2019 GLIAC Fall Commissioner's Award winners announced
The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) announced the recipients of the Fall 2019 GLIAC Commissioner’s Awards on Wednesday (January 29). The awards are presented after the Fall, Winter, and Spring athletic seasons to six female and six male student-athletes that excel both in the classroom and on the fields of play. All grade-point averages are based on a 4.0 scale.
The six female student-athletes recipients are: Allyson Cappel (Ferris State) Bri Rogers (Ferris State) Katie Etelamaki (Ferris State) Hanna Groeber (Grand Valley St.) Cecilia Steinwascher (Grand Valley St.) Laura De Marchi (Michigan Tech)
The six male honorees are: Clay Shreve (Ashland), Sam Heyboer (Ferris State), Travis Russell (Ferris State), Tyler Bradfield (Grand Valley St.), Kyle Toth (Wayne State), Leki Prpa (Parkside)
Allyson Cappel, Ferris State Volleyball
Sr., 3.66 GPA, Elementary Education
Ferris State University senior outside hitter Allyson Cappel became the Bulldogs' first-ever four-time All-American this past fall as she was tabbed as a consensus first-team honoree by both the American Volleyball Coaches Association and the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association. She added to her impressive list of accomplishments by being tabbed as a 2019 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-American. Cappel was also chosen as the GLIAC Player of the Year for the third-straight season after guiding FSU to the program's sixth-straight league regular-season championship. This season, Cappel tallied a team-leading 460 kills along with 343 digs, 37 blocks and 35 aces as FSU's most versatile weapon. She was also chosen as both the AVCA and the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association (D2CCA) Regional Player of the Year this season. Cappel led the Bulldogs to a 25-6 overall record and FSU also won a sixth consecutive GLIAC Tournament Championship. Ferris State made its ninth consecutive and 24th all-time NCAA Division II Tournament appearance. This year, Cappel received GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team honors for the fourth year in a row.
Bri Rogers, Ferris State Women's Soccer
Jr., 3.80 GPA, Biology/Pre-Pharmacy
Ferris State University junior midfielder Bri Rogers garnered 2019 United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division II Scholar All-American honors for the Bulldogs. Rogers was also chosen as a All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) First Team pick this year. In addition, she went on to claim United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region honors on the field as a first-team pick while also earning Division II Conference Commissioner's Association (D2CCA) All-Region accolades and GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team honors this year. Rogers appeared in all 20 games and totaled 18 points on six goals and six assists as FSU's third-leading scorer this season. She also notched a game-winner and had two penalty kick goals for the Bulldogs. The junior standout was also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team. The three-time All-GLIAC pick helped the Bulldogs compile a 13-5-2 overall record under first-year head coach Greg Henson while placing in the top four in the GLIAC with a 5-3-1 league record. Along with the top four league finish, the Bulldogs also reached the GLIAC Tournament for the 10th consecutive year and earned the right to host a quarterfinal-round home contest.
Katie Etelamaki, Ferris State Cross Country
Sr., 4.00 GPA, Biology
Ferris State University women's cross country runner Katie Etelamaki earned All-America honors for the second consecutive year at the 2019 NCAA Division II National Championships. The Westwood High School graduate competed individually at the national championships, posting a 23-second personal best and notching the second-fastest time in school history in Sacramento. A senior, Etelamaki was among six individual qualifiers selected to compete in the national championships from the Midwest Region. This season, Etelamaki earned all-region recognition with an 11th-place individual finish in a time of 21:18.8 in the D2 Midwest Regional Championships on the 6K course at Angel Mounds in Evansville, Ind. She placed fifth at the GLIAC Championships in leading FSU. The two-time cross country All-American also claimed 2019 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field All-America recognition. Etelamaki garnered GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team honors for the fourth consecutive year and attained All-GLIAC accolades for the third year in a row.
Hannah Groeber, Grand Valley State Cross Country
Jr., 3.84 GPA, Biomedical Sciences
Hanna Groeber helped lead the Lakers earn the runner-up title at the NCAA Division II National Championships in Sacramento, Calif. on Nov. 23. The junior from Stuttgart, Germany was a part of the 2018 National Championship team that saw GVSU earn their sixth title in just nine years.
A biomedical sciences major, Groeber holds a 3.84 cumulative GPA. Groeber owns three GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team honors and three USTFCCCA Academic All-American accolades in her three years on the team.
