EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE IN A TEAM SPORT
Presented to the athlete, irrespective of gender, who had the best performance in a team sport in a given year.
Cody Stuive, Men’s Basketball – In the second round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament against Washington University in St. Louis, Stuive scored a career-high 37 points, shooting 10-for-11 from behind the 3-point line. Stuive also led the team in rebounds (7), blocks (4), and steals (3) in a 94-80 victory for the Flying Dutchmen.
EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE IN AN INDIVIDUAL SPORT
Presented to the athlete, irrespective of gender, who had the best performance in an individual sport in a given year.
Erin Herrmann, Women's Cross Country and Track & Field – Herrmann ran to a fourth place finish in the 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championship with a school record time of 20 minutes, 51.1 seconds on the 6K course, claiming All-American honors; At the 2016 NCAA Track & Field Championship, Herrmann ran to a second place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10 minutes, 41.30 seconds, becoming Hope’s first All-American in the event.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Presented to a freshman or transfer, irrespective of gender, that made a significant impact within his or her sport in a given year.
Brandan Campbell, Football – Campbell played in all ten games for the Flying Dutchmen and averaged 136.1 yards of total offense per game. He finished the season with 1,361 total yards of rushing, the fourth-most by a Hope player in a single season. He also rushed for 14 touchdowns, which is tied for the fourth-most all-time in Flying Dutchmen history. Campbell was named to the All-MIAA First Team and was recognized as a member of the D3football.com All-North Region team.
MALE BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE
Presented to a male athlete (sophomore and above) that has made the best or most significant breakthrough in his or her sport in a given year.
Josh Gibson, Men’s Golf – In his sophomore season, Gibson stepped up for the Flying Dutchmen and led the team to their fourth consecutive MIAA Championship title. He claimed MVP honors as the top men’s golfer in the MIAA. Gibson finished the fall season with two individual wins and was named to the All-MIAA First Team.
FEMALE BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE
Presented to a female athlete (sophomore and above) that has made the best or most significant breakthrough in his or her sport in a given year.
Nat Curry, Women’s Soccer – As a senior, Curry earned her second year as a full-time starter and captain for the Flying Dutch. In the 2016 season, she went from a solid player to an impact player for the team. Curry was named to the All-MIAA First Team and received All-Region honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. She was also named the offensive MVP for the team.
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Presented to an athlete who has reemerged on the field of play after overcoming adversity in the previous season due to an injury, illness, or other personal commitments.
Katrina Ellis, Softball – As a senior, Ellis incurred an ACL tear in the fall of 2016, an injury most would define as career ending. However, Ellis rehabbed diligently in the off-season and has gotten it strong enough to play this spring and help the team. She is starting at third base for the Flying Dutch and it is due to her dedication to her teammates, hard work, and determination to not let the injury define her senior season.
ROLE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Presented to a non-starter, irrespective of gender, who made a significant contribution to the success of the team.
Allison Hedrick, Women’s Basketball – Hedrick was a big contributor off the bench this year for the Flying Dutch. She played at three different positions and excelled not only as a defensive stopper, but contributed in key offensive ways in the overtime victory at Calvin and in wins over Wisconsin-Whitewater and Thomas More in the NCAA Tournament.
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Presented to the female athlete deemed to be the most exceptional in a given year.
Elizabeth Perkins, Women's Soccer – Perkins broke two long-standing Hope Women’s Soccer records in the 2016 season; the single season points record at 57, and for most goals scored in a season with 25. Those 25 goals had Perkins in a three-way tie for first in the nation at Division III in scoring. She was named MIAA Player of the Year, earned All-MIAA First Team honors, claimed All-Region honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Additionally, Perkins was recognized as a CoSIDA Academic All-American and NSCAA Academic All-American.
MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Presented to the male athlete deemed to be the most exceptional in a given year.
Harrison Blackledge, Men’s Basketball – Blackledge averaged 20 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while leading the Flying Dutchmen to a regular-season MIAA title and to the sectional round of the NCAA Tournament. He was named the MIAA MVP and received MIAA First Team honors. Additionally, Blackledge was recognized as a NCAA Division III First Team All-American and Great Lakes District Player of the Year. Blackledge was the recipient of the 2017 Jostens Trophy as the most outstanding NCAA Division III men’s basketball player of the year.
BE STRONG. BE TRUE. MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Jake Chipka, Baseball – Chipka was the number one pitcher for the Flying Dutchmen in 2016. He graduated in 2016 with a degree in Kinesiology – Exercise Science. On campus, he was involved with Mortar Board, CASA, and Campus Ministries’ Men’s Night Out. Additionally, he organized a basketball tournament to raise money for kids in Honduras after spending a summer in the country for missions. Chipka was a two-year captain for Hope baseball and was named to the All-MIAA Second Team in 2016.
BE STRONG. BE TRUE. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Molly Meyer, Women's Swimming – Meyer is a senior, majoring in Mathematics major and minoring in Economics minor. She was the MIAA Champion in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke this season and has served as team captain for the Flying Dutch for the past two years. She was named to the All-MIAA team for her fourth consecutive season. After studying abroad in Peru in the summer of 2016, Meyer served as a Global Ambassador on campus last semester. She is a math tutor and a peer advisor in the International Education Office. Additionally, Meyer is an active member of Athletes Coming Together/Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (ACT/SAAC).
EXCEPTIONAL TEAM PERFORMANCE
Presented to the team that played the most impressive game or had the most significant win in a given year.
Women's Basketball vs. Thomas More – The Flying Dutch defeated the defending national champion Thomas More, 74-67, on their home court in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Thomas More had not lost in three years, was 94-0 during that time, and was on an 84 game home winning streak. Mandy Traversa’s 22 points and 14 rebounds led the team in this victory.
Presented to the team deemed to be the most outstanding in a given year.
Women’s Golf – At the 2016 NCAA Division III Championships, the Flying Dutch finished 10th in the nation for the best team finish in school history. During the fall 2016 season, the team broke the all-time low average in the MIAA, lowering the record from 322.7 to 316.6 strokes per round. Additionally, the team was the first in league history to shoot a sub-300 round when they scored 299 on the first day of the final MIAA tournament. Four members of the team were named All-MIAA and one athlete was the league’s Most Valuable Golfer. The team also had one All-American at the national tournament in spring 2016.
MIAA CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE
Presented to the team deemed to have the best or most significant performance in a MIAA Championship match, series, or tournament in a given year.
Volleyball – The Flying Dutch handed the #1 nationally ranked Calvin team its first lost of the season in a thrilling five-set victory in the MIAA Tournament Final. Hope’s 14-25, 25-22, 25-16, 19-25, 15-13 victory gave the Flying Dutch an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
KAREN PAGE COURAGE AWARD
Presented in honor of beloved former Hope women’s tennis coach Karen Page, who lost her brave, five-year battle to breast cancer in the summer of 2009.
Kimani Dooley, Football. Overcame the death of his mother as a child, as well as adjusting to being a minority student at Hope College, to become an exceptional student-athlete.
H-Club Hope For Humanity Award
Presented to a former Hope College student-athlete who has demonstrated Christian commitment and servanthood in his or her career.
Rick Reece - More on the award winner.