MIAA Announces Top Senior Awards: Hope's Schmidt Named Deal Award Recipient, Calvin's Verkaik Receives Kovalchik Award
the MIAA to the outstanding senior athletes from its member schools
during the 2012-13 academic year have been announced by
Commissioner David Neilson.
Schmidt of Hope College has received the Albert
L. Deal Scholar-Athlete Award, while Carissa Verkaik
of Calvin College has been presented the Sheila
Wallace Kovalchik Scholar-Athlete Award.
"Cory and Carissa have had marvelous careers these last four years in the classroom, on the field, and as role models in our conference. They will be missed, but their selection for these awards from such an exceptional group of nominees is an achievement for which they should take great pride," Commissioner Neilson said.
The awards recognize
senior class athletes who have excelled in academics and athletics,
as well as displayed outstanding leadership in
their respective communities. The awards honor
two former MIAA commissioners, Albert Deal (1971-91) and
Sheila Wallace Kovalchik (1991-2002).
A native of Milan, Ohio and graduate of Edison High School, Cory Schmidt lettered four times in baseball at Hope during his career. He was named to the All-MIAA second team in baseball in 2012 and 2013.
A left-handed pitcher, Schmidt compiled a 15-5 record during his career, allowing only one home run in 136 innings and posting a 2.93 earned run average. He posted a 6-2 record with a 3.23 ERA in 55-2/3 innings pitched this past spring for the Flying Dutchmen. In league play, he was 4-1 with a 2.50 ERA, walking only six batters over nearly 40 innings as Hope won a share of its first MIAA championship since 2007.
A psychology major at Hope, Schmidt graduated Phi Beta Kappa in May with a 3.95 grade point average. He was selected to the Capital One NCAA Division III Academic All-America second team this spring and was a four-time member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll.
Schmidt was involved in numerous campus and community activities during his four years at Hope. He worked in the college’s Writing Center for three years, was a help session leader for organic chemistry classes, took part in student-faculty research, served as an orientation leader on campus and was a member of a student panel on health professions.
In addition, he worked with at-risk students for two years as a tutor in Hope’s Children’s After School Achievement program, and volunteered with Heights of Hope, a faith-based neighborhood outreach ministry in Holland, Mich.
Schmidt was named this spring as the recipient of Hope’s Otto van der Velde All-Campus Award, given to a senior male student-athlete for outstanding contributions in athletics, scholarship and participation in student activites. He will begin classes this fall at the University of Toledo College of Medicine.
Cory Schmidt is the son of Dr. Eric and Dr. Jane Schmidt of Milan, Ohio.
nominees for the Albert L. Deal Award were C.J. Carroll of Albion,
Dan Kerr of Calvin, Alex Armstrong of Kalamazoo, Cole Dehen of
Olivet and Matt Zurbriggen of Trine.
native of Holland, Mich. and graduate of Holland Christian High
School, Carissa Verkaik won eight letters as a student-athlete at
Calvin, four in basketball and four in track and field. She was a
seven-time All-MIAA selection during her career, four times in
basketball and three in track and field.
basketball, Verkaik became the first women’s basketball
player in MIAA history to be named the conference’s Most
Valuable Player four consecutive
only the third player to be named first team All-MIAA all four
years. She also graduated as the conference’s all-time career
scoring leader, scoring 1,219 points in 64 league games for an
average of 19.0 points per game. She finished as Calvin’s
all-time leader in career scoring (2,236 points), rebounding
(1,071) and blocked shots (440).
won numerous national honors in her senior year, including the 2013
Jostens Trophy as the most outstanding NCAA Division III
women’s basketball student-athlete. She was also named the
national Player of the Year by d3hoops.com and Women’s
Division III News, and was a two-time finalist for the State
Farm/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division III
Player of the Year award.
also excelled as a high jumper for the Knights, winning the MIAA
championship in the event three times and qualifying for the NCAA
national meet twice.
graduated in May from Calvin with a degree in education, finishing
with a 3.77 grade point average. She was a member of the
Dean’s List at Calvin all four years, a four-time member of
the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, and a two-time Capital One Academic
All-America selection (2012 and 2013). Last winter, she was named
the national Division III Academic All-America of the Year
women’s basketball by
the College Sports Information Directors of America.
was also active in numerous activities in the community. Some of
her volunteer activities include serving as a mentor in the Special
Olympics program, serving as a tutor with local elementary school
children, serving as a praise and worship leader in her church and
organizing a middle-school book club group. This past spring she
has served as a student teacher at Potter's House Christian School
in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Verkaik was recently was named the co-recipient of the Kay Tiemersma Award, presented annually to Calvin’s most outstanding senior female student-athlete. She was also named Michigan Female College Athlete of the Year by the Detroit Athletic Club.
