2009-10 Awards Presented to Eastern Student-Athletes at “EeeWoos”

Matt Nichols and Nicole Luckenbach are selected as Best Athletes as the 2009-10 school year comes to a close at comedy and music extravaganza

After a school year filled with milestones, the Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team won three awards at the second-annual “EeeWoos” on Wednesday (June 2) at the Showalter Auditorium in Cheney, Wash.

The Eagles won the award for Best Team and head coach Wendy Schuller was honored as Coach of the Year. Junior Kyla Evans also received the Triple Threat Citizen Award for community service, athletic accomplishments and academic achievement. The women’s basketball team won its first-ever Big Sky Conference regular season championship and advanced to the National Invitation Tournament.

Winning awards for Best Athlete were senior football player Matt Nichols and senior track and field standout Nicole Luckenbach. Nichols also won the award for Best Record-Breaking Performance and his teammate Taiwan Jones won the award for Best Play for his 96-yard touchdown run versus Idaho State.

Male Newcomer of the Year honors went to basketball player Glen Dean, while soccer goalkeeper Lisa Dimak won the same award for females. Seniors selected as EWU’s Scholar-Athletes were football defensive end Jacob Kragt and Christy Borders from the track and field team.

Selected as the Best Game/Competition was Eastern’s 49-45 victory at Northern Arizona that clinched a berth in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs for the fourth time in six years.

The event is an annual comedy and music extravaganza created to honor Eastern Washington University student-athletes. The EeeWoos are the brainchild of Davin Perry, the athletic department’s electronic media coordinator, and are modeled after ESPN's ESPY Awards.

Perry’s video productions were featured, including humorous skits and inspirational stories. A sample of Perry’s work may be found at: http://goeags.com/multimedia/ewas-eagle-video-room.html.

Serving as masters of ceremonies were EWU assistant football coach Torey Hunter and Colleen O’Brien from KXLY.

Below is a complete list of winners as well as the other finalists for the awards presented to student-athletes, teams, coaches and performances.

 

 

THE WINNERS . . .  

BEST TEAM

Women’s Basketball (19-12, 12-4 BSC) . . . Won EWU’s first-ever Big Sky Conference regular season title and hosted the league tournament for the first time in school history. The Eagles advanced to the Women's National Invitation Tournament, the school’s first national postseason appearance since the 1987 season. Eastern finished 19-12 overall and were 12-4 in the league after being picked to finish seventh. Just two seasons earlier, the Eagles were just 4-25 overall and 1-15 in the league.

 

BEST GAME/COMPETITION

Football versus Northern Arizona (11/21/09) . . . The Eagles scored the winning touchdown with 3:30 left in the game to conclude the regular season with a 49-45 Big Sky Conference victory and clinch a berth in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs. Eastern was out-gained in total yards 747-487, but won the important turnover battle 4-0. After NAU took a 45-42 lead with 5:20 left, Eastern scored on a five-play, 74-yard drive, with senior quarterback Matt Nichols passing 13 yards to Nathan Overbay for the winning score. The defense did the rest, stopping NAU on a fourth-and-three play at the EWU 32-yard line with 34 seconds to play. Nichols completed 22-of-33 passes for 408 yards, no interceptions and five touchdowns as he became only the second player in league history to pass for more than 12,000 career yards.

 

BEST PLAY

Taiwan Jones - Football versus Idaho State (10/3/09) . . . Jones had a school-record 96-yard touchdown run on his way to rushing for 168 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 carries (12.0 per rush). It was the fourth-longest rush in Big Sky history and the longest in the league in nearly 20 years. His big play came on the first offensive play of the second half as he broke several tackles and simply out-ran several more as the Eagles took a 28-3 lead. He broke the previous record of 95 yards set by John Ditz against Lewis & Clark in 1954.

 

BEST MALE ATHLETE

Matt Nichols - Football . . . Nichols earned prestigious first team NCAA Football Championship Subdivision All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association, as well as three other All-America honors. He finished fourth in the voting for the Payton Award given to the top player in FCS, and was also the Big Sky’s Offensive Player of the Year for the second time in his career. He was EWU’s Scholar Athlete for the month of November. He broke 14 school records and six Big Sky Conference marks in his 47-game career (45 as a starter) before playing in the East-West Shrine Game and signing a free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys. He passed for 3,830 yards and 33 touchdowns as a senior, giving him a total of 12,616 yards and 96 touchdowns in his career. His career yardage total ranks sixth in FCS history and his touchdown total is 10th. He completed a career-best 65 percent of his passes in 2009 to give him a passing efficiency rating of 156.5 to rank eighth in FCS. He was fifth in total offense (327.7 per game) and third in passing offense (319.2).

