A total of 16 winners are announced at 5th Annual event at EWU’s Showalter Auditorium
A quartet of student-athletes each won a pair of awards among the 16 handed out at the Fifth Annual “EeeWoos” awards show, which took place Tuesday (June 4) at EWU’s Showalter Auditorium.
Women’s basketball player Lexie Nelson, volleyball/track & field standout Cora Kellerman and football players Brandon Kaufman and Vernon Adams were each honored twice for their accomplishments during the 2012-13 season and their careers.
Kaufman and Nelson took home the biggest prizes and were honored as the school’s Male and Female Athlete of the Year. Kellerman and football player Jeff Minnerly were honored as the school’s Female and Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, respectively.
Kellerman also took home the Female Career Achievement Award, which was won for the men by track and field sprinter Brad Wall. Kaufman also won the award for Best Record-Breaking Performance, and Nelson was also awarded as Female Newcomer of the Year.
Adams won the award for Best Play and was also selected as the school’s Male Freshman of the Year. The Female Freshman of the Year honor went to Hayley Hodgins from the women’s basketball team, which won the award for Best Game/Competition.
The Male Newcomer of the Year award was won by tennis player Joseph Cohen. Volleyball player Laney Brown won the Triple-Threat Citizen award for the second year in a row as a result of her athletic accomplishments, academic achievement and her service to the community.
In addition, the Eagle football team won Team of the Year honors, and Beau Baldwin was honored as Coach of the Year.
Listed below is a list of award winners from the “EeeWoos.” Nominations and voting for the “EeeWoos” was conducted by EWU Athletic Department coaches and staff.
2012-13 EeeWoos Winners
Football . . . Eastern gave fans a league championship and two thrilling home playoff victories as EWU advanced to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs. The Eagles finished the 2012 season 11-3 and were 7-1 in the Big Sky Conference to share the league title. And for the fifth time in school history, EWU defeated rivals Montana and Montana State in the same year.
W. Basketball at Washington (3/22/13) . . . In true March Madness fashion, the Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team left absolutely everything it had on the floor in an epic double-overtime 65-60 loss against Washington in the first round of the Women’s NIT. The Huskies were one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the nation, but at one point were held to 0-of-15 shooting from beyond the arc by the Eagle defense. Freshman Hayley Hodgins led the Eags with 20 points, 17 of which were scored in the second half and overtime periods.
Vernon Adams versus Sacramento State (Football) . . . An incredible scramble and touchdown throw by Vernon Adams against Sacramento State on Oct. 20 was a finalist for the GEICO Play of the Year. He danced and juked himself away from eight would-be tacklers, then passed 26 yards to Greg Herd for a TD in the narrow, three-point victory. For eight weeks, fans voted for the GEICO Play of the Year, and Adams won the Play of the Year voting for Week 8. The eight weekly winners were shown on GEICO Best of College Football 2012 on CBS on Nov. 23.
Brandon Kaufman (Football) . . . After a record-breaking junior season, Kaufman earned the 2012 FCS Wide Receiver Award from College Football Performance Awards (CFPA), and was selected to five different All-America teams. He finished the season with 93 receptions, 16 touchdowns and 1,850 yards to break the FCS record for receiving yards in a single season. In the off-season, Kaufman signed a free agent contract with the Buffalo Bills of the NFL.
Lexie Nelson (Basketball) . . . En route to earning first team All-Big Sky Conference honors, Nelson was the only underclassman to appear on the first or second team. For the season, she averaged 14.0 points per game while sinking 60 3-point shots and making 112-of-131 free throws. The Montana transfer led the Big Sky in free throw percentage (87.3 in league games), while her overall season percentage of 84.5 ranked 27th nationally. Nelson scored in double figures in all but four Big Sky games, and had three 20+ performances during the league season, including a career-high 24 points on 67 percent shooting in an overtime win late in the year against Idaho State.
Jeff Minnerly (Football) . . . The senior safety became the eighth EWU player in school history since 1989 to be honored on the Capital One Academic All-America Division I football team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He earned the honor after advancing to the national ballot following his third All-District VIII honor announced earlier in the 2012 season. Minnerly currently has a 3.75 grade point average with a double major in finance and electrical engineering.
