Michigan State Announces Major Athletic Award Winners
 
 
 

 

 
 

June 11, 2012

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Five Michigan State University student-athletes have been recognized for excellence both on the playing field and in the classroom as they have earned the school's highest athletic awards for 2011-12.

The awards include the George Alderton Male and Female Athletes of the Year, the Big Ten Conference Medals of Honor, the Chester Brewer Leadership Award and Dr. James Feurig Achievement and Service Award. A panel of administrators and head coaches selected the winners.

Senior men's basketball forward Draymond Green was named the George Alderton Male Athlete of the Year, while senior women's soccer forward Laura Heyboer (Hudsonville, Mich.) and junior women's golfer Caroline Powers (Bowling Green, Ohio) earned George Alderton Female Co-Athlete of the Year honors. It marks the third time that two female athletes have won the Alderton in the same year (2003-Michelle Carson and Jamie Krzyminski; 2011-Emily MacLeod and Powers).

Green became the third Spartan to ever earn National Player of the Year honors as he was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I Player of the Year. The Saginaw, Mich., native led the Spartans in scoring (16.2 ppg), rebounding (10.6 rpg), steals (54), and 3-point field goals (52) while helping the Spartans to Big Ten regular season and tournament titles and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Green was also named a consensus First-Team All-American, the Big Ten Player of the Year, and the Most Outstanding Player of the Big Ten Tournament.

Heyboer finished her career as the leading scorer in Michigan State history with 139 points and is one of five athletes all-time in the sport to earn First-Team All-Big Ten honors four times in her career. A First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American, Heyboer scored 18 goals as a senior, the eighth-highest mark in NCAA Division I, and her 18 goals and nine assists is the 10th highest total in points (45) for a single-season in the Big Ten record book.

Powers becomes only the fourth women's athlete to earn the Alderton Award in back-to-back seasons; she's also the third women's golfer to win the award twice (Emily Bastel, 2000 and 2002; Sara Brown, 2007-08). A First-Team All-Big Ten and National Golf Coaches Association honorable mention All-America selection for the second straight year, Powers finished in the Top 10 at six tournaments, including a victory at the Mary Fossum Invitational. Her 73.78 scoring average was second best in school history, only behind her record of 73.58 she set last season.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins (Holland, Mich.) received the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor along with volleyball outside hitter/middle blocker Jenilee Rathje (Mount Pleasant, Mich.). The Medal of Honor is presented to a male and female senior student-athlete at each conference institution for outstanding athletic and academic achievement.

Cousins was also named the recipient of the Chester Brewer Leadership Award, while Rathje received the Dr. James Feurig Service and Achievement Award for the second consecutive season.

In addition, Cousins and Rathje were named the recipients of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for Michigan State. One member of each varsity sports team on every campus was chosen by the institution as a Sportsmanship Award honoree and from each university's list, two outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners were then selected.

AWARD - WINNER
George Alderton Male Athlete of the Year - Draymond Green (Basketball)
George Alderton Female Co-Athletes of the Year - Laura Heyboer (Soccer) and Caroline Powers (Golf)
Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor (Male) - Kirk Cousins (Football)
Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor (Female) - Jenilee Rathje (Volleyball)
Chester Brewer Leadership Award - Kirk Cousins (Football)
Dr. James Feurig Achievement and Service Award - Jenilee Rathje (Volleyball)
Big Ten Sportsmanship Award (Male) - Kirk Cousins (Football)
Big Ten Sportsmanship Award (Female) - Jenilee Rathje (Volleyball)

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GEORGE ALDERTON MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR


(Presented to top male athlete of 2011-12)

WINNER: Draymond Green (Basketball)

Finishing his career as the leading rebounder in Michigan State history, Draymond Green is the first men's basketball player to win the George Alderton Award since Mateen Cleaves in 2000.

Draymond Green was the 2012 NABC National Player of the Year, a First-Team All-American and the Big Ten Player of the Year, after leading MSU in points (16.2), rebounds (10.6), steals (54) and 3-point field goals (52).