Groeber placed 14th at the 2019 National Championships and posted a personal best time of 20:38.2 in the women’s 6K race. This season, Groeber collected an eighth place finish at the Regional Championships and runner-up finish at the GLIAC Championships. En route to the Laker women’s sixth national title, Groeber finished sixth at the 2018 National Championships.
Throughout her career, the Laker women have captured the team’s 19th consecutive GLIAC and Midwest Regional titles.
Cecilia Steinwascher, Grand Valley State Women's Soccer
Jr., 3.63 GPA, Physical Education
Cecilia Steinwascher is a first-time GLIAC Commissioner’s Award winner for the fall of 2019. She started every match at center back for the National Champion GVSU women’s soccer team, leading the team to 19 shutouts and a 25-1 season, earning unanimous first team All-America and All-Region accolades. She was selected as United Soccer Coaches’ Scholar Athlete of the Year and a first team Scholar All-American. Behind the junior, GVSU made history by sweeping through the entire GLIAC regular season without allowing a goal, winning a 15th consecutive championship as Steinwascher was named the GLIAC Defensive Player of the Year and a first team All-Conference selection as well as a member of the All-Tournament team as the Lakers clinched a 13th straight GLIAC Tournament championship. The Sterling Heights, Michigan native is a physical education major with a 3.63 cumulative GPA.
Laura De Marchi, Michigan Tech Volleyball
Jr., 3.84 GPA, Biomedical Engineering
Michigan Tech junior setter Laura De Marchi was named an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American, All-Midwest Region by the AVCA and D2CCA, CoSIDA Academic All-District, the GLIAC Setter of the Year, and to the All-GLIAC First Team in 2019. The native of Milan, Italy holds a 3.84 grade-point average in biomedical engineering and is a two-time GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team.
De Marchi was also honored on the NCAA Midwest Region's All-Tournament Team, Midwest Region Crossover All-Tournament Team, and the GLIAC North Division Player of the Week on September 23. She tallied her 3,000th career assist on October 4 and ranks third in program history with 3,588 assists. De Marchi led the GLIAC in assists per set at 11.59 to rank seventh in the nation and sixth in program history. She also tallied 260 digs, 81 kills, 40 blocks, and 20 service aces. She had 13 matches with 40 assists, six with 50 assists, and one with 60 while also notching 13 double-doubles.
In her career, De Marchi is a three-time GLIAC Setter of the Year, three-time All-GLIAC First Team member, two-time Honorable Mention All-American, and two-time All-Region selection.
Clay Shreve, Ashland Football
Sr., 3.96 GPA, Middle Childhood Education
Ashland University senior inside linebacker Clay Shreve has earned his first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Commissioner's Award, and the eighth for the Eagle football program.
This continues a big offseason of honors for Shreve, who also has been named Don Hansen honorable mention All-American and second-team all-region, a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award, College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) first-team Academic All-America, second-team American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II Coaches' All-America, first-team All-GLIAC and CoSIDA Academic All-District. He also was the Eagle football program's 2019 nominee for the AFCA Good Works Team and the National Football Foundation (NFF) William V. Campbell Trophy.
Shreve recorded a team-high 96 total tackles (36 solo) and 8½ tackles for loss, while adding a half-sack and a fumble recovery, in 2019. He sports a 3.96 cumulative grade-point average as a Middle Grades Education major with concentrations in Mathematics and Social Studies, and an Online teaching and instructional technology minor.
Sam Heyboer, Ferris State Football
Jr., 3.68 GPA, Facility Management
As a starting linebacker for the Bulldogs, Heyboer helped lead FSU to the national semifinals this past fall for the third time in four years. He started all 13 games and had a team-high 70 tackles for one of the nation's top defensive units. The Grand Rapids native was an all-region honoree for the second-straight year and claimed All-GLIAC First Team accolades along with GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team recognition. Heyboer's played helped FSU win a second consecutive GLIAC Championship and he became a four-time letterwinner and league all-academic team pick. A 2018 D2 All-American, Heyboer served as a team captain and was involved in the program's community service efforts. The two-time All-GLIAC pick helped FSU to the national quarterfinals or beyond for the fourth-straight year and compiled 29 solo tackles and 41 assisted hits this year with seven tackles for loss and two sacks. His play helped the Bulldog defense rank first in the country in passing efficiency defense this past fall.