Cora Kellerman (Volleyball/Track & Field) . . . Kellerman owns a 3.78 grade point average as an electrical engineering major, and won four Big Sky All-Academic awards in four years as an Eagle. As a senior, she played in 107 sets and averaged 2.83 kills and 3.22 digs per set. She played in 108 career matches and averaged 2.38 kills and 2.41 digs per game, and had 98 total blocks and 39 ace serves. She also competed in 2013 in the javelin, and her best mark of 170-0 ranks second in school history and is less than six feet from a school record.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR/MALE
Joseph Cohen (Tennis) . . . A transfer from Middle Tennessee who is from London, England, Cohen won his final 12 singles matches of the year and was 8-0 in the Big Sky. He finished 14-3 in singles and was also 9-9 in doubles competition. He ended his sophomore season as co-Big Sky Conference MVP and first team All-BSC.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR/FEMALE
Lexie Nelson (Basketball) . . . En route to earning first team All-Big Sky Conference honors, the transfer from Montana was the only underclassman to appear on the first or second teams. For the season, she started all 32 games and averaged 14.0 points while sinking 60 3-point shots and making 112-of-131 free throws.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR/MALE
Vernon Adams (Football) . . . Adams was the FCS Freshman of the Year on the College Sporting News “Fabulous 50” All-America team, and was on the College Sports Journal Freshman All-America squad. Adams was also one of 20 players on the ballot for the Jerry Rice Award, given to the top freshman in FCS by The Sports Network. Adams ranked fourth in FCS in passing efficiency and helped lead the Eagles to a school record for passing yards. In nine games as a starter and three as a sub, he completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 1,961 yards, 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions, and also rushed for an additional 342 yards and a score.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR/FEMALE
Hayley Hodgins (Basketball) . . . Hodgins was tabbed as the Big Sky Conference’s Most Outstanding Freshman, becoming the fifth player in school history and first player since 1993 to take home the coveted award. She was also named to the Big Sky All-Academic team and averaged 7.8 points per game – the second-highest for a freshman in the league. She was third in the Big Sky in 3-point field goal percentage (39.1) and 15th in average 3-pointers per game (1.2).
COACH OF THE YEAR
Beau Baldwin (Football) . . . Baldwin was Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year and finished fifth in the voting for the 2012 Eddie Robinson Award, given to the national coach of the year in FCS. He directed Eastern to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs, as the Eagles finished the 2012 season 11-3 and 7-1 in the Big Sky Conference to share the league title. His .750 winning percentage in Big Sky Conference games (30-10) is the best-ever by an Eastern head coach and currently ranks eighth in the 50-year history of the Big Sky Conference. With a 44-19 record overall in five seasons, His .698 percentage is 11th.
SAAC TRIPLE THREAT CITIZEN
Laney Brown (Volleyball) . . . Voted by her teammates for the second-straight year as the Most Inspirational Player, Brown has a 3.86 grade point average as a recreation management major. She was selected to the Big Sky All-Academic team for the third time. This past season, Brown was the driving force in the volleyball program’s partnership with the American Childhood Cancer Society Inland Northwest to provide a special "Eagle Volleyball Experience" for children and their families who are battling cancer. Brown has also spent many hours volunteering at the American Childhood Cancer Organization, helping organize events and fundraisers, while also serving as their director of multimedia. Brown has taken part in a variety of community service efforts with her teammates, including the East Region Special Olympics Spring Games, the Betz Elementary “Jump Rope for Heart” Event and the Second Harvest “Help the Hungry” Sport Night. On the court, she averaged 9.83 assists and 2.51 digs per set as a senior. She played in 90 career matches and averaged 5.98 assists and 1.87 digs per game, and also had 48 service aces.
BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE
Brandon Kaufman (Football) . . . Kaufman broke the FCS record for single season receiving yards, finishing with 1,850 yards (93 receptions and 16 TD) to break the record of 1,712. On single season lists, Kaufman’s 93 catches ranks second in school history (behind the school-record 95 that teammate Nicholas Edwards had in 2011), fifth in the Big Sky and 28th in FCS. His 16 touchdowns are third all-time at EWU and his average of 19.9 yards per catch was fifth in EWU history. Kaufman finished his 42-game career with 221 catches (third in school history, seventh in Big Sky history) for 3,731 yards (second all-time at EWU, fourth in the Big Sky and 19th in FCS) and 33 touchdowns (second in school history).
