Athletics Awards Dessert honors scholars and character
April 29, 2009
Members and coaches of 13 sports teams, college administrators, and parents gathered last weekend to honor the outstanding athleticism, academic accomplishments, and godly character of Corban’s student-athletes.
Nancy Hedberg, Vice President for Student Life, recognized the profound dedication of the athlete. She marveled, “How you do what you do and still manage to get your studies done is beyond me.”
More than one quarter of Corban’s 160 athletes were named to the Academic All-Cascade Collegiate Conference (All-CCC), which is awarded to students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 and sophomore, junior or senior standing. Seventeen Warriors also won national recognition from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as Scholar-Athletes. The recipient of this recognition must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50 and junior or senior standing.
The Warrior top scholars were Amy Thompson (volleyball) and Wade Douglas (men’s basketball), who received the Senior Scholar-Athletes awards. Both are two-time All-CCC honorees and two-time NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
Hedberg also recognized Corban’s coaches and especially Athletic Director John Nelson for their examples and leadership encouraging students to become godly men and women as they develop their sport. Nelson later praised the coaches for how Warrior sports serve as a platform to prepare students who will make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ. “I’m real proud of that,” Nelson said with emotion, “and it comes through.”
Corban’s emphasis on the well-rounded development of the athlete was also demonstrated by the selection criteria of the highlight awards. The Mark Neustel Athletic Scholarship is awarded to one who exemplifies character, achievement, and leadership in athletics; the Mighty Warrior Award is given by the coach of each team to the standout student-athlete who also demonstrates Christ-like character; and the award for Athlete of the Year takes into account excellence in athletics, academics, and spiritual leadership.
This year’s Mark Neustel Athletic Scholarship recipient is junior Ben Potloff, three-year varsity basketball player. In his first two seasons, Potloff started only two games and averaged just over six minutes of playing time per game; in the 2008-09 season, he started 25 games and averaged 27 minutes per contest. Ben averaged less than 3 points per game in his first two seasons; in 2008-09, he averaged 10.3 ppg and led the team in 3-pt field goal shooting at 39%—which at one point in the season was among the nation’s best. Potloff was also named this year’s Mighty Warrior for the Men’s Basketball Team. Tim Seiber, Assistant Director of Athletics, says, “He’s been an ideal Corban team captain in that he’s paid his dues, he’s improved tremendously and he’s a leader by example on and off the court.”
The 2009 Male Co-Athletes of the Year are baseball star Jason Braun and basketball-court leader Paul Martin. The 2009 Female Athlete of the Year is runner Carli Moller.
As the ace of the Warriors’ pitching staff, Jason Braun has amassed a team-leading 78 innings pitched with an Earned Run Average at 3.46 this season, a new Corban best single-season ERA record. Sixty-one strikeouts in 13 appearances included a career-high 11 K’s in a 1-0 shutout victory over rival Concordia. On the Warriors’ all-time career lists, Jason ranks 2nd in shutouts, 3rd in innings pitched, 4th in strikeouts, tied for 4th in appearances, 7th in games started, 7th in saves, tied for 7th in complete games and 10th in wins. Over his four-year career, Braun has been named conference Pitcher of the Week twice.
Team Captain Paul Martin led the Men’s Basketball Team, starting in all 30 games this season and averaging a career-high 10.6 points. Martin logged 975 playing minutes, handing out a team-high 121 assists and seizing 124 rebounds and 33 steals. Over his two-year, 60-game career as a Warrior, the 6-foot point guard made 194 assists, with 212 rebounds and 56 steals. Martin modeled an inspiring blend of work ethic, integrity, competitive spirit and spiritual maturity. As an ASB Treasurer, he was instrumental in renewing a positive and productive relationship between the student body and Corban Athletics.
Carli Moller received this year’s Female Athlete of the Year. Earlier during the event she received two Mighty Warrior Awards, in Women’s Track and Women’s Cross Country. As a senior, she has been named conference Female Runner of the Week, both during her cross-country and track-and-field seasons. In Warrior record books she is the all-time second leading runner for Women’s Cross Country. As a freshman, she helped the Warriors capture the CCC Championship title. A two-time competitor at cross-country nationals, Moller is poised to qualify for her second-straight track NAIA Championship meet after she runs the 800 meter and 1,500 meter at the upcoming conference championship.
Moller’s family was noticeably touched by the honor their daughter received; they’ve delighted in seeing Moller’s faith mature. Mrs. Lisa Moller said, “You invest so much in your kids. Sometimes you wonder if what you’re putting into them is doing any good. But God is so faithful.”