The 2012 NABC Division I National Player of the Year, he became MSU's first consensus first-team All-American since Cleaves did it in 1999, and just the fourth in school history, also joining Earvin "Magic" Johnson (1979) and Shawn Respert (1995). Green joins Scott Skiles (1986-Basketball Times) and Respert (1995-NABC and Sporting News) as the only Spartans to ever earn National Player of the Year honors.

"I'm honored to win the George Alderton Award, especially in a year where there were so many other worthy candidates," said Green. "Players like Kirk Cousins, B.J. Cunningham, Jerel Worthy and Torey Krug could all just as easily have won this award. They all had great seasons and are great representatives of Michigan State University. We have such a well-rounded University and athletic department, which makes this a very tough honor to accomplish.

"To be the first basketball player since Mateen Cleaves to win the award makes it extra special. He's one of the great players in Spartan basketball history and one that I looked up to while I was growing up and still do today.

"Being a Spartan was a dream of mine ever since I was a little kid. I'm proud to say `I am a Spartan,' and that will continue long after I've left Michigan State. I have to thank God, my coaching staff and my teammates for putting me in a position and helping me achieve this great accomplishment."

The 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward earned First-Team All-America honors from the Associated Press, The Sporting News, United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), the Wooden Award, CBSSports.com and the NABC. He also was named Big Ten Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player of the Big Ten Tournament, and earned a spot on the NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team.

The Saginaw, Mich., native led the Spartans in scoring (16.2 ppg), rebounding (10.6 rpg), steals (54), and 3-point field goals (52), while ranking second in assists (3.8 apg) and blocks (36). On the season, he led MSU in rebounding in 31 of 37 games, including 16 of the 18 Big Ten contests.

In addition to finishing his career as MSU's all-time leading rebounder (1,096), he ranked 17th in career scoring (1,517 points), second in career blocks (117), second in career steals (180) and tied for the career lead with 145 games played. He also finished just 27 assists shy of breaking into the Top 10. He joins Greg Kelser and Johnny Green as the only players in Michigan State history to record 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 points in their careers.

On the season, Green ranked third in the nation with 22 double-doubles and ninth in rebounding (10.6 rpg). He finished the year with seven games of at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, tying Ohio State's Evan Turner (2009-10) for the most by a player from a power six conference since 1996-97. He also became the first player from a power six conference to average 15 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists in a season since Tim Duncan accomplished the feat in 1996-97.

"This is a great honor for Draymond, especially when you consider some of the other deserving candidates," MSU head basketball coach Tom Izzo said. "I know this is one award that will have special meaning for Draymond because of the great pride he takes in being a Spartan. Obviously, his accomplishments on the court and the way he led our team this season speaks for itself, but the way he cared about the entire athletic department and the university in general speaks to his love for this place. He put in a lot of time watching the different sports across campus, even helping some of them recruit.

"As a basketball player, Draymond got better each and every year. He worked hard on improving his decision making, his body and his versatile skill set. Most importantly, he developed into one of the best leaders in the game. Like so many of the great players before him, winning was always his first priority. His own individual stats and honors always came second, and that's why as a coach you enjoy watching him get what he deserves."