Brad Wall (Track & Field) . . . Wall became just the fourth Eastern male athlete in school history to win four individual conference titles and the second to claim three outdoor titles in a single event. In all, he earned 11 All-Big Sky honors (top three finish) individually and in relays during his indoor and outdoor career. Wall is the school record holder in the 400 outdoors with a time of 46.67 set in 2010, and is second indoors with a time of 47.07 set in 2012. He was also a member of Eastern’s record-setting 4x100 relay team outdoors in 2011 (40.46), and a record-breaking 4x400 relay team indoors (3:11.04). The 4x400 relay outdoors owns the second-best time in school history of 3:11.33, which was set at the BSC Outdoor Championships in 2013. He will finish his career with eight Big Sky All-Academic honors and twice won United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Academic All-America honors.
Cora Kellerman (Volleyball/Track & Field) . . . Kellerman played in 108 career matches and averaged 2.38 kills and 2.41 digs per game, and finished with 98 total blocks and 39 ace serves. She won four Big Sky All-Academic awards in four years as an Eagle and earned first team All-Big Sky Conference honors in 2011. Just a year earlier, Kellerman battled a rare heart condition called atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT), which required three surgeries and forced her to redshirt the 2010 season. She also competed in 2013 in the javelin, and her best mark of 170-0 ranks second in school history and is less than six feet from a school record. With her mark, Kellerman ranks sixth in the Division I West Region and 10th in the nation.
Others Nominated for 2012-13 EeeWoos
W. Basketball . . . Advancing to the Women’s NIT where it lost in double-overtime to the Washington Huskies, Eastern finished the 2012-13 campaign 19-13 overall. The Eagles went 14-6 in Big Sky play to finish third, after being picked eighth in the Big Sky preseason polls.
Soccer . . . The Eagles overcame adversity to triple its Big Sky Conference point total from the previous two seasons. Eastern finished with the team’s best winning percentage since 2009 and was 3-3-3 in league play, but narrowly missed out on a berth in the league tournament. The team was hit hard by injuries during the 2012 season, losing two experienced center midfielders and one defender for the season.
M. Outdoor Track & Field . . . The Eagles had eight All-Big Sky Conference performances (top three finish) to place fourth out of 11 teams at the Big Sky Conference Track and Field Championships. The Eagles, who were picked to place seventh, finished with 92 points to rank as the eighth-most in school history, but the total is skewed by the fact there are now two more schools in the league competing for points. Brad Wall won the 400 meter title of the Eagles, who added runner-up finishes by Jordan Arakawa, Joey Payne, Phil Puccino, Nick Stearns and the 4x400 relay.
Football versus Montana (9/29/12) . . . Scoring two touchdowns in the final 2:19, the No. 7 Eagles rallied for a 32-26 victory over the 21st-ranked Montana Grizzlies at Roos Field. The two scores, aided by a successful onside kick, came within two minutes of each other. Eastern scored the winning points on a 20-yard TD pass from Vernon Adams to Ashton Clark with 53 seconds to play.
Football at Montana State (10/13/12) . . . Despite being held to 211 yards of offense, Eastern turned a four-point deficit into a 10-point advantage in less than a minute en route to a 27-24 victory over second-ranked Montana State. A blocked punt by sophomore Dylan Zylstra that was recovered for a touchdown by Evan Day gave EWU the lead early in the fourth quarter. Just 59 seconds later, an interception by freshman redshirt safety Jordan Tonani was returned 21 yards for a TD to give the Eagles a 10-point lead they didn’t surrender.
Golf at Big Sky Championships (4/21-23/13) . . . The Eagles had their lowest score of the season in their final round of the year to place sixth out of the 11 teams at the Big Sky Conference Championships. The team’s season-low total of 298 was the best round by an Eagle squad since 2008. Eastern finished with its best 54-hole effort of the season and the best for an EWU team since 2002.
M. Basketball at Northern Arizona (2/9/13) . . . Down by 18 with 7:35 left to play, Eastern rallied behind redshirt freshman Tyler Harvey and defeated NAU in overtime by a 77-74 score. The freshman redshirt came off the bench to score 14 points in the last 8:31 of the game and rallied the Eagles to an improbable win. As a result, Eastern was able to gain ground on NAU in its chase to the Big Sky Conference men’s basketball tournament and complete a season sweep over the Lumberjacks.