Verkaik is the daughter
of Mike and Dawn Verkaik of Holland, Mich.
Other nominees for the Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Award were Kelly Eberhardt of Adrian, Kristin Nelson of Albion, Libby Westrate of Hope, Megan Martinez of Kalamazoo, Caitlin LaValley of Olivet, Morgan Bedan of Saint Mary’s and Andrea Gasco of Trine.
MIAA 125th Anniversary Exhibit Opens At NCAA Hall of Champions
The MIAA and the NCAA Hall of Champions are pleased to announce the establishment of a special exhibit honoring the conference's 125th anniversary.
The exhibit, which will include awards, memorabilia and historical information, will be on display in the Hall's Membership Showcase area through September 30. The Hall of Champions is located in Indianapolis, Ind.
The exhibit is the first Hall of Champions exhibit to feature an NCAA Division III conference.
The MIAA began March 24, 1888 and is America's oldest collegiate athletic conference. The conference has always conducted full-season championships in multiple sports, though there have been additions and removals of some athletic events over the course of the league's history. While bicycle racing and club juggling are no longer in existence, the MIAA currently offers 20 sports for men and women.
Albion and Olivet were charter members who joined the league in 1888, and are now joined by Adrian, Alma, Calvin, Hope, Kalamazoo, Saint Mary's and Trine, which was the last to join the conference in 2004.
The MIAA display will include reference to key athletics officials who attended schools within the conference, a timeline dedicated to the addition of women’s sports, historic photographs, articles and awards dating back to 1937-38, along with general facts about the league and how it has developed into one of the most successful and notable conferences in NCAA Division III.
MIAA member colleges have won 20 NCAA Division III championships. NCAA Division III history was made in 1991-92 when the MIAA claimed two national championships in basketball - Calvin earned the men's title and Alma claimed the women's title. The league has also had 97 individual NCAA national championship performances since 1978. The MIAA is headquartered in Royal Oak.
"The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association is celebrating a milestone in its history, and the NCAA Hall of Champions wants to take this opportunity to share the story of the league’s successes and to put a spotlight on its member school and student-athlete accomplishments in Division III and the NCAA," said Kelly Dodds, associate director of the NCAA Hall of Champions. "The Hall of Champions is dedicated to telling the story of the NCAA, its members, and its student-athletes and we welcome this opportunity to celebrate with the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association."
The NCAA Hall of Champions is a two-level, 30,000-square foot facility that celebrates the academic and athletic experiences of current and former NCAA student-athletes and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The Hall of Champions features interactive exhibits, relevant artifacts and memorabilia, as well as photos and video that center on the 23 NCAA sports and 89 championships.
The Hall of Champions is located in downtown Indianapolis in White River State Park and serves as a meeting and event facility and public attraction. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Regular admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children, senior citizens and students. For more information, go to www.ncaahallofchampions.org or call 317/916-HALL. For more information on the NCAA, go to www.ncaa.org.
MIAA Announces Hartman, Renner Award Winners
MIAA has announced the winners of two awards honoring outstanding
publicity efforts by its member schools –
the Hartman Writing Award and
the Renner Associate SID Award.
Lee, director of news and sports information director at Albion
College, has been named the recipient of the Hartman Award,
while Mitch Blankespoor, a student assistant in Calvin
College’s sports information office, and Forrest Tarsa, a
student assistant in Hope College’s sports information
office, shared the Renner Award.
Lee is the director of news and sports information at Albion
College. Lee came to Albion in the summer of 2001 as the
college’s sports information director. He oversees all
athletic publicity functions for Albion’s 22 intercollegiate
sports, including design and development of athletic publications,
coordinating of sports photography and statistical updates. He also
oversees all news and information functions for the college.
was honored for his story on Albion football student-athlete Zach
Brewer, who caught a game-winning touchdown pass in an upset
victory over Wheaton, Ill. last fall. Brewer dedicated the game to
his late mother, who died in a traffic accident two years ago. The
Wheaton game fell the day before Heidi Brewer’s birthday.
native of Gahanna, Ohio, Lee came to Albion from Muskingum College
in New Concord, Ohio, where he had been sports information director
for four years. He was in charge of publicity for 17 varsity sports
with the Muskies, and served as host SID for three NCAA regional
and seven Ohio Athletic Conference championship events. He
previously was a graduate assistant in the Ohio State University
athletic publicity department. While there, he was editor of the
Ohio State football, men’s basketball and women’s
basketball programs that received publication awards from the
College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
second-place entry for the Hartman Award was a story by Calvin
sports information director Jeff Febus on the history of the
college's field hockey program, while the third-place entry was a
feature on Albion men's lacrosse student-athlete Kevin Riley, who
took a year off from school to help care for his best friend, who
had been paralyzed in a swimming accident.
native of Cutlerville, Mich. and graduate of Grand Rapids South
Christian High School, Mitch Blankespoor has worked in
Calvin’s sports information department for four years, most
recently as a student intern during his senior year. He is being
honored with the Renner Award for the second consecutive year.
