Athletics Awards Night 2017

On April 25, the Athletics Department held its annual Awards Night to celebrate the year’s accomplishments and to honor individuals with the department’s special awards. This year the Athletics Department joined with Student Life and expanded the celebration to include additional campus awards and honors.  Everyone came together in the Ozinga Chapel for fellowship and the awards program.

The evening included a highlight video of the sports season, reflections by senior soccer player Kayla Diemer and by student-leader Antione Brewer, awards from Student Life, and the presentation of the Liz Metcalfe Memorial, Keith Albers Memorial, Rich Kooy, and Female and Male Athlete of the Year athletics awards.   

The department’s highest honors are career awards given to a female and male athlete who exhibit exemplary play on the athletic field, high achievement in the classroom, and leadership in campus activities. This year the Liz Metcalfe Award was given to Michelle Busscher ’17 of Holland, Michigan and the Keith Albers Award was represented to Tanner Reklaitis ’17 of Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  

Busscher is a four-year defensive specialist on the women’s volleyball team. She is leader on the court with her all-out work ethic and positive spirit.  She has been instrumental in the success of the program which made four national tournament appearances, including to NCCAA national titles, in her four years. In her career she tallied 2010 total digs to rank second overall in Trinity’s records book. She also ranks second in career service reception at .959 percent and third in serving percentage at .963. Busscher holds a school season record and a single match record in digs. She has been named CCAC All-Conference twice, 2015 CCAC Libero of the Year, NAIA/AVCA All-Region, NCCAA All-Region twice, 2015 NCCAA Region Player of the Year, and NCCAA All-America twice. In addition, the social work major has received scholar-athlete honors, been a member of the Social Work Club, and studied abroad in Spain and Ecuador.   

Reklaitis is a four-year starting pitcher on the baseball team who has shown leadership on and off the field. He has been a significant part of the team’s success that is evident with record setting season wins and NCCAA National Championship appearances in each of the past three years. In his career Reklaitis has pitched 245 innings with a 3.75 ERA. He holds a school seasons record in ERA at 2.15, in strike-outs with 92, and in wins with 10. He ranks first in the career records book with 221 strike-outs and second with a 20-10 record.  With the current season post-season honors yet to be determined, Reklaitis has earned CCAC All-Conference, NCCAA All-America Second Team, CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team, a NCCAA All-Region honors in the past. He is also a scholar-athlete as a business communication major.  In addition, Reklaitis is active in many campus events, has been a Student Association representative, part of the game staff, and instrumental in the baseball team’s and the athletics department social media accounts.

For their outstanding individual accomplishment for the year, senior cross country and track runner Ashley Jourdan of Wyoming, Michigan, and senior men’s soccer player Mauricio Salgado of Wauconda Illinois, were named the Athletes of the Year.

Jourdan led the cross country team again this season and for the third consecutive year qualified for the NAIA National Championship.  At the national meet she finished in 73rd place of 334 runners.  Jourdan also competed in the NCCAA National Championships and earned All-America honors with a sixth place finish of 99 runners. Throughout the year she had six top ten finishes, including an All-Conference fourth place finish at the CCAC Championship.

In the indoor track season Jourdan qualified for the NAIA National Championships in the mile and 1000 meter.  She finished in sixth place in the 1000 meter at indoor nationals to earn NAIA All-America status.  In the inaugural CCAC Indoor Championships she placed in three events, including first place in the 1000 meter.  For the outdoor season she has qualified for the NCCAA national meet in the 800 and 1500 meter.  The team will compete in the CCAC Championships on May 5-6.

The other nominees for the Female Athlete of the Year Award were Kayla Diemer ‘17, soccer, and Tori Mantel ‘17, volleyball.

As a starting forward, Salgado led the team with 22 goals, four assists, 48 points, and 81 shots. During the season he scored six game-winning goals and recorded five hat tricks. He ranked first in the conference in goals, total shots, and point average, and was in the top six nationally in the NAIA in goal average, point average, and game winning goals. This year he earned CCAC All-Conference, NCCAA All-Region, NCCAA All-America, and CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.  He was also a CCAC and NCCAA Player of the Week as well as a NAIA National Player of the Week.  In addition Salgado was a CCAC and NCCAA Scholar-Athlete.  

Other nominees for the Male Athlete of the Year Award were Stefano Belmonte ’17, baseball, Steven Massey ’19, golf, Jordan Perry ’17, basketball, and Cody Velthuizen ’17, cross country and track and field.

Recognizing a member of the Trinity community who has made a significant contribution to the athletics department, the Rich Kooy Award was presented to student-leader Joshua Pieper.  In his three years at Trinity Pieper has wholly invested himself in promoting athletics, connecting the student-body to athletics, and ensuring that the student-athletes got the most of their experience.  He used his talent and leadership on the baseball team for two seasons, and this year, as he completes his education, he had invested in a leadership role of TrollNation, the ALPS program, game staff, and in other student activities.  In all his duties he was incredibly unselfish, served faithfully, and poured himself into the task at hand. He has been extremely instrumental in fostering “Troll” spirit and excitement on campus.