Volleyball at Northern Arizona (11/1/12) . . . Eastern picked up its first road victory of the year in a thrilling five-set win at Northern Arizona. The Eagles won sets No. 2 and 3, then won 23-21 in the decisive fifth set. True freshman Allie Schumacher broke a 16-year-old school record for kills in a single match when she hammered 35 on a .397 attack percentage.
W. Basketball versus Northern Colorado (1/19/13) . . . Behind a perfect night from freshman Hayley Hodgins, the Eagles rolled to their biggest win of the season with a 63-38 home victory over Northern Colorado. Hodgins made all seven of her shots to finish with a career-high 17 points. Eastern hit 9-of-16 3-point shots in the game, while the Eagle defense did not give up a made shot from beyond the arc in 22 tries for the Bears.
Cassie Black versus Boise State (Soccer) . . . Black had two stellar goals as Eastern defeated Boise State for the first time in 11 years with a 3-1 victory. Black scored her first goal in the 20th minute of play, then scored with three seconds to play in the match for the final margin of 3-1.
Greg Herd vs. Cal Poly (Football) . . . Herd sparked the Eagles to a 34-17 victory over 16th-ranked Cal Poly with a spectacular one-handed touchdown catch. His play came late in the first quarter on a pass from Vernon Adams and gave the Eagles a 14-3 advantage.
Brandon Kaufman versus Portland State (Football) . . . Trailing 26-14, Kaufman gathered in a 43-yard pass that bounced off his leg, setting up a touchdown late in the third quarter in EWU’s come-from-behind 41-34 win over Portland State. The long pass from Kyle Padron was tipped by a PSU defender, but the ball bounced off Kaufman’s leg and then into his waiting arms as he fell to the ground.
Onside Kickoff versus Montana (Football) . . . Trailing by two with just over two minutes to play, a successful onside kickoff by the Eagles led to the winning points in Eastern’s 32-26 come-from-behind victory over the 21st-ranked Montana Grizzlies at Roos Field. Brandon Kaufman leaped high to tip the onside kick, and it was alertly recovered by Shaquille Hill.
Men’s 400 Meters at Big Sky Outdoor Championships (5/11/13) . . . Trailing the leader by nearly five meters entering the homestretch, Brad Wall capped his career by winning the 400 at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships. The top three finishers were within five one-hundredths of a second of each other at the finish, including third-place finisher Brad Michael from Eastern. Wall’s title was his fourth as an Eagle, sharing a school record with three other past EWU competitors.
Vernon Adams (Football) . . . In nine games as a starter and three games as a sub, Adams ranked fourth in FCS in passing efficiency (160.80) and helped lead the Eagles to the semifinals of the playoffs. The Freshman All-American completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 1,961 yards and 20 touchdowns, and also rushed for an additional 342 yards and a score. He had a school-record six touchdown passes in EWU’s final game of the season against Sam Houston State, and he helped Eastern set a school record for passing yards with 4,469.
Joseph Cohen (Tennis) . . . A sensational sophomore season for Cohen ended with co-Big Sky Conference MVP honors and first team All-BSC accolades. Cohen, a transfer from Middle Tennessee who is from London, England, won his final 12 singles matches of the year and was 8-0 in the Big Sky. He finished 14-3 in singles and was also 9-9 in doubles competition. His win total ranks 10th in school history as he earned Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors twice. Cohen didn’t lose a match after Feb. 15.
Brad Wall (Track & Field) . . . Wall won the 400 at the BSC Outdoor Championships, running a time of 47.67 and capturing his fourth career individual title. With that performance, he became just the fourth Eastern athlete in school history to win four individual conference titles and the second to claim three outdoor titles in a single event. Wall ran the anchor leg at the championships on the 4x400 relay, which took second with a time of 3:11.33, good for second all-time at Eastern.
Cassie Black (Soccer) . . . Just a sophomore, Black was selected to the All-Big Sky Conference second team and was also a Capital One Academic All-District VIII Second Team selection. Black led the Eagles with eight goals and two assists for a total of 18 points. She started 17 of 18 matches, contributing 1,230 total minutes and 45 shots, while breaking career and single season records for game-winning goals (six and four, respectively).
