BAY CITY, Mich. --
The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC)
announces the recipients of the Fall 2011 Meijer
Commissioner’s Awards. The awards, sponsored by Meijer,
Incorporated, are presented after the Fall, Winter, and Spring
athletic seasons to six male and six female 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 to receive the Fall 2011 Meijer Commissioner’s Awards are: Ashley Huntey and Tina Muir of Ferris State University; Ashley Botts of Grand Valley State University; Clara Leutheuser and Amanda Putt of Hillsdale College; and Michelle Rogers of Tiffin University.
The six male student-athletes to receive the Fall 2011 Meijer Commissioner’s Awards are: Tom Schneider of Ferris State; Anthony Witt of Grand Valley State; David Bakker of Hillsdale; Jacob Clark of Michigan Technological University; Mike Noffsinger of Ohio Dominican University; and Josh Renel of Wayne State University.
“I admire the dedication and hard work on the field and in the classroom that has been exemplified by the 12 student-athletes who were awarded the Commissioner’s Award,” stated GLIAC Commissioner Dell Robinson. “This group will serve to be our future leaders of tomorrow. The conference office truly appreciates the continued support that has provided by Meijer allowing our student-athletes to be recognized regionally and nationally for academic excellence.”
The following are biographies of the Fall 2011 GLIAC Commissioner’s Awards recipients:
Ferris State senior standout Ashley Huntey (Stanwood, Mich./Morley-Stanwood), a three-time All-GLIAC and GLIAC All-Academic Team honoree, Huntey claimed AVCA Division II All-America Third Team honors this fall after leading the Bulldogs to a league title and the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Semifinals. Huntey received GLIAC Player of the Week accolades four times this season and became only the seventh player in FSU history to notch both 1,000 career kills and digs. The team captain led the GLIAC in points (472) and ranked second in kills (404). A three-time GLIAC All-Academic Team selection, Huntey totaled 10 or more kills in 25 matches this campaign. Additionally, she was named to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team and also received both AVCA and Daktronics All-Midwest Region First Team honors as FSU posted a 27-4 overall record and a first-place 18-1 league mark. Huntey is majoring in nursing and has earned a 3.73 grade point average.
Tina Muir (St. Albans, U.K.), a senior runner at Ferris State, is winning her third Commissioner’s Award. Muir led the Bulldogs in her last collegiate cross country race by finishing a personal-best seventh overall and sixth in scoring position at the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championships to earn All-America accolades for the fourth-straight season. She is the only four-time All-American in FSU women’s cross country history and her performance represented the highest individual finish ever for the Bulldogs, who tied for the best team finish in school history (eighth). The 2011 GLIAC “Athlete of the Year” won the league’s individual crown for the second time and twice claimed GLIAC “Runner of the Week” laurels this fall. Her efforts helped FSU to a number three national ranking and league runner-up finish this season. She also claimed All-GLIAC honors for the fourth time in her career. Muir has a 3.86 cumulative grade point average in leadership management.
Grand Valley State junior forward Ashley Botts (Beloit, Wis./Boylan Catholic), the 2011 GLIAC Women’s Soccer “Offensive Player of the Year,” led GVSU with 20 goals and 11 assists on the season for 51 points. Botts had six game-winning goals on the year and scored the opening goal in both the Regional Semifinal and NCAA Quarterfinal. She led the Lakers to their third straight NCAA Championship Game and back-to-back Division II championships in 2009 and 2010. Botts started every game this season and finished tied for the most total points scored in NCAA Division II (51) which ties her for fifth in the Grand Valley State’s single season record book. She tied for the most goals this season in the NCAA D-II with 20, which ranks her sixth in Grand Valley State’s history. A 2011 Daktronics All-America first team selection, Botts has tallied double-figure goal totals in each of her three seasons. The biology major with a 3.64 grade point average was recently named the Division II Women’s Soccer Capital One “Academic All-American of the Year” and is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and GLIAC Academic Excellence honoree. The three-time All-GLIAC selection was the 2009 GLIAC “Freshman of the Year” and was named the 2010 NCAA “Most Outstanding Offensive Player” in the NCAA Tournament. Botts led the current GVSU women’s soccer junior class to 14 NCAA tournament victories.
Senior Clara Leutheuser (Hillsdale, Mich./Hillsdale Academy), a three-time All-American volleyball player at Hillsdale, distinguished herself as one of the best middle hitters in all of Division II. Leutheuser led the Chargers to the 2011 GLIAC and Midwest Regional championships by leading the conference in both total blocks and hitting percentage. She was named First-Team All-GLIAC, First-Team All-Region and Second-Team All-American following the 2011 season. Leutheuser has a 3.89 overall grade point average and is a German major.
The Midwest Regional Cross Country champion, Amanda Putt (Adrian, Mich./Tecumseh) enjoyed an outstanding senior cross country season for the Chargers. Putt was the overall champion of the Michigan Intercollegiate Cross Country Meet, held at Hillsdale College’s Hayden Park. She went on to finish in the top 20 at the NCAA Division II Cross Country championships in Spokane, Wash., earning her third career All-American honor in her combined track and cross country career. Putt has an overall grade point average of 3.80 and is majoring in biology.
