Awards from performances on the field/court as well as the classroom were handed out.
The University of Minnesota Crookston athletic department recognized their distinguished awards recipients for the 2017-18 season during their senior and athletics awards banquet held Thurs., April 26 at Bede Ballroom.
Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball player Harrison Cleary (So., Oak Creek, Wis.) was selected as Male Outstanding Athlete of the Year, while Micaela Noga (Sr., Parkers Prairie, Minn.) garnered Female Outstanding Athlete of the Year recognition. The Golden Eagles also recognized their Male and Female Student-Athletes of the Year. Adam Connette (Sr., Corona, Calif.) of football and Caitlin Michaelis (Jr., Marshfield, Wis.) of women’s basketball were selected as the Student-Athletes of the Year for 2017-18 for their outstanding work in the classroom and in their respective sports.
The four student-athletes were selected from a pool of nominees put forth and voted on by the Minnesota Crookston head coaches.
The Outstanding Athlete of the Year awards honor student-athletes who has both outstanding athletic and academic achievements and displays exemplary citizenship and is a role model for their respective program.
The Student-Athlete of the Year Awards honor student-athletes with a 3.2 GPA or higher, who has lettered in the same sports for two years with outstanding athletic and academic achievements. This person also displays exemplary citizenship and is a role model for their respective program.
A major quality of all four student-athletes recognized is their outstanding performance in the classroom, as all four maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Cleary became only the second player in school history to earn All-American honors joining Joe Hasz, who received the accolade following the 2002-03 season. He was the only member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), who received All-America accolades, as selected by the D2CCA. Cleary led the NSIC with 24.2 points per game. He was sixth in all of NCAA Division II for scoring. In addition, Cleary led all of NCAA Division II by shooting 96.0 percent (143-of-149) from the charity stripe. Cleary was sixth in the NSIC for three-point shooting percentage at 47.0 percent. Cleary tallied a school-record 702 points on the 2017-18 season. The sophomore scored an astounding 1,342 points in just two seasons at Minnesota Crookston. Cleary needs just 597 points to move past Joe Hasz for No. 1 all-time in scoring for the Golden Eagles. Cleary has also scored 1,022 points in NSIC play, which is Top 30 all-time in the NSIC. He notched 19 games with 20 or more points, including a school-record 46 points against Minnesota State University. In addition, he tallied double-figure scoring 28 of 29 games on the season. Cleary has also been a stand-out in the classroom, earning NSIC All-Academic honors. He has maintained a 3.58 GPA in sports and rec management.
Noga was an All-NSIC Second Team selection as a senior for the Golden Eagles. She averaged 12.2 points per game, 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. Noga became the 11th player in school history to reach 1,000 points Jan. 19 against University of Mary. She finished her career with 1,106 career points, which ranks seventh all-time in scoring. Noga surpassed Minnesota Crookston greats Cathy Behr, Stephanie Mayclin, Bri Zabel and Jessica Forsline on the all-time points list. She scored in double figures in 19 games on the 2017-18 season. Noga notched a season-high 23 points against Minnesota Duluth. She was 69-of-80 from the charity stripe for 86.3 percent. Noga has also been outstanding in the classroom with a 3.74 GPA in health management. She is a three-time NSIC All-Academic pick and earned NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction as a senior.
Connette was a three-time NSIC All-Academic selection, who has been a member of the Chancellor’s List and Dean’s List at Minnesota Crookston. He graduated following the first semester from the U of M Crookston. Connette maintained a 3.56 GPA in communication. He ended his career as the all-time leader in pass receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Connette was named All-NSIC First Team as a wide receiver. He was a three-time All-NSIC pick who ended his career as second all-time in the NSIC for receptions. He notched 2,781 all-time receiving yards. As a senior, Connette tallied 65 catches for 718 yards and nine touchdowns. He is currently playing professional football in Finland for the Helsinki Roosters.
Michaelis is a two-time NSIC All-Academic selection. She has been named to the Chancellor’s List at Minnesota Crookston in each of her five semesters as a student-athlete. Michaelis was third on the team in scoring with 10.9 points per game. She shot 48-of-118 from beyond the arc as a junior for 40.7 percent. Michaelis started all 27 games for Minnesota Crookston as a junior.
In addition, the Golden Eagles honored their six NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction honorees: Noga, Emily Gruber (Sr., Monticello, Minn.), Victoria Bayliss (Sr., West Bloomfield, Mich.), Kaycie Hagen (Sr., Savage, Minn.), Alyssa Muelken (Sr., Savage, Minn.) and Becca Vandenheuvel (Sr., Cannon Falls, Minn.). Noga and Gruber represent the women’s basketball team, while Muelken, Vandenheuvel and Hagen played volleyball for the Golden Eagles. Bayliss competes for the softball team.
Darin Viken (Jr., Fosston, Minn.) of the men's basketball team was presented with the Justin Knebel Memorial Award. The recipient of the award is somebody that exemplifies the things Justin did, being the ultimate team player who works hard on the court and in the classroom and excels both athletically and academically. Viken served as captain for the team as a junior and has been outstanding teammate on and off the court. He stepped in and started as a junior due to injury and helped out the team in any way possible.
Minnesota Crookston also recognized Cleary for earning All-NSIC First Team and Gable Smith (R-Jr., Lodi, Wis.) for becoming the first player in school history to earn NSIC Defensive of the Year.
The Golden Eagles presented Linda Olson with the Marv Bachmeier Award. The Marv Bachmeier Award epitomizes qualities of former Director of Athletics Marv Bachmeier which include; hard work, dedication, perseverance and loyalty.
Olson is the second recipient of the Marv Bachmeier Award joining John Mitchell. Olson has helped the athletic program in a variety of roles over her time at Minnesota Crookston including serving as cheerleader advisor and administrative assistant for the department. She is entering her 38th season as the official scorekeeper for the volleyball program. Olson has also been a ticket taker for football, basketball and men’s hockey games. She was instrumental in helping Bachmeier write the proposal to host MSHSL Section Tournaments on campus. Olson has also worked many of those high school tournaments at Minnesota Crookston over the years. Olson and her husband Lonnie are very active supporters of Golden Eagle athletics. Their daughter Larissa (Olson) Noyes also attended Minnesota Crookston and helped out the volleyball program during her time with the Golden Eagles. Linda and Lonnie Olson are both graduates of the University of Minnesota Technical College at Crookston.
The Golden Eagles also welcomed their senior student-athletes to the M Club and presented them with an M letter as presented by Senior Development Officer Brandy Chaffee and UMC Teambackers President Annette Thompson.
Minnesota Crookston has also announced members of the 2017-18 UMC All-Academic Team. The Golden Eagles had 81 student-athletes receive the recognition, which is up from 75 last year. Minnesota Crookston student-athletes have continued to show a great commitment to their work on and off the field of play. To be eligible for the award, you must be a two-year letter winner in the same sport and have a GPA of 3.2 or higher.