ADRIAN, Mich.--The winners of the second annual Adrian College Exhibits Excellence in Sport (ACEES) Awards were unveiled on Sunday at Dawson Auditorium, starting at 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted the event modeled in ESPYs-and Academy Awards-style, featuring formal to black-tie dress attire, videos/photos showcasing nominees and an ACEES backdrop for photo opportunities.
“We are pleased to present the second edition of this awards show that has become a staple on other college campuses nationally,” said junior men's soccer player and SAAC president Sean Cain. "It is a fun, classy night that is meant to acknowledge the spectacular performances of AC athletes and teams.”
Special host was Dr. Stephanie Jass, a history professor at Adrian College, who served as the master of ceremonies.
The nominations for these awards were submitted by coaching staffs across the department and then voted upon by the ACEES Committee comprised of administrators, coaches and students or various sports and departments. After nominations were released, coaching staffs voted on each award (1 vote) and captains (with teams) voted on each award (1 vote) to get a total of 53 total votes. The committee then sat down and broke ties, resulting in the winners of the 15 ACEES awards. It was a long process but to each committee member worth it in the end, Cain noted.
Because of calendar concerns, spring sports from the 2016 campaign were given consideration for the ACEES Awards.
“I would like to thank the ACEES Committee for their hard work on this endeavor,” said Cain, who also serves as a NCAA National SAAC representative, on the SAAC Legislation and Interpretation Committee and the executive board of the Adrian/MIAA SAAC. “We worked tirelessly to make this another perfect event. We are also grateful for the support of other offices to make this a fun and perfect event."
The 2016-17 ACEES award winners are...
BEST MALE ATHLETE--Senior Ryan Dorow, Baseball
(The shortstop captured several major awards as a junior during the 2016 campaign: third-time All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association First Team, All-America by both American Baseball Coaches' Association [Third Team] and D3baseball.com [Honorable Mention], and second MIAA Player of the Year title. This spring, he became the program's all-time hits leader.)
BEST FEMALE ATHLETE--Senior Kristin Lewicki, NCAA Women's Hockey
(The forward was a consensus first-team All-America pick by U.S. College Hockey Online and the American Hockey Coaches Association [AHCA] as well as being named the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association [NCHA] Player of the Year. She led the Bulldogs in scoring with 32 goals, 34 assists and 66 points, and is the program's career leader in all three categories.)
BEST MALE ROOKIE--Freshman Vincent Paquette, NCAA Men's Hockey
(The forward had a banner year in his first season by winning NCHA Freshman of the Year laurels. He was tied for fourth on the team with 29 points, which was eighth in the among NCAA D-III freshmen. He scored 14 goals and dished 15 assists. He was the NCHA Offensive Player of the Week and named to the D3hockey.com National Team of the Week on Nov. 29-30.)
BEST FEMALE ROOKIE--Freshman Sadia Johnson, Women's Basketball
(The guard set the Adrian freshman scoring record with 383 total points and averaged a team-leading 16.0 points for second in the MIAA, receiving all-conference second team honors. She ranked 12th in NCAA Division III freshman scoring. She also was tabbed the D3hoops.com Great Lakes Region Rookie of the Year as the first Bulldog ever to earn one of the region's top awards handed out by D3hoops.com.)
BEST COACH--Chad Davis, NCAA Women's Hockey
(In his sixth season at the helm, Davis piloted the Bulldogs to a school-record 28-3 record, back-to-back NCHA regular-season and conference tournament titles, and an appearance in the program's first national championship game. He mentored six All-Americans, plus the USCHO.com National Rookie of the Year in Kelly O'Sullivan. As a result, he was named the AHCA/CCM Division III National Coach of the Year.)
BEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE--Junior Tommy Parsons, Baseball
(As a sophomore, the right-hander pitched what was believed to be the program's second no-hitter in school history on March 25, 2016, when he blanked Olivet, 8-0, striking out seven Comets. He went on to earn the MIAA Pitcher the Year with personal records of a 9-1 won-lost record, 82.2 innings pitched and a 2.18 earned-run average. He was a first-team all-region selection.)
