MADISON, Wis. -- The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) today announced recipients of its seventh annual WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award. Student-athletes from Bemidji State University comprised 17 of the league-record 114 recipients in 2011-12.
“The announcement of our annual WCHA Scholar-Athletes is always a very special time of the year,” said WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod. “It is an opportunity for both the Association and our member teams to publically acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments of these young men and women and pay tribute to the amount of time, hard work and dedication each of them put into their already demanding schedules as student-athletes. Achieving this high honor is a remarkable tribute to every one of them and on behalf of the entire WCHA family, we wish them all the success in the world.”
The prestigious WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award was developed through Association member Faculty Representatives and approved by the conference membership beginning with the 2005-06 season.
To earn recognition as a WCHA Scholar-Athlete, conference-member student-athletes must have completed at least one year of residency at their present institution prior to the current academic year and must also have a grade-point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.0 scale for the previous two semesters or three quarters, or may qualify if his or her overall GPA is at least 3.50 for all terms at his or her present institution.
Over the first eight years of the award, there have now been 639 WCHA Scholar-Athlete honorees representing all 12 men’s-member and all eight women’s-member institutions. Fifty-four (54) of this season’s 114 men and women WCHA Scholar-Athletes are repeat honorees, including two four-time recipients and 21 three-time honorees.
With 17 student-athletes honored this year, Bemidji State matches St. Cloud State University, which also had a total of 17 men’s and women’s players qualify for the academic award, for the top spot in the league. The BSU men rank second in the WCHA, behind University of Nebraska-Omaha (12), with nine honorees, while seven selections place the BSU women in a tie with St. Cloud State for fourth place in the league. The Ohio State University leads all WCHA women’s teams with 10 scholar athletes this season.
BSU players recognized as 2012-13 WCHA Scholar Athletes are: Jake Areshenko*** (Sr., D, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia); Molly Arola*** (Sr., F, Walker, Minn.); Phil Brewer (Fr., F, Cambridge, Ontario); Allie Duellman* (Jr., D, Maplewood, Minn.); Emily Erickson**** (Sr., F, Coleraine, Minn.); Matt Hartmann (Sr., F, Hugo, Minn.); Sadie Lundquist*** (Sr., F, Cloquet, Minn.); Aaron McLeod** (Sr., F, Ottawa, Ontario); Brance Orban*** (Sr., F, Lethbridge, Alberta); Matt Prapavessis (So., D, Oakville, Ontario); Tyler Tosunian (So., F, Whittier, Calif.); Andrew Walsh (So., G, Dawson Creek, British Columbia); Erika Wheelhouse* (Sr., D, Crookston, Minn.); Abby Williams*** (Sr., F, Alexandria, Minn.); Danielle Williams* (Jr., D/F, Waconia, Minn.); Sam Windle (So., D, Maple Grove, Minn.); Whitney Wivoda (So., F, Fairbanks, Alaska).
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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).
*Indicates repeat honoree