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The University of Minnesota Crookston athletic department recognized their distinguished award recipients for the 2018-19 season during the Minnesota Crookston Student Awards Celebration Thurs., April 25 in Kiehle Auditorium in front of outgoing University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, who made his last trip to Crookston as the system administrator.
Minnesota Crookston baseball player Reed Hjelle (Sr., East Grand Forks, Minn.) of baseball was selected as Male Outstanding Athlete of the Year, while Isieoma Odor (R-Sr., Bloomington, Minn.) of women’s basketball was named Female Outstanding Athlete of the Year. Both student-athletes were recognized for their outstanding athletic accomplishments.
The Golden Eagles also recognized their Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Chase Knickerbocker (Sr., Annandale, Minn.) of men’s basketball was named as Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while Caitlin Michaelis (Sr., Marshfield, Wis.) of women’s basketball was honored as the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Knickerbocker and Michaelis were selected for their outstanding work in the classroom, as ambassadors of their respective sports, and as leaders.
The four student-athletes were selected from a pool of nominees put forth and voted on by the Minnesota Crookston head coaches.
The Outstanding Male and Female Athletes of the Year were required to have outstanding performance in their field of play. They also were required to have a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher in the classroom. The Outstanding Male and Female Athletes of the Year also had to be an outstanding role model for their athletic program and in the community. They also must have received conference, regional, or national awards.
The Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher. They had to be a letter winner in their respective sport for two or more years. The Male and Female Scholar- Athletes of the Year had outstanding academic achievements, displayed exemplary citizenship, and were outstanding role models for their program. In addition, they must be great stewards for their academic program, and always seeking to further their knowledge in their academic field.
Hjelle has been outstanding for the Golden Eagles over his four years in the Maroon and Gold. He was the 2018 NSIC Player of the Year, and the 2019 NSIC Preseason Player of the Year. In addition, as a junior Hjelle was All-NSIC First Team, ABCA/Rawlings Central Region Player of the Year, ABCA/Rawlings All-Central Region First Team, NCBWA All-Central Region First Team, NCBWA All-America Third Team, and ABCA/Rawlings All-America Third Team. As a senior, Hjelle is on pace for another prolific awards season. He is batting .356 with 39 runs scored, three doubles, three triples, 10 home runs and 36 RBIs, with a league-leading 43 walks. Hjelle has a .652 slugging percentage, and a .532 on-base percentage. He has helped lead the team to three NSIC Tournament appearances in his four years in the Maroon and Gold. Hjelle is an exercise science and wellness major.
Odor has been a stand-out for the Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball program, capping her five-year career with one of the best individual seasons in program history. Odor started all 29 games and led the team with 18.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Odor shot 47.5 percent from the field, and 80.6 percent from the foul line. She garnered All-NSIC First Team honors in her final season with the Golden Eagles. Odor’s 525 points in a single season is second all-time in Minnesota Crookston history. She tallied double-figure scoring in 26 of 29 games on her senior season. Odor was a four-time All-NSIC North Player of the Week recipient as a senior. She became just the fourth player to score over 1,500 points in a career and she also set the school record for rebounds in a career. Odor was part of three teams that made the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament. Odor is a criminal justice major.
Knickerbocker was a four-time NSIC All-Academic selection, and a two-time NSIC Honor Student-Athlete, who was nominated twice for the Dr. William Britton Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award presented to the top male student-athlete in the NSIC. He posted a 3.81 GPA in finance. Knickerbocker was a 2018-19 NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Recipient. He was also a 2018-19 NSIC All-Academic Team of Excellence member. Knickerbocker is a two-time recipient of the Minnesota Crookston Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He is a three-time competitor in the Harvard Global Case Competition, where he represented Minnesota Crookston nationally. Knickerbocker played in 33 games, starting 26 for the Golden Eagles as a senior. He averaged 10.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, shooting 39.0 percent from beyond the arc. He ended his career just shy of 1,000 points. Knickerbocker is fourth all-time in scoring at Minnesota Crookston. Knickerbocker is a finance major.
Michaelis has posted a perfect 4.0 GPA in elementary education. She is a two-time Minnesota Crookston Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipient. She has been named to the Chancellors List every semester over her four years at Minnesota Crookston. Michaelis was Minnesota Crookston’s nominee for the Willis R. Kelly Award, presented to the top female student-athlete in the NSIC. She was also named a NSIC Honor Student-Athlete. She earned Google Cloud Academic All-District honors as a senior. Michaelis was an NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction recipient. She was a four-time NSIC All-Academic pick and a one-time NSIC All-Academic Team of Excellence member. She started all 29 games, as a senior. Michaelis averaged 11.0 points per game and shot 34.0 percent from beyond the arc. Michaelis is an elementary education major.
In addition, the Golden Eagles honored their eight NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction honorees: Knickerbocker, Michaelis, Ryan Ratcliff (Sr., Bloomer, Wis., exercise science and wellness), Nelson Uzonwa (Sr., Lagos, Nigeria, criminal justice), Jordan Deadwyler (Sr., Jacksonville, Fla., communication), Mikayla Jones (Sr., Huxley, Iowa, sports and rec management/marketing), Maggie Morales (Sr, Tucson, Ariz., exercise science and wellness), and Callie Schapekahm (Sr., Eagan, Minn., health management).
Darin Viken (Sr., 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 senior and has been outstanding teammate on and off the court. He helped the team to their first-ever NSIC/Sanford Health quarterfinals appearance in Sioux Falls, S.D., after an upset of 2016 NCAA Division II National Champion Augustana University. Viken also excels in the classroom where he has a 3.41 GPA in biology/health sciences.