Michelle Coombs (Track & Field) . . . The senior javelin thrower has a 3.53 GPA as a psychology major, and will win her fourth Big Sky All-Academic award of her career in spring 2013. Ranked fourth in school history with a career-best throw of 164-9 as a senior, she placed second at the Big Sky Conference Championships as both a senior and a junior, and won the league title as a freshman in 2009. Her javelin throw currently ranks her ninth in the West Region and 18th in NCAA Division I.
Moira Hedberg (Tennis) . . . Hedberg’s record-breaking sophomore season resulted in first team All-Big Sky Conference honors. She equaled the school record for victories in a season as she finished 14-8 overall – all at No. 1 singles. She was 9-1 in the league and won her final eight conference matches of the year, and was also 13-8 in doubles play.
Brad Wall (Track & Field) . . . Wall is a journalism major with a 3.54 grade point average, and will win his eighth Big Sky All-Academic honor of his career at EWU in spring 2013. Wall won his fourth Big Sky Conference title in the 400 in his senior season, and ran on Eastern’s 4x400 relay team which was the Big Sky runner-up and recorded the second-fastest time in school history. In all, he earned 11 All-Big Sky honors (top three finish) individually and in relays during his indoor and outdoor career and twice won United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Academic All-America honors.
Kevin Winford (Basketball) . . . Winford received his fourth Big Sky Conference All-Academic honor as a senior, and has a 3.52 grade point average as a management information systems major. He closed his career by averaging 6.1 points and 2.4 assists per game, and played in 113 career games to rank fifth in school history.
Laney Brown (Volleyball) . . . Filling in as a setter her senior season, Brown has a 3.86 grade point average as a recreation management major. She was selected to the Big Sky All-Academic team for the third time after averaging 9.83 assists and 2.51 digs per set. She played in 90 career matches and averaged 5.98 assists and 1.87 digs per game, as well as 48 service aces.
Elise Jepsen (Track & Field) . . . Jepsen has a 3.90 grade point average as a health and fitness major, and will win her eighth Big Sky All-Academic award of her career in spring 2013. She finished fifth in the high jump at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor championships after a sixth-place finish indoors. She ranks eighth all-time in school history indoors (5-5) and is seventh outdoors (5-6).
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR/MALE
Martin Seiferth (Basketball) . . . Seiferth had 68 blocked shots in the 2012-13 season to rank 39th in NCAA Division I (2.2 per game) and break the previous school record of 51 set by Paul Butorac in 2006. Seiferth already ranks sixth on EWU’s career list. He had a school-record eight blocked shots against Sam Houston State, and earlier in the year he broke a school record that had stood for 25 years when he had seven at Cal State Northridge. He also had 27 points and 17 rebounds against CSN, with his rebound total ranking as the eighth-best recorded performance all-time at Eastern.
Kyle Padron (Football) . . . After transferring from Southern Methodist, Padron started five games and played six others as a sub to help lead EWU to the Big Sky title and the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs. He completed 59.1 percent of his passes for a team-leading 2,491 yards, 17 TDs and seven interceptions, and ranked 29th in FCS in passing yards per game (226.5). He helped Eastern set a school record for passing yards with 4,469, and Padron had a school-record six touchdown passes in the playoffs versus Illinois State.
Andru Pulu (Football) . . . In his first season in an Eagle uniform after transferring from Washington, Pulu earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors. He started all 13 of the games he played and had 36 tackles with 2 1/2 sacks and four quarterback hurries.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR/FEMALE
Katy Allen (Soccer) . . . As a junior college transfer from Yakima Valley Community College, Allen earned honorable mention All-Big Sky honors after playing 1,078 minutes for the Eagles. She took over the central midfield position and started 13 of the 17 matches she played, after injuries kept several returning players out of the lineup. She had three shots – two on goal.
Katie Mahoney (Track & Field) . . . In her first appearance at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships, Mahoney finished second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and fourth in the 1,500 with record-breaking times. She broke her own school record in the steeplechase with a time of 10:28.52, and set the record in the 1,500 with a 4:25.79 clocking. Earlier in the season, she had a time of 17:14.91 in the 5,000 (sixth all-time) and a clocking of 2:12.87 in the 800 (third in school history).