Blankespoor has fulfilled numerous responsibilities in Calvin’s SID office, including writing game stories, producing feature stories for the college’s sports website, overseeing student statistics crews for home athletic events, and provided play-by-play broadcast coverage in numerous sports. He took on the role of teaching both professional staff and student crews proper statistical procedures for both volleyball and lacrosse during the past year.
who graduated in May from Calvin with a degree in sports
management, is the son of Curt and Carmen Blankespoor of
native of Cedar, Mich., and graduate of St. Mary High School in
Lake Leelenau, Forrest Tarsa worked in Hope College’s public
and community relations office as a sports information assistant
for nearly all four of his years at Hope.
was responsible for coordinating schedules of other students who
worked in Hope’s sports information office, trained students
in keeping statistics, and managed the press box at home athletic
events. He worked on numerous MIAA championship events and also
provided support to professional staff when Hope hosted the 2012
and 2013 NCAA Division III women’s basketball championships
and the 2012 NCAA Division III volleyball championships. He spent
one summer at Hope determining all-time school records in several
who graduated from Hope in May with a degree in economics, was an
active member of the student body during his time at the college
and as a senior received the college’s Dean of Students Greek
Leadership Award. He will begin a job as a sales associate for the
Chicago office of Good Harbor Financial in August.
is the son of Stephen and Diana Tarsa of Cedar, Mich.
The awards honor two sports information directors who have given many years of service to the MIAA – the late Robin Hartman of Albion College and Tom Renner of Hope College, who is concluding his SID position at Hope after 47 years on July 1.
Calvin Wins 2012-13 MIAA Commissioner's Cup
Final Commissioner's Cup (All-Sports) Standings: 1. Calvin 216. 2. Hope 205. 3. Adrian 157. 4. Trine 131. 5. Alma 127. 6. Albion 118. 7. Olivet 96. 8. Kalamazoo 87.
Final Men's All-Sports Standings: 1. Calvin 102. 2. Hope 93. 3, Adrian 80. 4. Trine 67. 5. Albion 60. 6. Kalamazoo 45. 7. Olivet 42. 8. Alma 36.
Final Women's All-Sports Standings: 1. Calvin 114. 2. Hope 112. 3. Alma 91. 4. Adrian 77. 5. Trine 64. 6. Saint Mary's 60. 7. Albion 58. 8. Olivet 54. 9. Kalamazoo 42.
All-MIAA Track & Field Teams Named
Men's Most Valuable Runner: Tyler Bourdo,
All-MIAA Baseball, Softball Teams Announced
First All-MIAA Lacrosse Teams Announced
All-MIAA Tennis Honors Announced
MIAA Unveils Stories From Its History: Great Moments From 125 Years
As part of its 125th anniversary celebration this academic year, the MIAA will feature stories on its website highlighting great moments, memorable games, and outstanding student-athletes and coaches.
Some of the new stories you can see now on the website include:
- Albion's Cedric Dempsey, who was a three-sport standout for the Britons in the early 1950s who went on to become one of the most influential figures in college athletics, first as an athletic director, and then as president of the NCAA from 1994 to 2003. The NCAA last fall named its office building in Indianapolis after Dempsey in recognition of his contributions to collegiate sports.
- Saint Mary's women's soccer student-athlete Kaitlin Teichman, who seeks to build bonds with other student-athletes across the MIAA together as president of the conference's SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee).
- The 1991-92 Calvin men's basketball team, which became the first team in school history to win an NCAA Division III national championship.
- Albion's Melissa Washburn, a three-sport athlete at the school who graduated in 1981, and her mother, Ruth, a 1937 Albion graduate who also competed in three sports. The Washburns are the only mother-daughter tandem enshrined in the college's athletic Hall of Fame.
- The 1989-90 Hope women's basketball team, which overcame a 20-point deficit in the championship game to become the first MIAA women's team to win an NCAA Division III team national championship.
More stories will be added throughout the 2012-13 season. Click here to read more on these stories.