BURNSVILLE, Minn. -- The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference has announced Bemidji State University’s Tia Nueharth and Derek Thompson to its list of 2019-20 Honor Student-Athlete and scholarship award winners.
As a part of the announcement, the league also named Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Maggie Knier as its 2020 Willis R. Kelly Scholar-Athlete Award for Academic Excellence and Alex Goettl, also from Minnesota State, as the recipient of the 2020 Dr. William Britton Scholar-Athlete Award for Academic Excellence.
Neuharth, a two-time Division II Scholar All-North/Central First Team and 2019 United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-American, recently graduated from BSU with a degree in nursing. A three-time All-NSIC selection and two-time first-team pick, she started all 19 games on the BSU soccer team’s back line in 2019 and played in a team-high 1,720 minutes. A captain, she was the anchor of a BSU defensive unit that allowed just eight goals during the Beavers’ 15-game NSIC schedule, or .517 goals per NSIC game, to rank second in the league, while its .680 overall goals against average placed it among the top 50 teams in the nation. In addition, BSU posted seven shutouts. Neuharth also selected to the United Soccer Coaches’ All-Central Region First Team recognition following the season.
She finished her senior year atop BSU’s all-time starts list with 78, while she is tied for first in matches played with 79. At 6,554 minutes played, only Alysha Domiano (2007-10) has logged more minutes as a Beaver (6,720). She left BSU with three goals, which include a pair of game-winners, and five assists for 11 points.
Neuharth was a regular on the NSIC All-Academic Team and earned All-Academic Team of Excellence honoree for her final three seasons at BSU. In addition, she was active in Fellowship pf Christian Athletes and was a volunteer and the Children’s Minnesota St. Paul Hospital. She was involved in BSU’s nursing mentorship program and capped off her academic career a Vida volunteer on a medical mission trip to Guatemala.
Thompson, a forward for the BSU men’s basketball team from Cold Spring, Minn., led the Beavers and ranked sixth in the conference shooting 51.2 percent from the field. He totaled 382 points and averaged 6.4 rebounds per game, which both ranked second for the Beavers. Thompson recorded six games with at least 20 points in 2019-20 with five double-doubles.
Late in the season, Thompson became the 19th student-athlete in program history to record 1,000 career points after scoring nine during the opening round of the NSIC Tournament. In 84 games and three seasons as a Beaver, he has averaged 11.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
A business administration major, Thompson a regular on the NSIC All-Academic Team and earned the All-Academic Team of Excellence honor in 2018-29 and 2019-20. He is active as a member of the President’s Student Commission, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has been recognized as BSU’s Chet Anderson Leadership Scholarship recipient.
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 32 student-athletes nominated for the awards will be honored as NSIC Male and Female Honor Student-Athletes of the Year at their respective institutions. Goettl and Knier will be presented with a $3,000 post-graduate scholarship.
For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit BSUBeavers.com, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
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).