BURNSVILLE, Minn. -- The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) today announced Bemidji State University’s Tiffany VanHaaften (Sr., Chaska, Minn.) and Buckley Wright (Sr., SIoux City, Iowa) to its list of 2014 Honor Student-Athlete and scholarship award winners.
As a part of the announcement, the league also named Southwest Minnesota State University Rachel Patnoe as its 2014 Willis R. Kelly Scholar-Athlete Award for Academic Excellence and William Brockmueller of University of Sioux Fals as the recipient of the 2014 of the Dr. William Britton Scholar-Athlete Award for Academic Excellence.
VanHaaften and Wright were each voted Honor Student-Athletes.
VanHaaften was a force in the midfield for the Beavers’ soccer program both offensively and defensively over the course of the last four seasons. Since 2009, VanHaaften has logged 11 goals and nine assists for 31 points in 69 games played and 62 starts. A defensive-minded midfielder, VanHaaften also contributed to 27 shutouts by the Beavers. The Chaska, Minn. native left the program tied for fifth all-time with five career game-winning goals. As a senior in 2013, VanHaaften was fifth on the team with 10 points, included a career-high four goals and a team-leading three game-winning goals. VanHaaften is a three-time Academic All-NSIC selection and a two-time College Division Capitol One/CoSIDA Academic All-District pick and earned a spot on the 2013 NSCAA All-Central Region Second Team.
VanHaaften, and excersise sicence major, was awarded with the NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award this winter.
Wright, a two-time captain, played in nine games and totaled 59 tackles (25 solo) to rank fourth on the team and earned All-NSIC First Team laurels as a senior. His 8.5 tackles for loss (-29 yards) ranked second on the team, while the 3.5 sacks (-23 yards) tied for second. He added two pass break-ups, recovered a fumble and brought in an inception, which he returned 47 yards. He totaled seven or more tackles five times, which included a season-high 13 tackles at Minnesota State University Moorhead (Nov. 9).
Wright finished his career with 199 tackles (81 solo) in 43 career games. He totaled 27.0 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.
Wright graduated in December with a degree in criminal justice.
The 16 NSIC member institutions nominate one male and one female student-athlete for the Britton and Kelly Awards. The nominees must meet the following criteria: a grade point average of 3.20 or better (on a 4.0 scale); evidence of academic excellence beyond the minimum grade point average (scholarship prizes and other academic recognition), evidence of participation in the life of the institution, and evidence of participation in at least two-thirds of the varsity events of the individual’s primary sport. The award is voted on by the NSIC Faculty Athletic Representatives.
The Britton Award was created in 1985 in honor of Dr. William Britton, a longtime faculty representative at Bemidji State. The Kelly Award is named in honor of Willis R. Kelly, an associate professor of physical education at the University of Minnesota, Morris. A member of the NSIC Hall of Fame, Kelly also coordinated the Minnesota-Morris Physical Education Department from 1970-87. She became the first director of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Minnesota-Morris in 1976 and was later promoted to athletic director for the whole department.
The 30 student-athletes nominated for the awards will be honored as NSIC Male and Female Honor Student-Athletes of the Year at their respective institutions. Brockmueller and Patnoe will be recognized and presented with a $2,500 post-graduate scholarship July 9 at the 2014 NSIC Hall of Fame Banquet in St. Cloud, Minn.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).