 

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE

Nicole Luckenbach - Track & Field . . . Nicole Luckenbach followed her record-breaking indoor season with a record-breaking outdoor campaign. Before she successfully defending her Big Sky Conference hammer throw title, she was named Big Sky Conference Field Athlete of the Week for the second time this season for her performance at the Cougar Invitational on April 24. Luckenbach broke her own school record in the hammer with a throw of 199-8 to lead the Big Sky Conference. She now ranks third all-time in league history as she chases the conference record of 209-7 set by Maureen Griffin of ISU in 2002. As of May 18, the senior ranks 10th in the West Region and 18th in the nation with her record mark. It was the third time this season she has broken her own record, and the sixth time overall since last year when she originally broke the former record of 182-8. Indoors, Luckenbach won the weight throw title at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships to earn Field Athlete of the Meet honors. She went on to finish 14th on March 12 in the weight throw at the NCAA Division I Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. She was the first Eastern female to compete at the NCAA Championships indoors since 1995 when Joyce Rainwater competed in the 55 meters. Luckenbach was ranked 16th in the NCAA Division I going into the meet with a career-best mark of 65-9 at the Big Sky Conference Championships. That mark broke the previous Brick Breeden Fieldhouse record of 62-6 set by Northern Arizona’s Anna Soderburg in 1996. Luckenbach's mark also broke her own school record that she set earlier in the season with a throw of 61-11 3/4. That effort broke the school record of 60-9 1/2 set in 2002 by Jamie Martin and earned Luckenbach Big Sky Conference Field Athlete of the Week honors. She was EWU’s Scholar Athlete for the month of February.

 

MALE SCHOLAR-ATHLETE (Seniors Only)

Jacob Kragt - Football - 3.88 GPA - Biology/Pre-Med . . . Kragt won prestigious ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors as selected by members of the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA), including schools from both NCAA Championship Subdivision (FCS) and NCAA Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions. Earlier, he was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII squad for the third-straight season and was among the 55 recipients on the 12th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team. He was also selected to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team for a fourth-straight time.  Kragt will attend Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa as he plans on becoming the ninth family member, spanning three generations, to become a chiropractor. He started all 12 games at defensive end and earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors in 2009, finishing with 30 total tackles, 4 1/2 sacks, three fumble recoveries and six quarterback hurries. He started 13 career games, and had 73 total tackles with six sacks in his 44-game Eagle career.

 

FEMALE SCHOLAR-ATHLETE (Seniors Only)

Christy Borders -- Track & Field - 3.97 GPA - Health Service Administration . . . Borders will be selected to the Big Sky All-Academic team for the fourth time in her career after transferring from Gonzaga. Besides her near-perfect GPA, Borders has won an award granted to the top 20 business/health administration students graduating each year.  On the track, her time of 12.01 in the 60-meter hurdles indoors is the second-fasted in school history and her time of 8.40 in the 55-meter hurdles is fifth. She qualified for Big Sky Conference competitions four times in her career.

 

MALE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

Glen Dean - Men’s Basketball . . . Dean was the Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year as selected by the league’s nine head coaches. He is the fourth Eagle to earn that honor, joining Rodney Stuckey (2006), Matt Nelson (2004) and Marc Axton (2002) as the previous winners. With a current 3.84 GPA, he was also named to the Big Sky All-Academic team and was selected as Eastern’s male recipient of the December Scholar-Athlete of the Month Award. He finished with a 12.2 scoring average to rank 11th in the Big Sky, and his average of 4.4 assists was second. He was also eighth in the Big Sky in three-point field goal percentage (42.9 percent) and seventh in free throw percentage (80.4). In Big Sky Conference play, Dean averaged 5.2 assists to lead the BSC in league-only statistics, and his 14.4 scoring average was 10th. He made 29-of-62 treys (46.8 percent to rank fifth) and 57-of-68 free throws (83.8 percent to rank sixth). Besides Dean and teammate Jeffrey Forbes, no other freshman ranked in the top 24 in the league in scoring overall and in the top 22 in league games only. A 2008 graduate of Seattle’s Roosevelt High School, Dean originally signed a letter of intent to play at Big Sky rival Portland State, but eventually decided to go to prep school in North Carolina instead. He played half a season there before returning to Seattle to be with his ailing mother, who is better now.

 

FEMALE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

Lisa Dimak - Soccer . . . She earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors and earned the team’s co-Most Improved award. She posted four shutouts, all in Big Sky play to lead the league, moving to within one of the single-season school record. Her four shutouts also tie her for fourth-most in a career by an Eagle. Twice she was Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Week following a 1-0 victory over Montana, as well as when she had a total of 11 saves in a pair of 1-0 wins over Weber State and Idaho State. Dimak was a junior in 2009, but it was her first year in the Eagle program after graduating from Shorecrest High School in 2006.

 

COACH OF THE YEAR

Wendy Schuller - Women’s Basketball . . . The Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year, Schuller led the Eagles to a 19-12 record overall and a 12-4 finish in the Big Sky Conference. Under her direction, EWU won its first-ever regular season Big Sky Conference title this season, and hosted the league tournament for the first time in school history. The Eagles advanced to the Women's National Invitation Tournament, the school’s first national postseason appearance since the 1987 season. Schuller has now collected 113 wins in nine seasons at the helm -- the second-most victories in school history -- with a 56-78 conference record. Just two seasons earlier, the Eagles were just 4-25 overall and 1-15 in the league. In her first five seasons, the Eagles qualified for the Big Sky Tournament and have now made Big Sky Championship appearances in six of her nine years at the helm of the program. Over the past eight campaigns, the team has been ranked amongst the top 10 squads on the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Top 25 Honor Roll, something only achieved by one other team (Indiana State).

