut by topping the MIAA women's player standings.
Hope placed four players on the All-MIAA men's golf teams. Joining Aaron Vandenberg on the first team were sophomore Everett Leonard of Kalamazoo (Hackett HS) and junior Eric Wohlfield of Brighton (Brighton HS). Wohlfield, who finished runner-up in league standings, achieved first team status for a third straight year while Vandenberg was honored for the second time. Named to the All-MIAA second team was freshman Jeff Melville of Grandville (Jenison HS).
The Flying Dutch placed two players on the All-MIAA women's golf teams. Lacey Wicksall was the only first team honoree while achieving second team recognition was junior Emily Thielk of Ann Arbor (Pioneer HS).
Soccer -- The soccer teams placed seven players on the All-MIAA teams. First team honorees in men's soccer were freshman midfielder Ed Huebner of Portage (Portage Northern HS), sophomore back Matt Margaron of Naperville, Ill. (Naperville Central HS) and sophomore goalkeeper Marcus Voss of Zeeland (Zeeland HS). Junior forward Tim Keeler and junior back Jon Kucinski, both from Portage (Portage Northern HS) were second team selections.
In women's soccer, junior Liz Dornbos of Vicksburg (Vicksburg HS) was named to the All-MIAA first team while junior midfielder Emilie Dirkse of Holland (West Ottawa HS) was a second team honoree.
Volleyball -- The MIAA champion Flying Dutch placed four players on the All-MIAA teams. First team honorees were senior Amy Brower of Hamilton (Hamilton HS), senior Kim Grotenhuis of Hamilton (Hamilton HS), and sophomore Laura Hahnfeld of Midland (Midland HS) while named to the second team was senior Jennifer Gerig of Montague (Montague HS). Brower and Hahnfeld were also named to the All-Region Division III team by the volleyball coaches association. Brower and Grotenhuis were also recognized for excellence in the classroom as they were named to the Verizon district academic team and are now eligible for Academic All-America consideration.