Sheri McCormack of Holland (West Ottawa HS) and Michael Atwell of Geneseo, Ill. (Geneseo HS), were named the outstanding senior male and female athletes among Hope College graduates in the class of 2014 on Thursday, April 24. McCormack received the John Schouten Award during the college’s Honors Convocation, while Atwell garnered the Otto van der Velde All-Campus Award.
The Schouten award is given to a senior woman who, in addition to excelling in athletics, possesses other strong character traits and leadership abilities. The award is named in memory of John "Jack" Schouten who was a long-time physical educator and coach at Hope, in addition to serving as the college's first director of athletics.
The van der Velde award is presented to a senior man for outstanding contributions to the college in athletics, scholarship and participation in student activities. The award, presented annually since 1932, is named in memory of Dr. Otto van der Velde, a 1915 Hope College graduate who lettered in four sports and was later the college's team physician for more than 40 years.
A Spanish major with a chemistry minor, McCormack was a four-year letterwinner in cross country and track & field at Hope. She was captain for two seasons in track & field and one season in cross country.
Last fall, McCormack helped the Flying Dutch finish ninth in the NCAA Division III Championships while placing 17th herself to claim All-America honors. She was selected the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s Most Valuable Runner and became an All-MIAA First Team runner for the second time in cross country. McCormack was MIAA champion in the 800 meters last spring. She will compete in the MIAA Field Day next week. McCormack is the daughter of Jimroy and Denise McCormack.
A biology and chemistry major at Hope, Atwell started at quarterback for three seasons. He finished third in Flying Dutchmen history with 6,094 passing yards while compiling a 19-11 record that included two 7-3 seasons. Atwell was named a Division III recipient of the Morley Fraser Award given by the Michigan Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame to a collegiate football player who demonstrates academic achievement, football ability and leadership. Atwell is the son of Maurice and Julie Atwell.
Both Atwell and McCormack were awarded NCAA Division III Postgraduate Scholarships in March. Atwell will use toward the cost of attending medical school, while McCormack is going to dental school.