PAST WINNERS - ALDERTON MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
2011-Greg Jones (football); 2010-Greg Jones (football); 2009-Franklin Gomez (wrestling); 2008-Jeff Lerg (hockey); 2007-Jeff Lerg (hockey); 2006-Brad Gebauer (track and field); 2005-Nick Simmons (wrestling); 2004-Jeff Smoker (football); 2003-Charles Rogers (football); 2002-Paul Terek (track and field); 2001-Ryan Miller (hockey); 2000-Mateen Cleaves (basketball); 1999-Mateen Cleaves (basketball) and Mike York (hockey); 1998-Chad Alban (hockey); 1997-Reid Friedrichs (soccer); 1996-David Morgan (wrestling); 1995-Shawn Respert (basketball); 1994-Emilio Collins (wrestling); 1993-Bryan Smolinski (hockey); 1992-Anthony Hamm (cross country/track and field); 1991-Steve Smith (basketball); 1990-Kip Miller (hockey) and Percy Snow (football); 1989-Bobby Reynolds (hockey); 1988-Todd Krumm (football/baseball); 1987-Don McSween (hockey); 1986-Mike Donnelly (hockey), Lorenzo White (football), Scott Skiles (basketball); 1985-Sam Vincent (basketball); 1984-Carl Banks (football); 1983-Ron Scott (hockey); 1982-Ron Scott (hockey).

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GEORGE ALDERTON FEMALE CO-ATHLETES OF THE YEAR


(Presented to top female athlete of 2011-12)

CO-WINNER: Laura Heyboer (Soccer)

Michigan State senior Laura Heyboer completed her four-year career in the Green and White as the most accomplished and decorated player in the history of the women's soccer program. She becomes just the second women's soccer player to win the Alderton Award, joining Karen Winslow (1995).

Laura Heyboer led the Spartans and was eighth in the nation with 18 goals this season, while also adding nine assists for 45 points.


A kinesiology major with a 3.56 GPA, Heyboer finished her career as the all-time leading scorer in Michigan State history. Heyboer is one of just five athletes all-time in the sport to earn First-Team All-Big Ten honors four times in her career.

Heyboer helped Michigan State win a program-best seven Big Ten games as a senior, and helped guide MSU to a 49-24-11 mark over four seasons. She graduates with school records for goals scored (57), assists (25), points (139) and game-winning goals (19).

Not only was she a Spartan standout, but her career goals, points, and game-winning goals all rank fourth on the Big Ten career scoring charts.

Heyboer scored 18 goals as a senior, the eighth-highest mark in NCAA Division I, and her 18 goals and nine assists is the 10th highest total in points (45) for a single-season in the Big Ten record book.

"I'm absolutely honored and humbled to receive this award, and want to congratulate my co-winner, Caroline Powers, on an amazing season," Heyboer said. "I can't say enough about our women's soccer program, especially the coaches and the players I had around me, who helped me get to this point and enjoy the success I did - not only this year but throughout my career. Looking at the list of past recipients, I'm in unbelievable company. The previous winners are amazing athletes, who represented Michigan State so well. I really owe so much to the amazing people around me in our soccer program, who helped put me in a position to receive this award."

In December, Heyboer was named a First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American. She capped her career when she was selected by Sky Blue FC in January's Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) Draft.

"We're all delighted that Laura has been honored with the very prestigious George Alderton Award," said women's soccer head coach Tom Saxton. "Laura is the most successful and talented player in the 26-year history of women's soccer at Michigan State. I truly believe she is among the elite female athletes to ever compete at MSU in any sport.

"She has certainly set a new standard for excellence in our program with her success both on and of the field. We are extremely proud of her."

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GEORGE ALDERTON FEMALE CO-ATHLETES OF THE YEAR


(Presented to top female athlete of 2011-12)

CO-WINNER: Caroline Powers (Golf)

Caroline Powers has put together the two best seasons in Michigan State women's golf history in back-to-back years.

Caroline Powers posted the second-best single-season scoring average in program history (73.78) this season, while leading the Spartans to the Big Ten title and a trip to the NCAA Championship.


A year after setting the school single-season scoring average record with a 73.53, Powers compiled the second-best average at MSU with a 73.78 as a junior in 2011-12.

Perhaps even more importantly, she helped Michigan State reach the NCAA Championships and win back-to-back Big Ten titles.

For her efforts, Powers was named a honorable mention All-American by the National Golf Coaches Association and First-Team All-Big Ten for the second straight year while finishing the season ranked 32nd in the nation by Golfweek.