BEST MOMENT--NCAA Women's Hockey Hosts First "Final Four" in March 2017
(Adrian hosted an NCAA finals site for the first time in institutional history on March 17-18. The Arrington Ice Arena drew crowds of 495 and 825 for the two semifinal games and 390 in the third-place contest. The Bulldogs drew a program-record 1,130 fans in the national title game against Plattsburgh State. The women's tournament at Adrian outdrew three contests on the men's side. This marked the first time since the NCAA women's tournament was held in the West.)
BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE--Senior Ian Mikowski, Baseball
(The outfielder had a conference-leading 26 stolen bases to set a school record. He also topped the MIAA with 52 runs scored while ranking second in walks (35), hits (66), batting average (.426) and on-base percentage (.526). He also posted a slugging percentage of .547 for seventh. He received first-team all-conference and third team all-region accolades in his career year in 2016.)
BEST TEAM PERFORMANCE--American Collegiate Hockey Association Men's Division I Team
(Under the leadership of first-year head coach Gary Astalos, the ACHA Bulldogs charged through the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League regular season and tournament championships with a 33-3 overall record. Adrian led the division in scoring defense (27) and goal margin (+75) in GLCHL games only. The Bulldogs set team records for season wins and a 22-game winning streak. Nationally-ranked in the top-5 for most of the season, Adrian fell in the ACHA Semifinals.)
BEST UPSET--Men's Soccer
(For the second straight year, Men's Soccer wins this category--this time after becoming the first MIAA team to beat Calvin in three seasons and getting its first victory over the Knights since 1997. Brandon Katona scored in the 18th minute and that goal stood up as the Bulldogs' defense--led by goalie Spencer Brown's six saves--did the rest. The Knights enjoyed a 37-game MIAA regular-season unbeaten streak since it lost to Hope on October 15, 2013.)
TEAM OF THE YEAR--NCAA Women's Hockey
(The Bulldogs posted the NCHA's first undefeated, untied conference season ever with an 18-0 mark. Adrian set numerous team records including season wins, conference and home victories, six All-Americans, sweeping the NCHA major awards, finishing as the National Runner-Up, goals scored, assists, total points, power-play tallies, shots on goal and numerous individual figures.)
BEST HUMANITARIAN TEAM--Synchronized Skating
(Synchro performed 1,100 community service hours as a team and raised $6,000-plus during Relay for Life event last fall. The Bulldogs also hosted A Learn to Skate program for the children of Lenawee County. Synchro also won the award in the inaugural ACEES.)
BEST HUMANITARIAN STUDENT-ATHLETE--Junior Kirsten Chambers, Women's Soccer
(Kirsten coordinated the first Special Olympics soccer game that involved an off-campus sport site. She provided leadership for all practices and games for Special Olympics College, a member of Promoting Rights of Individuals with Disabilities Everywhere [PRIDE] on campus. She also excelled on the field with MIAA Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 3, and finished with five goals.)
MOST COURAGEOUS--Sophomore Clarence Kennedy, Wrestling
(Clarence's story of survival and still competing in the intercollegiate athletics has been covered nationally and regionally. He had open-heart surgery to correct a congenital heart defect in March 2016 that cut short his freshman season. After weeks of recovery and rehabilitation, the Decatur High graduate resumed both his studies and career on the mat. Adrian College received the 2016 Chris Keenist Award from the Charlie Sanders Foundation based on the role that the Student Heart Check program played a role in saving Clarence's life.)
LEADERSHIP AWARD--Senior Maddie Sena, Synchronized Skating
(Provided leadership roles for several Bulldogs' skating programs' community service initiatives: Halloween Patrol, Learn to Skate, Relay for Life, Walk to End Alzheimer's and Sand Creek Elementary Fun Night. She was the Adrian College nominee for the prestigious 13th annual Athletes for a Better World Citizenship Cup Award.)
BULLDOG CHALLENGE CUP--Softball (winner of the new category).