Northwestern College Announces Athletic Awards

Northwestern logoOrange City, Iowa — The Northwestern College athletic department announced the recipients of its end-of-the-season awards for the 2015-16 school year. These include the Vander Stoep Award, George Dunlop Sportsmanship Award and the Heidi Jeltema Altena Christian Women’s Athlete Award.

Karlie Schut (West Des Moines, Iowa) and Kyle Anderson (Orange City, Iowa) received the prestigious Vander Stoep Award for women’s and men’s athletics.

The Vander Stoep Award takes into consideration attitude and sportsmanship on and off the playing field and comparative contributions made to the success of the team. To be eligible, an athlete must have attended Northwestern College for four consecutive semesters and must also have participated in one or two sports for at least two years, while earning a minimum of two varsity letters in one or more sports.

Anderson is a nine-time NAIA All-American in track and four-year letterwinner for both the Red Raider track and cross country teams. Anderson finished sixth and seventh in the 800m during the 2016 and 2015 NAIA Indoor Championships, earning All-American honors. He placed fourth in the 800 at the 2015 NAIA Outdoor Championships while also being part of six 4×800 relay teams that earned All-American honors from 2013-16. Anderson was an eight-time GPAC Champion in the 800m and 4×800 relays. Anderson was also a member of the Red Raider cross country team that qualified for nationals last fall.

A three-time NAIA and AVCA All-American, Schut was named the CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year last December. The 2015 GPAC Player of the Year and a four-time all-conference selection, Schut was the league’s top hitter and ranked among the GPAC’s best in blocks, aces and digs. She was a two-time NAIA Scholar Athlete and graduated in May with a bachelor of science degree in Nursing.

Abby Stevens (Ord, Neb.) and Haley Chambers (Sioux Falls, S.D.) were named co-recipients of the Heidi Jeltema Altena Christian Women’s Athlete Award. The Christian Women’s Award was established in 1982 by the Carl Ver Steeg family, parents of Mary Ver Steeg. Mary was instrumental in the development of varsity women’s sports programs at Northwestern College. She coached women’s basketball for six years and volleyball for four years. In 2006, the name of the award was changed to the Heidi Jeltema Altena Christian Woman Athlete Award in memory of Heidi, who demonstrated a sincere Christian faith and servant heart as well as being an outstanding athlete at Northwestern College. The winners of this award must demonstrate a lifestyle and conduct that reflects their faith and commitment to Jesus Christ while participating in athletics. They must also demonstrate qualities of leadership on and off the court or field.

Stevens was a four-time national qualifier and competed four years for the Red Raider track and field team. Stevens qualified for the heptathlon in 2014 and 2016 and in the pentathlon in 2016. She also made it to indoor nationals in the 60m hurdles in 2014. Stevens earned all-conference honors seven times during her career and was named an NAIA Scholar Athlete two years.

Chambers lettered four years and was a three-year starter for the Red Raider volleyball team. A two-time all-conference selection, Chambers was a key member on two GPAC championship teams and two teams that qualified for the NAIA Championship. Chambers was also a two-time NAIA Scholar Athlete.

Jesse Walnofer (Tea, S.D.) is this year’s recipient of the George Dunlop Sportsmanship Award.
The George Dunlop Sportsmanship Award was originated in 1968 by Mike Eischeid in memory of his late grandfather. Eischeid was a punter in the Super Bowl for both the Oakland Raiders and the Minnesota Vikings. To win the honor, one must represent the finest in character and sportsmanship, not only on the athletic field, but off the field, in classroom activities, and in his everyday life and relationship with others. He must do his best at all times, regardless of the job or position he is asked to hold or play.

A senior defensive back, Walnofer was a two-time NAIA Scholar Athlete and three-year letterwinner for the Red Raider football team. Walnofer was a key member of a Red Raider defense that ranked near the top of the NAIA in several statistical categories, including total and scoring defense. Walnofer earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors in 2015.

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