The Bowling Green, Ohio, native placed in the top 10 in six of MSU's 12 tournaments, including a victory at the Mary Fossum Invitational in September for her second career tournament win in which she was named Big Ten Golfer of the Week. Powers also garnered Big Ten Golfer of the Week honors after shooting a school-record low for 54 holes with an 8-under 208 (69-68-71) at the Tar Heel Invitational in October.

Powers tied for third at the Big Ten Championships with a 2-over 218 and was named to the All-Championships Team for the second straight year.

With a minimum of 60 rounds played, Powers is currently first in MSU history with her 74.39 career average through three seasons and has 15 career top-10 finishes. She compiled a 76.03 average in 11 tournaments as a true freshman, which is the best freshman average in school history.

This marks the sixth time a women's golfer has earned the Alderton Award (Powers-2011; Sara Brown, 2007-08; Emily Bastel, 2000 and 2002).

Powers is also just the fourth women's athlete at Michigan State to win the Alderton Award in back-to-back seasons (Brown, 2007-08; Jamie Krzyminski, 2003-04; Julie Farrell-Ovenhouse, 1989-91) and only the fifth to win the award twice (previously mentioned winners; Emily Bastel, 2000 and 2002).

Powers, an education major, is a two-time NGCA All-Scholar Team and Academic All-Big Ten selection.

"It's very humbling to be named the Alderton Award winner along with Laura," said Powers. "I'm honored to be named with all of the other athletes who have won this award before. I just love Michigan State. Coach and everyone else in the department have really given me the opportunity to succeed, so I'm just very grateful.

"Last year was great, but I wanted nothing more than for my team to be with me at the NCAA Championships (Powers qualified individually for the 2011 NCAA Championships). This year was awesome and so much fun to have everyone there, and we could be proud of our entire year."

"It's an awesome honor and a tribute to Caroline and what she's been able to accomplish as both a player and a student-athlete at Michigan State," said women's golf head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll. "I think her record speaks for itself - she's a two-time All-American, was ranked in the Top 10 in the nation for a majority of the year, and has the two best scoring averages in school history. Unquestionably she's one of the best athletes at Michigan State. It's a great award for her and the program, and it says a lot about what she's doing for us."

PAST WINNERS - ALDERTON FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
2011-Emily MacLeod (cross country/track) and Caroline Powers (golf); 2010-Floor Rijpma (field hockey); 2009-Nicole Bush (cross country/track & field); 2008-Sara Brown (golf); 2007-Sara Brown (golf); 2006-Liz Shimek (basketball); 2005-Kristin Haynie (basketball); 2004-Jamie Krzyminski (cross country/track & field); 2003-Michelle Carson (cross country) and Jamie Krzyminski (cross country/track & field); 2002-Emily Bastel (golf); 2001-Summer Mitchell (swimming & diving); 2000-Emily Bastel (golf); 1999-Carrie Carpenter (softball); 1998-Jill Lusher (field hockey); 1997-Sevatheda Fynes (track & field); 1996-Val Sterk (volleyball); 1995-Karen Winslow (soccer); 1994-Susan Francis (track & field); 1993-Jodi Blotcher (gymnastics); 1992-Misty Allison (cross country/track & field); 1991-Julie Farrell-Ovenhouse (swimming & diving); 1990-Julie Farrell (swimming & diving); 1989-Julie Farrell (swimming & diving); 1988-Michelle Ingalls (gymnastics); 1987-Odessa Smalls (track & field); 1986-Mary Schoenle (swimming & diving); 1985-Kelly Becker (volleyball); 1984-Deanne Moore (softball); 1983-Judi Brown (track & field); 1982-Molly Brennan (track & field).

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BIG TEN CONFERENCE MEDAL OF HONOR


(Presented to a male and female student-athlete at each conference institution for outstanding athletic and academic achievement)

MALE WINNER: Kirk Cousins (Football)

CHESTER BREWER LEADERSHIP AWARD


(Presented to a graduating senior in his or her last year of eligibility for distinguished performance in athletics and scholarship and for possessing a high degree of leadership qualities and skill.)