Cora Kellerman (Track & Field) . . . In her first season with the Eastern track and field team, the four-year Eagle volleyball player uncorked the second-best javelin throw in school history. Her mark of 170-0 crushed her previous best of 143-6, and was less than six feet from a school record. With her mark, Kellerman ranks sixth in the Division I West Region and 10th in the nation.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR/MALE
Venky Jois (Basketball) . . . Jois became the fifth Eagle to win the BSC Freshman of the Year award and also earned honorable mention on the All-Big Sky squad. Jois finished second in the league and 41st in NCAA Division I in rebounding (9.0), and was 31st in the nation and tops in the Big Sky in blocked shots (2.4 per game). In addition, Jois was also 15th in the league in scoring (12.3) and 12th in field goal percentage (.488), and finished the season with nine double-doubles to lead the Big Sky.
Joey Payne (Track & Field) . . . Payne finished second at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships in the javelin with a throw of 205-6 to earn All-Big Sky honors. Earlier in the year he had a season-best mark of 205-9 to just miss a spot on EWU’s all-time leaders list.
Jordan Tonani (Football) . . . Tonani earned Freshman All-America honors and was a honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference selection after starting seven games and playing in all 14 for the Eagles. He finished the year sixth on the team with 68 tackles and also had a team-leading three interceptions with five passes broken up and a fumble recovery. Tonani earned National FCS Defensive Player of the Week accolades after returning an interception 21 yards for a touchdown to provide the go-ahead points in a 27-24 win over second-ranked Montana State.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR/FEMALE
Kellen Barfield (Volleyball) . . . A redshirt freshman, Barfield shared the team award for Most Improved Player. In the first half of the Big Sky season, Barfield averaged just under five kills per match. In the second half, she was averaging nearly six and a half. On the year, Barfield tallied 135 total kills on a .355 attack percentage, and also had 80 blocks.
Marissa Borja (Golf) . . . Borja showed promise in her first season as an Eagle, finishing with a team-leading 77.9 average in 26 rounds, with a low round of 71. She had five top 20 finishes in her debut season, and her average was the best for an Eagle since the 2007-08 season. She finished tied for 18th individually at the Big Sky Conference Championships.
Allie Schumacher (Volleyball) . . . Schumacher shared the team award for Most Improved Player as a true freshman in the 2012 season. After earning a starting role midway through season, Schumacher finished the season with an average of 2.63 kills per set to rank second on the team. She picked up 144 total digs throughout her freshman campaign, and in a thrilling five-set win at Northern Arizona on Nov. 1, Schumacher broke the EWU school record for kills in a single match when she hammered 35 kills on a .397 attack percentage.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Marcia Mecklenburg (Track & Field) . . . Mecklenburg directed Eastern’s women’s team to a fifth-place finish at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships, with most of the points coming on the first day when the Eagles took the early lead in the team competition. The contingent of throwers she coaches was among the best in the conference. The group included a total of four All-Big Sky performers (top three finish) for the men and four for the women, with 57 total points scored by the men and 37 by the women.
Wendy Schuller (W. Basketball) . . . Advancing to the Women’s NIT where it lost in double-overtime to the Washington Huskies, Eastern finished the 2012-13 campaign at 19-13 overall. The Eagles went 14-6 in Big Sky play to finish third, after being picked eighth in the Big Sky preseason polls. The 19 wins equaled the most in Schuller’s 12-year career at Eastern, with current records of 161-193 overall and 88-98 in Big Sky play.
SAAC TRIPLE THREAT CITIZEN
Siara Byers (Soccer) . . . Byers is a two-time winner of the Silver Eagle Award (spring soccer MVP) and winner of the Iron Eagle as team MVP in the weight room. She is also a two-year team captain, a member of the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team three years and a two-time EWU Soccer Scholar. As a team, Eastern received a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Ethics/Sportsmanship Award and the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the 11th-consecutive season. Her community service endeavors include serving as a TOPSoccer coach for two years and participation in the Ronald McDonald House of Spokane Meal Program, in which the Eagles spent an evening cooking dinner for families staying at the RMH. Byers has 3.57 grade point average as a major in children’s studies. On the field, Byers started nine of 18 matches and finished with two goals and 13 shots (seven on goal).