Tiffin senior forward Michelle Rogers (Shelby Township, Mich./Eisenhower), has been named a 2011 Fall Commissioner’s Award recipient, her second such honor after also receiving the honor in 2010. Rogers, a Second Team Daktronics All-Midwest Region and First Team All-GLIAC selection, led the team in scoring with six goals and 15 assists for 27 points while starting all 19 games. Her 15 assists tied for the most in the GLIAC and was tied for the second most in NCAA Division II. For her career, Rogers is tied for third with 36 points and among the top 10 with 88 career points in school history. She was also recently named a First Team CoSIDA Academic All-District selection (her second consecutive All-District citation), and is a three-time All-Region, GLIAC Athletic, and Academic selection. Rogers has maintained a 4.00 grade point average and is a management major.
Ferris State senior quarterback Tom Schneider (Jerome, Mich./Addison), finished the 2011 campaign with 2,370 passing yards and 15 touchdowns while helping the Bulldogs to their first winning season since 2008. Schneider completed 66.2% (215-325) of his passes and was also the squad’s second-leading rusher with 464 yards and seven TD’s. He had seven games of 200 yards passing or more this season and ranked among the GLIAC’s top performers in passing yards, total offense and completion percentage. A two-time GLIAC Honorable Mention pick, Schenider earned GLIAC All-Academic Team laurels for the fourth time and was both an AFCA Good Works Team and National Football Foundation (NFF) Scholar-Athlete nominee. The two-time team captain also received the GLIAC Commissioner’s Award in 2010 and earned FSU’s “Most Valuable Offensive Skill Player” Award for the second consecutive season. Schneider currently owns a perfect 4.00 grade point average while majoring in recreation leadership and management.
Grand Valley State senior cross country runner Anthony Witt (Jasonville, Ind./Shakamak) has been named a 2011 GLIAC Commissioner’s Award winner, the second time he has been honored with the award in his career. Witt was named the GLIAC Men’s Cross Country “Athlete of the Year” this season after winning the individual championship at the conference meet and followed that up by being named the NCAA Midwest Regional “Athlete of the Year” with his victory in the regional championship. He finished 15th at the 2011 NCAA Division II Championship to help the Lakers to a third place team finish for the second consecutive season. In 2010, Witt was also named the GLIAC Men’s Cross Country “Athlete of the Year” after winning the individual title at the conference meet and he finished second at the 2010 NCAA Midwest Regional. This season, he did not finish lower than fourth until his 15th place finish at the 2011 NCAA Division II Championship. He has been named to the GVSU Dean’s List four times and is a two-time GLIAC Academic All-Excellence honoree. Witt is majoring in biomedical science and earned a 3.63 grade point average.
David Bakker (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa), a senior defensive lineman at Hillsdale, led all players at his position with 37 total tackles in the 2011 season. Bakker also had 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks for the 2011 GLIAC champion Charger football team. He carries a 3.90 overall grade point average, and is Hillsdale’s nominee for the National Football Foundation (Michigan Chapter) Scholar-Athlete Award. Bakker was also awarded Hillsdale’s President’s Scholar-Athlete Award following the 2010-11 school year for his excellence in academics and athletics. Bakker is an economics major.
Michigan Tech junior Jacob Clark (Lansing, Mich./Catholic Central) started 10 games for a Michigan Tech defense that led the GLIAC in total defense (286 yards allowed per game) and scoring defense (17.7 points allowed per game). The junior defensive tackle recorded 42 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks on the season, helping the Huskies to a 7-4 record. In the classroom, Clark owns a 3.96 grade point average in civil engineering. He was named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District team earlier this fall.
Ohio Dominican senior running back Mike Noffsinger (West Branch, Mich.) closed his career as the best back in school history, garnering Second Team All-GLIAC accolades and being recognized as a Harlon Hill Trophy Candidate this fall. He was selected to play in the D2 vs. NAIA Senior Scout Bowl after finishing the regular season 16th in the nation in rushing (112.9 yards per game) and tallying nine 100-yard rushing games. Noffsinger set both the school single-season (1,242 yards) and career (2,714 yards) rushing records and was named the GLIAC “Player of Week” after his 169-yard, 4 touchdown effort at Northwood University. His performance helped ODU set the school single-season rushing record (211.7 yards/game). Off the field, the business administration major is a two-time GLIAC Academic Excellence Award Winner and was named to the 2011 Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District team while earning a 3.73 grade point average.
Josh Renel (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams), a senior on the Wayne State football team, has earned his second consecutive GLIAC Commissioner’s Award. In 2011, Renel earned a spot on the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence team for the second straight year, while also being selected to the Daktronics Super Region Second Team at running back. An All-GLIAC First Team selection, Renel was voted to the CoSIDA Super Region 3 All-Academic First Team. In addition, the pre-season All-American was WSU’s nominee for the 2011 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team as well as being a William Campbell Trophy national semifinalist. Renel, a team captain in 2011, has helped the Warriors to a school record 11 wins including three consecutive road playoff wins. For the year, he has rushed for 1,262 yards and 14 touchdowns while accumulating 2,076 all-purpose yards, which leads the GLIAC. He has had above a 3.5 grade point average four of his six semesters with the other two terms above a 3.0 grade point average for an accumulative grade point average of 3.63 in marketing.