WINNER: Kirk Cousins (Football)

The winningest quarterback in school history, Kirk Cousins becomes just the third athlete at Michigan State to earn the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor and the Chester Brewer Leadership Award in the same year, joining Everett Grandelius (1951) and Brandon Eckerle (2011).

Kirk Cousins, the winningest quarterback in MSU history, completed 267-of-419 passes (.637) for 3,316 yards, 25 TDs and 10 interceptions this season.


Cousins was only the second three-time captain in MSU history (Robert McCurry, 1946-48) and the first Spartan starting quarterback to win three-straight games over Michigan. He compiled a 27-12 record (.692) in 39 career starts, including a 22-5 mark over his final two seasons.

The Holland, Mich., native ranks first in MSU history in pass completions (723), passing yards (9,131), touchdown passes (66), passing efficiency (146.1), 200-yard passing games (26) and total offense (9,004 yards). He also is listed among MSU's all-time leaders in pass attempts (second with 1,128), completion percentage (second at .641; 723 of 1,128) and passing yards per game (third at 202.9). In addition, he ranks among the Big Ten's all-time Top 10 in completion percentage (tied for sixth), passing efficiency (seventh), passing yards (10th) and TD passes (tied for 10th).

In 2011, Cousins was named one of three finalists for the Chicago Tribune Silver Football (Big Ten MVP) after ranking among the Big Ten leaders in TD passes (tied for second with MSU single-season record 25), passing yards (second at 236.9 yards per game), passing efficiency (third with a 145.1 rating) and total offense (fifth at 234.1 ypg.). A second-team All-Big Ten selection by the league's head coaches, Cousins completed 267-of-419 throws (.637) for 3,316 yards, 25 TDs and 10 interceptions. He had a school-record tying 11 200-yard passing games in 2011, including the last six games in a row.

A four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Cousins graduated in December 2011 with a degree in kinesiology. He was presented the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in the NCAA Division I FBS. In addition, Cousins was named to the National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Class and became one of 16 finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy.

In January, he joined NCAA President Dr. Mark Emmert as a panelist for an education session titled "Students First: Giving Student-Athletes the College Experience They Deserve" at the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. Last July, Cousins was selected to speak on behalf of all student-athletes attending the 2011 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon. His speech on "privilege and responsibility" has more than 318,500 views on YouTube.

"Kirk Cousins is certainly deserving of being selected as a Big Ten Medal of Honor and Chester Brewer Leadership Award winner," Michigan State head football coach Mark Dantonio said. "He represents the ideal scholar-athlete. Throughout his career, Kirk pursued excellence in the classroom and on the playing field. He was a remarkable leader who became a great ambassador, not only for our university and this conference, but all of college football. He's a winner in all aspects of his life."

"I'm extremely grateful for all of the opportunities I had as a student-athlete at Michigan State," Cousins said. "I was fortunate enough to grow and mature in an environment that encouraged me to pursue excellence on the playing field and in the classroom. I played for a program that competed for and won championships, and at the same time, I was provided all of the necessary resources to achieve my academic goals. It's truly an honor and a blessing to be selected as one of Michigan State's Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients as well earn the Chester Brewer Leadership Award."