Steven Forgette (Football) . . . In his second year as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Forgette and teammate Ronnie Hamlin helped organize Eastern’s participation in the 2013 Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Washington. Raising nearly $700, the Eagles were given the award for "Top Fundraising School" at the event. Forgette has also has organized several other community service projects, including Special Olympics, Adopt-a-Family and an afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club of Spokane. Forgette has a 3.33 grade point average as an exercise science major, and twice has been named to the Big Sky All-Academic team. He was an honorable mention All-American and second team All-Big Sky selection while starting all 14 games for the Eagles at left guard in the 2012 season. He was also an All-Big Sky Conference honorable mention selection in 2010 after starting 14 of 15 games at left guard for the Eagles during the school’s National Championship season.
Lexie Nelson (W. Basketball) . . . Nelson, along with her teammates, participated in five community service projects during the year, including Special Olympics, Spokane Guild School Penny Drive, Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk, visitation of the Cheney Care Center and volunteering at a Cheney Middle School track meet. She has a 3.68 grade point average as an exercise science major, and was a member of the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team. A transfer from Montana, Nelson earned first team All-Big Sky honors after leading the Eagles to a 19-13 record and the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
Elise Jepsen (W. Track & Field) . . . A member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Jepsen has a 3.90 grade point average as a health and fitness major. Her community service projects include volunteering with Feed Cheney each month, serving as a volunteer track and field coach at Cheney Middle School, middle school church youth group leader and working with the elderly at the Cheney Care Center. She finished fifth at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor championships in the high jump after a sixth-place finish indoors. She ranks eighth all-time in school history indoors (5-5) and is seventh outdoors (5-6).
BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE
Cassie Black (Soccer) . . . Black claimed the EWU career record for most game-winning goals with six and broke the single-season record as well with four game-winners in 2012. She also tied for most goals in a single game after securing a hat-trick in Eastern’s 4-1 win against North Dakota on Oct. 5.
Moira Hedberg (W. Tennis) . . . Hedberg tied the single season school record of 14 victories set by Kasey Knox in 2007. She finished her season 14-8 overall and was 9-1 in the league with an eight-match winning streak to end the year. In her career, Hedberg is 23-18 and will eventually be chasing the school record of 42 victories set by Rachel Berger (2006-09).
Katie Mahoney (W. Track & Field) . . . In her first appearance at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships, Mahoney broke her own school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:28.52, and set the record in the 1,500 with a 4:25.79 clocking. Earlier in the season, she had a time of 17:14.91 in the 5,000 (sixth all-time) and a clocking of 2:12.87 in the 800 (third in school history).
Kyle Padron/Vernon Adams (Football) . . . Quarterbacks Vernon Adams and Kyle Padron combined to lead EWU to the school record for passing yards. The Eagles finished with 4,469 yards, breaking the previous record of 4,102 in 2005. In back-to-back games in the FCS Playoffs, each had a school-record six touchdown passes -- Padron versus Illinois State in the quarterfinals and Adams against Sam Houston State in the semifinals.
Martin Seiferth/Venky Jois (M. Basketball) . . . With 176 blocked shots as a team, the Eagles finished just three behind the Big Sky Conference record of 179 and shattered the previous school record of 130. Led by a school-record eight blocked shots by Martin Seiferth, Eastern broke a 21-year-old Big Sky Conference record with 16 blocked shots on Feb. 23 in an 81-76 win over Sam Houston State, eclipsing the previous league and school record of 13. With 66 blocked shots for the season, Venky Jois originally broke the school record of 51, but was passed later in the season by Seiferth with 68.
Nicholas Edwards (Football) . . . Edwards finished his career with 215 catches to rank fourth in school history and his 33 TD receptions were second (the record is 46). He finished fifth all-time in Eastern history in receiving yards with 2,634, and was sixth in points scored with 202. Edwards was an honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference selection in 2012, but was hampered by an early-season knee injury that kept him out of three full games. He finished his senior season with 37 catches for 436 yards and four scores. In 2010, he was a unanimous All-America selection and first team All-Big Sky pick after catching a school-record 95 passes. In the off-season, Edwards signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL.