Travis Russell, Ferris State Football
Sr., 3.73 GPA, Marketing
Ferris State University senior quarterback Travis Russell led the Bulldogs to the NCAA Division II National Semifinals for the third time in four years this past fall. The 2019 recipient of the GLIAC's Jack H. McAvoy Award for outstanding character and leadership, Russell returned for his senior campaign after graduating last spring and became the Bulldogs' starting QB during their postseason run. The senior standout compiled a 13-2 mark as a starter for FSU in his career and helped FSU to a 62-8 record in his five seasons in the program. The four-time GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team honoree was the NCAA's Elite 90 Award recipient for holding the highest grade point average in the 2018 national championship game and was highly-involved in various community service initiatives and organizations in his collegiate career, including taking part in two different spring break mission trips to South Carolina to serve people whose homes had been destroyed due to hurricanes. He was a two-time nominee for the AFCA Good Works Team and was a national semifinalist this year for the Wooden Cup presented to the nation's top performer on and off the field. He was also a candidate for the 2019 Campbell Trophy awarded to the nation's top football scholar-athlete. This year, he completed 86 of 160 passes for 1,503 yards and six scores while running for nearly 300 yards and three TD's.
Tyler Bradfield, Grand Valley State Football
Jr., 3.98 GPA, Finance
Grand Valley State junior linebacker Tyler Bradfield tallied an outstanding junior year and was named a 2019 First-Team Academic All-American as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Bradfield, who was a Second-Team Academic All-American in 2018, becomes the first Laker football student-athlete to earn back-to-back Academic All-America honors. Bradfield sports a 3.98 GPA as a finance major.
A three-time GLIAC All-Excellence honoree, Tyler ranked second on the team in total tackles with 81 (25 solo/56 assisted) stops, while recording 10.0 TFL (-48), 4.0 QB sacks (-40), three pass breakups, three QB hurries and two forced fumbles. The Rockford High School product notched 10 or more tackles three times, including a season-high 12 tackles at Ferris State. During his career Bradfield has 214 career tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss (-82) and 7.0 QB sacks (-62).
Kyle Toth, Wayne State Football
Sr., 3.85 GPA, Kinesiology
Redshirt senior safety Kyle Toth (Hudsonville, Mich.) becomes Wayne State's 10th two-time recipient of the GLIAC Commissioner's Award. He was voted to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team last fall becoming WSU's first football two Academic All-American in the 102 years of Warrior football. Toth, who served as a team captain for the second consecutive season in 2019, was named to the Honorable Mention All-GLIAC Team for the second straight year. Toth led all WSU defensive backs with 30 solo tackles and 52 total tackles. He also contributed two pass break-ups, a forced fumble and a tackle for loss. Academically, he earned a spot on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll (term GPA 3.5+) all nine semesters, including a 4.00 term GPA on five occasions. Toth, who graduated with a 3.85 cumulative grade-point average in Kinesiology, was named to the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team for four consecutive years. In his collegiate career, Toth played in 41 games, while starting the last 33 contests. He finished with 199 career tackles (120-79), which ranks 51st in program history. Toth tied-for-12th in school history with four forced fumbles, tied-for-32nd with one blocked kick, tied-for-35th with 120 solo tackles and tied-for-41st with 13 passes defended (10 break-ups, 3 interceptions).
Leki Prpa, Parkside Men's Soccer
Sr., 3.91 GPA, Sports Management
Leki Prpa, a graduate student midfielder from Wind Lake, Wis., has left his mark on the Parkside men’s soccer program. Prpa, who became the first student-athlete in Parkside history to win the GLIAC Commissioner’s Award, finished his undergraduate career with a 3.91 GPA to earn his business management degree. His continued academic success through graduate school saw him become a First Team Academic All-American with CoSIDA and Scholar All-America with USCA.
Along with that honor, Prpa was named Third Team All-America, and became just the fourth player in Parkside history to receive All-America honors in both categories. The midfielder was also named a GLIAC First Team Forward, D2CAA All-Midwest Region Second Team, and USCA All-Midwest Region First Team.
He closed his senior season playing all 21 games for the Rangers, scoring seven goals and a GLIAC-leading 11 assists. His contributions helped Parkside grab their first-ever GLIIAC title, and first NCAA tournament berth since 2006.