PAST WINNERS - BIG TEN CONFERENCE MEDAL OF HONOR MALE WINNERS:
2011-Brandon Eckerle (baseball); 2010-Blair White (football); 2009-Doug DeMartin (soccer); 2008-Drew Neitzel (basketball); 2007-Drew Stanton (football); 2006-Drew Stanton (football); 2005-Chris Hill (basketball); 2004-Steve Manz (track and field); 2003-Tyler Robinson (soccer); 2002-Josh Thornhill (football); 2001-Shaun Mason (football); 2000-Shawn Horcoff (hockey); 1999-Steve Schell (cross country/track & field); 1998-Tyler Harlton (hockey); 1997-Tyler Harlton (hockey); 1996-Brian Picklo (wrestling); 1995-Emilio Collins (wrestling); 1994-Steve Wasylk (football); 1993-Dave Smith (cross country/track & field); 1992-Stuart Hirschman (baseball); 1991-Walt Bartels (hockey); 1990-Walt Bartels (hockey); 1989-Danton Cole (hockey); 1988-Michael Davidson (baseball); 1987-Dean Altobelli (football); 1986-Don McSween (hockey); 1985-Carlton Evans (lacrosse); 1984-Kelly Miller (hockey); 1983-Michael Brown (swimming & diving); 1982-Morten Andersen (football); 1981-Jay Vincent (basketball); 1980-Mark Brammer (football); 1979-Gregory Kelser (basketball); 1978-Larry Bethea (football); 1977-Tyrone Willingham (football/baseball); 1976-Pat Milkovich (wrestling); 1975-Dennis Olmstead (hockey); 1974-Robert Cassleman (track); 1973-Kenneth Popejoy (track); 1972-Herb Washington (track); 1971-Thomas Muir (wrestling); 1970-Richard Saul (football); 1969-Allen Brenner (football); 1968-Dale Anderson (wrestling); 1967-Eugene Washington (football, track); 1966-Steve Juday (football); 1965-David Price (gymnastics); 1964-George (Pete) Gent (basketball); 1963-Richard Schloemer (fencing); 1962-Edward Ryan (football); 1961-William Reynolds (track/cross country); 1960-Stan Tarshis (gymnastics); 1959-Robert Anderegg (basketball); 1958-Robert Jasson (hockey); 1957-Selwyn Jones (track); 1956-Carl Nystrom (football); 1955-Kevan Gosper (track); 1954-Robert Hoke (wrestling); 1953-John Wilson (football); 1952-Orris Bender (wrestling); 1951-Everett Grandelius (football).

PAST WINNERS - CHESTER BREWER LEADERSHIP AWARD:
2011-Brandon Eckerle (baseball); 2010-Kelly Moffitt (gymnastics); 2009-Jeff Lerg (hockey); 2008-Ryan Brehm (golf); 2007-Taren James (track and field); 2006-R.J. Boudro (wrestling); 2005-Kristin Haynie (basketball); 2004-Allison Fouch (golf); 2003-Sandy Lewis (softball); 2002-Adam Hall (hockey); 2001-Ann Cieszkowski (soccer); 2000-Leah Nilsson (cross country/track & field); 1999-Melissa Pryor (field hockey); 1998-Kyle Baker (cross country); 1997-Dana Cooke (volleyball) and Tamika Matlock (basketball); 1996-Courtney DeBolt (volleyball); 1995-Eric Snow (basketball); 1994-Rob Fredrickson (football); 1993-Steve Johnson (baseball); 1992-Mike Gilmore (hockey); 1991-Becky Belanger (volleyball) and Eileen Shea (basketball); 1990-Chris Willertz (football); 1989-Sheila Ovenhouse (softball); 1988-Pat Shurmur (football); 1987-Shane Bullough (football); 1986-Anthony Bell (football); 1985-Kelly Miller (hockey); 1984-Michael Brown (swimming & diving); 1983-Eliot Tabron (track & field); 1982-Shawn White (wrestling); 1981-Ray Stachowicz (football); 1980-Terry Donnelly (basketball); 1979-Rodger Bastien (baseball); 1978-Jeff Rudolph (gymnastics); 1977-Gary Domagalski (golf); 1976-Thomas Ross (hockey); 1975-No Award Presented; 1974-Val Washington (lacrosse); 1973-Jerry Sackmann (baseball); 1972-Greg Johnson (wrestling); 1971-Kim Hartman (cross country/track); 1970-Ronald Saul (football); 1969-Toby Towson (gymnastics); 1968-John Bailey (basketball/golf); 1967-Gary Dilley (swimming); 1966-Payton Fuller (soccer), James Curzi (gymnastics); 1965-Douglas Roberts (hockey/football); 1964-Sherman Lewis (track/football); 1963-George Azar (football/baseball); 1962-Stephen Johnson (gymnastics); 1961-William Steuart (swimming); 1960-Crawford "Forddy" Kennedy (cross country/track); 1959-Sam Williams (football); 1958-Dave Lean (track/cross country); 1957-Pat Wilson (football/basketball); 1956-Earl Morrall (football/baseball); 1955-John Matsock (football/baseball); 1954-Tom Yewcic (football/baseball); 1953-Bert McLachlan (swimming); 1952-Robert Carey (football/track/basketball); 1951-Everett Grandelius (football).