 

SAAC TRIPLE THREAT CITIZEN

Kyla Evans - Women’s Basketball - 3.96 - Communication Studies . . . Is a Special Olympics coach, President-elect of SAAC (2010-11) and met requirements for her degree in less than four years. With minors in government and leadership, she took part in the 2009 NCAA National Student-Athlete Development Conference. She was a repeat selection on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII team, earning second team accolades in 2010. She was EWU’s Scholar Athlete for the month of January and has earned Big Sky Conference All-Academic honors in each of her three years at EWU. She earned second team All-Big Sky Conference honors and was named the league’s Player of the Week on Jan. 25 for her performances in a pair of victories. She had 11 points and four steals against Idaho State and then had a career-high 24 points against the Wildcats. She started in all 28 games before missing EWU’s two postseason games with a back injury. She is averaged 9.4 points per game, and connected on 58-of-144 three-point attempts to rank fourth in the Big Sky at 40.3 percent. She also led the team in free throw percentage, connecting on 30-of-33 from the charity stripe for 90.9 percent. Her 39.0 career three-point percentage ranks first all-time in program history and the junior ranks fourth in career three-pointers made (170) and fourth in career three-point attempts (436).

 

BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE

Matt Nichols - Football . . . He broke 14 school records and six Big Sky Conference marks in his 47-game career (45 as a starter). He passed for 3,830 yards and 33 touchdowns as a senior, giving him a total of 12,616 yards and 96 touchdowns in his career. His career yardage total ranks sixth in FCS history and his touchdown total is 10th as he finished with league career records for passing yards, total offense and touchdown passes. He broke the career passing record in the 46-year-old Big Sky Conference of 12,207 held by Weber State’s Jamie Martin (1989-92), and the total offense record of 12,287 also held by Martin.

 

OTHER FINALISTS . . .

 

BEST TEAM

Football (8-4, 6-2 BSC)

Soccer (7-9-2, 4-2-1 BSC)

Volleyball (18-11, 12-4 BSC)

Women’s Track & Field (4th in BSC Outdoors, 6th Indoors)

 

BEST GAME/COMPETITION

Volleyball versus Weber State (10/23/09)

Women’s Soccer versus Montana (10/30/09)

Women’s Basketball versus Northern Arizona (2/20/10)

 

BEST PLAY

Taiwan Jones - Football versus Western Oregon (9/5/09)

Glen Dean - Men’s Basketball versus Montana State (1/10/10)

Lisa Dimak - Soccer versus Weber State (10/8/09)

Julie Piper - Women’s Basketball versus Montana (1/8/10)

 

BEST MALE ATHLETE

Taiwan Jones - Football

Nathan Overbay - Football

Nico Riego de Dios - Tennis

J.C. Sherritt - Football

 

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE

Hayley Hills - Volleyball

Brianna Okoro - Track & Field

Julie Piper - Women’s Basketball

Brittany Sparks - Soccer

 

MALE SCHOLAR-ATHLETE (Seniors Only)

Brody Faire - Track & Field - 3.58 - Exercise Science

Chris Thomas - Football - 3.79 GPA - Biology/Pre-Med

Nico Riego de Dios - Tennis . . . 3.43 GPA - Exercise Science

 

FEMALE SCHOLAR-ATHLETE (Seniors Only)

Brittney Doran - Soccer - 3.58 GPA - Athletic Training & Exercise Science

Sarah Frey - Track & Field - 3.49 GPA - Communication Studies

Ashley Hamilton - Volleyball - 3.38 GPA - Biology

 

MALE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

Nicholas Edwards - Football

Cody Fishel - Track & Field

Jeffrey Forbes - Men’s Basketball

 

FEMALE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

Kelsey Knight - Tennis

Whitney Leavitt - Track & Field

Sara Todorovich - Volleyball

 

COACH OF THE YEAR

Beau Baldwin - Football

George Hageage - Soccer

Miles Kydd - Volleyball

Marcia Mecklenburg - Women’s Track & Field

 

SAAC TRIPLE THREAT CITIZEN

Kirsten Fausko - Soccer - 3.60 - Exercise Science

Ashley Hamilton - Volleyball - 3.38 - Biology

Jessica Huntington - Women’s Basketball - 3.50 - Mathematics

Paul Limpf - Track & Field/Cross Country - 3.20 - Social Studies

Julie Piper - Women’s Basketball - 3.68 - Education

Chris Thomas - Football - 3.79 GPA - Biology/Pre-Med

 

BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE

Ashley Hamilton - Volleyball

Kyle King - Track & Field

Nicole Luckenbach - Track & Field

J.C. Sherritt - Football

Brittany Sparks - Soccer

Brad Wall - Track & Field

Women’s 4x100 Relay - Track & Field

View: Mobile | Desktop