Jeffrey Forbes (M. Basketball) . . . Forbes finished his career with school records of 121 games played and 106 games started. He became the 16th player in school history to score at least 1,000 career points, and finished with 1,022 to rank 15th in school history. He also finished his career ranked sixth in school history with 119 career steals, third in 3-pointers made (171) and second in 3-point attempts (464). In his career, Forbes averaged 8.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steals per game.
Greg Herd (Football) . . . Herd moved onto EWU’s all-time leaders list for career catches, finishing with 165 to rank ninth. His catches were good for 2,348 yards to rank 11th in school history, and had 17 touchdowns to rank 13th. He earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors in 2012 after receiving second team accolades as a junior when he also received All-America recognition. In 2012, his 66 catches rank as the 12th-most in school history, and were good for 952 yards and seven TDs. In the off-season, Herd signed a free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL.
Zach Johnson (Football) . . . Despite missing 24 total games in his career because of injuries, Johnson started every game he played in his Eastern career – 39. He finished with 324 career tackles, five interceptions, 14 passes broken up and 6 1/2 sacks as an Eagle. He finished seventh all-time in tackles at Eastern, and was 17 away from the total of 341 by his twin brother Matt Johnson, who now plays for the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson earned second team All-Big Sky honors in 2012 and 2010, and was honorable mention as a freshman in 2008. He had 12 tackles the final game of his career versus Sam Houston State – the 15th of his career with at least 10 stops.
Kevin Winford (M. Basketball) . . . Winford played in 113 career games to rank fifth in school history, and also finished his career ranked in the top 10 on several Eastern season and career lists for 3-point shooting. On career charts, his 138 makes and his 409 attempts both rank fifth. Winford made 66 3-pointers in the 2010-11 season to rank fifth (now sixth) in single season school history, and his 187 attempts were fourth (now fifth). He owns school records for single game 3-pointers made (10) and attempted (23) when he finished with 39 points – fifth-best in school history – in his sophomore season against New Hope (12/4/10).
Laney Brown (Volleyball) . . . Brown played in 90 career matches for the Eagles and averaged 5.98 assists and 1.87 digs per game. She also finished with 48 service aces and was a three-time member of the Big Sky All-Academic team. But her greatest legacy will be her community service, having won the SAAC Triple Threat Citizen Award as a junior in 2012.
Michelle Coombs (Track & Field) . . . Coombs ranks fourth in school history in the javelin with a career-best throw of 164-9 as a senior. She is a three-time All-Big Sky Conference selection and will earn the fourth Big Sky All-Academic award of her career in spring 2013. She placed second at the Big Sky Conference Championships as both a senior and a junior, and won the league title as a freshman in 2009. Her javelin throw currently ranks her ninth in the West Region and 18th in NCAA Division I.
Kelsey Knight (Tennis) . . . Knight closed her career as one of the top 11 players in school history in career victories, with a current total of 24 to rank ninth. In doubles competition, she recorded 27 wins, and is fourth in school history with the 14 career victories she had with former doubles partner Caitlin Bampton. Knight earned All-Big Sky honorable mention honors in 2013 and 2010, and should be honored on the All-Academic squad for a third time at the end of the spring quarter.
Carrie Ojeda (W. Basketball) . . . Ojeda started 86 of the 120 games she played as an Eagle, and finished with averages of 6.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. She also finished with 125 blocked shots, 108 steals and 105 assists. Ojeda’s closed her career by being selected as an honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference selection as a senior, and was on the Big Sky All-Tournament team as well. The forward also garnered recognition from College Sports Madness as a member of their All-Big Sky Second Team.
Shelby Puckett (Volleyball) . . . A three-year letterwinner and two-time All-Big Sky Conference selection as an outside hitter, Puckett finished her career by playing in 109 total matches. In 373 career sets played, she averaged 2.1 kills and 2.0 digs, and finished with a total of 190 blocks and 57 service aces. As a senior, Puckett was the winner of EWU Volleyball’s Teammate of the Year award, as well as the Eagle Award, which is given by the coaching staff to the player who best exemplifies the qualities valued by the team as a whole, including work ethic, leadership, perseverance, performance and value to the program.