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BIG TEN CONFERENCE MEDAL OF HONOR


(Presented to a male and female student-athlete at each conference institution for outstanding athletic and academic achievement)

FEMALE WINNER: Jenilee Rathje (Volleyball)

DR. JAMES FEURIG ACHIEVEMENT & SERVICE AWARD


(Presented to a male or female graduating senior involved in athletics as a competitor or in a supporting role. The recipient should carry a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 or better, and in addition to athletic and academic success, demonstrate involvement in school/campus and community activities.)

WINNER: Jenilee Rathje (Volleyball)

Jenilee Rathje finished her Spartan volleyball career as one of the most decorated student-athletes in the program's history. Not only did she excel on the court as the program's 11th All-American, but she earned Academic All-America honors, graduated with a master's degree and was heavily involved in the Greater Lansing community.

Jenilee Rathje, an All-American and Academic All-American, led the team and was third in the Big Ten in kills (505) this season.


Rathje becomes the first student-athlete in Michigan State history to win both the Conference Medal of Honor and the Dr. James Feurig Achievement & Service Award in the same year. She's also the first to win the the Feurig Award twice (2011 winner).

For her career, the Mt. Pleasant, Mich., native, finished first in Michigan State history in sets played (496) and matches played (142), seventh in block assists (333) and eighth in kills (1,504). In addition to her third-team AVCA All-America honors this past season, Rathje is just the seventh Spartan to earn back-to-back first-team All-Big Ten recognition.

A two-time team captain, Rathje led MSU to a 22-12 record and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009, advancing to the second round. The senior outside hitter paced the team in kills this season with 505 (4.17 per set), which ranked third in the Big Ten and top-25 in the nation. Her kill total was a career high and is the 10th-most in a MSU single-season. She also finished the season third on the team in digs with 257 (2.12 a set) and fifth in blocks with 61 (0.50 a set). She was also picked to the AVCA All-Mideast Region team, becoming the first Spartan since 2007 to be named to the 14-member team.

Rathje was just the third MSU volleyball student-athlete to be named a CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America this past year, being named to the second team. In addition, she was an Academic All-Big Ten selection.

Rathje was heavily involved in many efforts to raise money for local charities such as the Children's Miracle Network. Through the MSU Student-Athlete Support Services (SASS) department and her personal endeavors, she volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Children's Miracle Network telethon, the EVE charity golf outing, Friends of Jaclyn, the Juvenile Diabetes Kick Off Event, March is Reading Month, the New York City Spring Break Mission trip, the Safe Place Run, Shoot for a Cure and Chuck a Puck, the Spartan Buddy program at Sparrow Hospital, the student-athlete lip sync and prom fundraisers, Teams for Toys, and Trick for Treat at Toys R Us. She also has provided her time as a guest speaker or on panels at various other events around the Greater Lansing area.

Rathje, who received her bachelor's degree in marketing in December 2010, graduated with her master's degree in kinesiology in May.

"Jenilee is a truly exceptional student-athlete," volleyball head coach Cathy George said. "In five years, she completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. As a fifth-year senior, Jenilee achieved All-America honors on the court and in the classroom. It's only fitting that she concludes her outstanding career by being named a Big Ten Medal of Honor and Dr. James Feurig Achievement and Service Award recipient."