The Golden Eagles also welcomed their 50 senior student-athletes to the M Club and presented them with an M letter as presented by Senior Development Officer Brandy Chaffee and Director of Athletics Stephanie Helgeson.
Minnesota Crookston has also announced members of the 2017-18 UMC All-Academic Team. The Golden Eagles had 75 student-athletes receive the recognition. 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.
Ali Alkhatib (Football) – Rosemount, Minn.
Nate Albrecht (Baseball) – Wahpeton, N.D.
Caroline “Rocky” Bjorge (Softball) – Prior Lake, Minn.
Jacqueline Burke (Soccer) – Anchorage, Alaska
Graeme Cherry (Baseball) – Millarville, Alberta
Harrison Cleary (Men’s Basketball) – Oak Creek, Wis.
Will Cross (Football) – Turtle Lake, Wis.
Lindsey Daml (Women’s Soccer) – North Pole, Alaska
Stephen Day (Football) – Eveleth, Minn.
Jordan Deadwyler (Baseball) – Jacksonville, Fla.
Maria Delgado (Women’s Basketball) – London, England
Madeline Drayna (Equestrian) – Milaca, Minn.
Reanne Erickson (Tennis) – Fargo, N.D.
Alyssa Evavold (Equestrian) – Battle Lake, Minn.
Whitney Fenna (Equestrian) – Foley, Minn.
Griffin Fussy (Baseball) – Ham Lake, Minn.
Zach Greenberg (Football) – Winnipeg, Manitoba
Deaira Gresham (Volleyball) – Maplewood, Minn.
Jayden Grover (Baseball) – Cooperstown, N.D.
Brendon Harris (Football) – Milwaukee, Wis.
Reed Hjelle (Baseball) – East Grand Forks, Minn.
Aaron Hollcraft (Baseball/Men’s Basketball) – Crookston, Minn.
Connor Humble (Men’s Golf) – Rosemount, Minn.
Logan Huso (Football) – Eagan, Minn.
Chase Johnson (Men’s Basketball) – La Crosse, Wis.
Ethan Johnson (Men’s Golf) – Roseau, Minn.
Rachel Johnson (Equestrian) – Stillwater, Minn.
Mikayla Jones (Softball) – Huxley, Iowa
Ben Juhl (Men’s Basketball) – Clive, Iowa
Eli Jung (Baseball) – Dickinson, N.D.
Chase Knickerbocker (Men’s Basketball) – Annandale, Minn.
Ben Koisti (Men’s Golf) – Lake Norden, S.D.
Sydney Kruisselbrink (Volleyball) – Rochester, Minn.
Tavia Lawson (Softball) – Hawley, Minn.
Sabrina Leuer (Volleyball) – Hamel, Minn.
Katie Lienemann (Volleyball) – Rosemount, Minn.
Trevor Long, Jr. (Football) – Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Jonathan Lund (Baseball) – Tolna, N.D.
Shayla Marthaler (Equestrian) – Osakis, Minn.
Stephanie McWilliams (Women’s Basketball) – Grand Forks. N.D.
Caitlin Michaelis (Women’s Basketball) – Marshfield, Wis.
Maggie Morales (Softball) – Tucson, Ariz.
Jeremy Neuman (Football) – Andover, Minn.
Jordyn Newberg (Equestrian) – Deer River, Minn.
Jonah Niere (Football) – Woodbury, Minn.
Amanda Olson (Equestrian) – Winsted, Minn.
Maggie Peterson (Soccer) – Princeton, Minn.
Paige Pettit (Soccer) – St. Michael, Minn.
Mazie Pini (Equestrian) – Grayslake, Ill.
Paige Pitlick (Softball) – Jordan, Minn.
Samantha Proctor (Softball) – Champlin, Minn.
Olivia Puttin (Soccer) – Rogers, Minn.
Sam Rarick (Softball) – East Grand Forks, Minn.
Ryan Ratcliff (Football) – Bloomer, Wis.
Mika Rodriguez (Soccer/Softball) – Laveen, Ariz.
Zach Rustad (Baseball) – Blaine, Minn.
Callie Schapekahm (Volleyball) – Eagan, Minn.
Amber Schoenicke (Women’s Basketball) – Marshall, Wis.
Kristina Schroeder (Equestrian) – Mankato, Minn.
Ali Schueler (Volleyball) – Howards Grove, Wis.
Adam Shykes (Baseball) – Duluth, Minn.
Kaitlin Sikkink (Volleyball) – St. Charles, Minn.
Gable Smith (Men’s Basketball) – Lodi, Wis.
Kayla Stangeland (Soccer) – Mitchell, S.D.
Emmitt Stevens (Football) – Albert Lea, Minn.
Ben Thoma (Baseball) – Clearbrook, Minn.
Alyssa Thomas (Volleyball) – Marion, Iowa
Nelson Uzonwa (Football) – Lagos, Nigeria
Darin Viken (Men’s Basketball) – Fosston, Minn.
Ellie Waagen (Equestrian) – Bottineau, N.D.
Paige Weakley (Women’s Basketball) – Kearney, Mo.
Whitney Weidenborner (Equestrian) – Bemidji, Minn.
Jessica Withrow (Soccer) – Gardnerville, Nev.
Selena Young (Equestrian) – Plymouth, Minn.
Hannah Zhao (Tennis) – Guangzhou, China