Fourth annual event held Thursday night at DeKalbâ€™s Egyptian Theatre
Jordan Lynch of the Northern Illinois football team and Mary Kurisch from the Huskie volleyball team were named NIUâ€™s male and female Athletes of the Year on Thursday night as NIU Athletics held its fourth annual Victors Awards at the Egyptian Theatre.
The all-sports, ESPY-style awards show highlighted the on-field and off-field accomplishments of Huskie Athletics from the 2012 spring, 2012 fall and 2012-13 winter seasons.
Lynch, an Associated Press Second Team All-American, earned the MACâ€™s Vern Smith Leadership Award of the leagueâ€™s most valuable player and finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Kurisch was a first team All-MAC honoree and was also named to the conference all-tournament team while leading the Huskies to their third-straight MAC title match.
Lynch and Kurischâ€™s respective teams were also named NIUâ€™s teams of the year and won the menâ€™s and womenâ€™s Victors Cup crowns, which are chosen through a point system awarded for competitive achievement, academic success, community service, attendance at athletic events and voluntary programs throughout the year. The football team made history by becoming the first MAC school to play in a BCS game when they met Florida State in the Discover Orange Bowl. The volleyball team posted its third consecutive 20-win season and had three All-MAC and eight Academic All-MAC honorees.
Coach of the Year honors were handed out to Patrick Fisher of the NIU menâ€™s tennis team and Ray Gooden from the Huskie volleyball team. Fisher led the menâ€™s tennis team to a 21-7 record and a MAC Championship in 2012, while Gooden guided the volleyball team to a 21-15 record and was named MAC Coach of the Year.
The Mr. and Ms. Victor E. Huskie Awards, presented to the student-athletes who most represent the values of being a champion in the classroom, in competition and in the community were awarded Shane Rosenberry of the NIU wrestling team and Shaakira Haywood of the Huskie womenâ€™s basketball team.
Frederic CadieuxÂ and Nelle Youel of the NIU menâ€™s and womenâ€™s tennis teams were recognized as the male and female Newcomers of the Year. Cadieux went 25-4 in singles play last season, while Youel posted a 20-11 mark during her rookie campaign.
After coming back from two major knee injuries, Jason Schepler of the NIU football team earned the Huskie Heart Award, representing the best comeback by an NIU athlete. The Huskie Pride Award, which is presented to a non-scholarship student-athlete, was won by Meg Piepenbrink of the NIU gymnastics team and the Unsung Hero Award was given to Antone Christian of the menâ€™s basketball team
The NIU Academic Team of the Year awards were presented to the NIU menâ€™s and womenâ€™s golf teams, while the male and female Scholar-Athletes of the Year were Nabal Jefferson of the football team, a 2012 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award winner, and Jenelle McCalla of the womenâ€™s track and field team, who holds a 4.0 GPA in psychology.
2013 Victors Award Winners
Male Newcomer of the Year:
Frederic Cadieux, Menâ€™s Tennis
Female Newcomer of the Year:
Nelle Youel, Womenâ€™s Tennis
Male Community Service Award:
Rocco Taglia, Menâ€™s Soccer
Female Community Service Award:
Lauren Noonan, Womenâ€™s Soccer
Menâ€™s Academic Team of the Year:
Womenâ€™s Academic Team of the Year:
Performance of the Year:
Satavia Taylor, Womenâ€™s Basketball
Huskie Heart Award:
Jason Schepler, Football
Huskie Pride Award:
Meg Piepenbrink, Gymnastics
Menâ€™s Team of the Year:
Womenâ€™s Team of the Year:
Male Athlete of the Year: Jordan Lynch, Football
Female Athlete of the Year: Mary Kurisch, Volleyball
Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Nabal Jefferson, Football
Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Jenelle McCalla, Womenâ€™s Track & Field
Menâ€™s Community Service Team of the Year: Wrestling
Womenâ€™s Community Service Team of the Year: Womenâ€™s Soccer
Menâ€™s Coach of the Year: Patrick Fisher, Menâ€™s Tennis
Womenâ€™s Coach of the Year: Ray Gooden, Volleyball
Unsung Hero of the Year: Antone Christian, Menâ€™s Basketball
Menâ€™s Victors Cup: Football
Womenâ€™s Victors Cup: Volleyball
Mr. Victor E. Huskie: Shane Rosenberry, Wrestling
Ms. Victor E. Huskie: Shaakira Haywood, Womenâ€™s Basketball
For more information on Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.