"I was incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to attend and compete at Michigan State University," Rathje said. "I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a Spartan, both in the classroom and on the court. I'm humbled and honored that my efforts in both arenas were recognized by the Big Ten and the MSU Athletics Department with these prestigious awards."

PAST WINNERS - BIG TEN CONFERENCE MEDAL OF HONOR FEMALE WINNERS:
2011-Aimee Neff (golf); 2010-Allyssa DeHaan (basketball); 2009-Sara Schmidt (rowing); 2008-Kate Burdick (rowing); 2007-Kristen Coleman (gymnastics); 2006-Liz Shimek (basketball); 2005-Veerle Goudswaard (field hockey); 2004-Michelle Carson (cross country/track & field); 2003-Stephanie Anisko (swimming & diving); 2002-Carly Weiden (swimming & diving) and Krista Buzzell (crew); 2001-Carly Weiden (swimming & diving); 2000-Carly Weiden (swimming & diving); 1999-Carrie Carpenter (softball); 1998-Melissa Pryor (field hockey); 1997-Val Sterk (volleyball); 1996-Patti Raduenz (softball); 1995-Laura Bell (cross country/track & field); 1994-Laura Bell (cross country/track & field); 1993-Ruth Aguayo (gymnastics); 1992-Misty Allison (cross country/track & field); 1991-Emily Coatney (soccer); 1990-Eileen Shea (basketball); 1989-Mary Schoenle (swimming & diving); 1988-Kim Hartwick (gymnastics); 1987-Lisa Marino (golf); 1986-Julie Polakowski (basketball); 1985-Kelly Belanger (basketball); 1984-Anne Pewe (cross country/track & field); 1983-Karen Wells (basketball); 1982-Lisa Speaker (golf).

FEURIG ACHIEVEMENT & SERVICE AWARD PAST WINNERS:
2011-Jenilee Rathje (volleyball); 2010-Ross Weaver (football); 2009-Katlyn Roggensack (gymnastics); 2008-Matthew McNichols (swimming & diving); 2007-John Masters (football); 2006-Taren James (track and field); 2005-Erin Carlson (soccer); 2004-Joe Tate (football); 2003-Brad Fast (hockey); 2002-Adam Hall (hockey); 2001-Deb White (field hockey); 2000-Jennifer Hanink (soccer); 1999-Melissa Pryor (field hockey); 1998-Dave Mudge (football); 1997-Stephanie Dueringer (cross country/track & field); 1996-Susan Gibson (soccer); 1995-Angela Howard (gymnastics); 1994-Mill Coleman (football); 1993-Molly West (tennis) and Chris Brown (track & field); 1992-Matt Steigenga (basketball); 1991-Jason Muzzatti (hockey); 1990-Dawna Wilson (gymnastics) and Todd Mercer (swimming & diving); 1989-Kelly Collister (volleyball); 1988-Keiko Timmerman (gymnastics); 1987-Kristen Nelson (swimming & diving) and Barry Fordham (basketball); 1986-John Wojciehowski (football); 1985-Bob Fossum (golf) and Riney Wilke (lacrosse); 1984-Michael Brown (swimming & diving); 1983-Syd Wells (golf); 1982-Molly Brennan (track & field); 1981-Ivan Merritt (gymnastics); 1980-Michael Longaker (basketball); 1979-Kevin Willitts (lacrosse); 1978-Joan Garety (golf); 1977-Herb Lindsay (track/cross country).

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BIG TEN SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD


(One member of each varsity sports team on every campus was chosen by the institution as a Sportsmanship Award honoree and from each university's list, two outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners were then selected. All of the Sportsmanship Award honorees have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, these student-athletes must be in good academic standing and must have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.)

MALE WINNER: Kirk Cousins (Football)

FEMALE WINNER: Jenilee Rathje (Volleyball)