Awards Night 2018

On April 27 the Athletics Department, along with the Student Life Department, held is annual Awards Night to celebrate the year’s accomplishments and to honor individuals with special awards.  The evening included a highlight video of the sports seasons, a reflection by senior men’s basketball player Aaron Johnson, and the presentation of the Liz Metcalfe Memorial, Keith Albers Memorial, Rich Kooy, and Female and Male Athlete of the Year athletics awards.

The Athletics 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 Danielle Oeverman ’18 of Byron Center, Michigan and the Keith Albers Award was represented to Tyler Sroczynski ’18 of Dyer, Indiana.   

Danielle Oeverman is a four-year starter as middle hitter on the women’s volleyball team.  She was as vital part of the success of the program that made four national tournament appearances, including two NCCAA national titles and two NAIA Opening Round bids.  In her career she accumulated 1,335 kills and ranks seventh in Trinity’s records book.  She is also second in the records with a .312 attack percentage and fifth overall with 440 career blocks.

Danie earned CCAC All-Conference honors in each of her four seasons, including CCAC Freshman of the Year. She also received NCCAA All-Region honors four times, NAIA All-Region honors twice, NCCAA All-American honors in 2014, and was named to the 2014 NCCAA National All-Tournament Team.  This past year she was honored with the NCCAA Susan R. Hellings Award that recognizes a student-athlete who demonstrates leadership, Christian testimony, and excellent play.

“Danie is special player and person,” said volleyball head coach Bill Schepel. “She had a tremendous career on the court, but also was an effective leader for the team. She has shown growth in her faith and has mentored her teammates in their Christian walk.”

In addition Danie she excelled in her studies in speech pathology and psychology and received scholar-athlete honors.  This past summer she pursued her academic interest with a trip to Uganda to work with children in the area of speech therapy.  Danie is also involved as a member of the Athletics Leadership Program for Student-Athletes (ALPS).  

Tyler Sroczynski is a three-year starting outfielder on the baseball team after transferring to Trinity. He has been an instrumental part of the team’s success in the past three years that include a NCCAA National Championship appearance and a school record for season wins.  With the current season yet to finish, Tyler has a .394 batting average and ranks third in Trinity’s records book.  He is also in the top ten in hits, doubles, triples, home runs, and runs. He has a school season record with 39 stolen bases and ranks second overall with 80 in his career.  

With current season post-season honors yet to be determined, Tyler has earned CCAC All-Conference honors for the past two seasons, been NCCAA All-Region twice, and NCCAA All-American Third Team in 2017. He also was 2017 CoSIDA Academic Second Team and, as an exercise science and psychology major, has received scholar-athlete recognition for two seasons.

“Tyler has helped our team and the program in numerous ways,” said baseball head coach Justin Huiman. “He is always trying to improve his performance on the field.  As much as he has accomplished on the field, I am as proud of what he has achieved in his academic studies.”

Tyler has made a difference on his team and to other athletes. He is an active leader of ALPS and this fall co-led a leadership conference for high school students. He also worked in the area of sports performance with the women’s soccer team this season.

For their outstanding individual accomplishment for the year, soccer player Jessica Bianchi ’19 of Elmhurst, Illinois and cross country runner Megan DeWeerd ’19 of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, were the Female Athletes of the Year and baseball player Kyle Kolb ’19 of Roanoke, Illinois, was the Male Athlete of the Year.

Jessica Bianchi led the soccer team that was the CCAC Tournament champions and advanced to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round. She topped the team and the conference in scoring with 33 goals, 12 assists, and 78 points and ranked fifth in the NAIA in goals and points.  In addition she scored eight game winning goals, had five hat tricks, and tied a school season record for individual goal average. Jessica was the CCAC Player of the Year, NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, NCCAA Region Player of the Year, and NCCAA All-American First Team.  She was also a member of the women’s basketball team.  

Megan DeWeerd became the women’s cross country program’s highest finisher at the NAIA National Championship with a seventh place finish of 338 runners.  For that performance she earned NAIA All-American honors. She was also a NCCAA All-American with a second place finish at that national meet. In addition she was runner-up at the CCAC Championship for All-Conference honors. During the season she set the school record in the 5K and 6K and won three meets. Megan is also a scholar-athlete.

The other nominees for the Female Athlete of the Year Award were Jamie Budreau ’19 (softball), Ally Giampapa ’19 (basketball), Kacie Stoll ’19 (volleyball), and April VanRyn ’21 (cross country and track).  

With the season still in progress, Kyle Kolb, the starting short stop on the baseball team, leads the team and the conference and ranks fourth in the NAIA with a .486 batting average. He is first on the team and in the CCAC in hits and a leader in slugging percentage and RBIs. In addition he ranks in the top five in the CCAC in runs, doubles, total bases, and on base percentage, and fourth in the NAIA in hits per game. Post-season honors for baseball are yet to be determined.

Other nominees for the Male Athlete of the Year Award were Juozas Balciunas ’18 (basketball), Caleb DeWeerd ’21 (cross country and track), and Jonathan Poortinga ’20 (volleyball).

Recognizing a member of the Trinity community who has made a significant contribution to the athletics department, the Rich Kooy Award was presented to Ryan Zantingh, Director of Financial Aid. Ryan has been instrumental in athletics by playing an integral role in the recruitment, scholarship, and financial aid process for student-athletes. This past year he was especially significant as he helped develop and implement a new athletics scholarship policy.

“Ryan is always sensitive to the needs of our student-athletes and he is constantly striving to serve our student-athletes and the Trinity community to the best of his ability,” commented Josh Lenarz, women’s soccer head coach and Assistant Athletics Director. “We are grateful for our relationship with Ryan and value working with him.”