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Athletics - Mon, May 1, 2017
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ELGIN, Ill. - - - The Judson Athletic Department is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 - 2017 Scholar Athlete of the Year awards and the Athlete of the Year Awards. The announcement and presentations where made during the final chapel of the year and four athletes were honored in the end of the year ceremonies.


Taking home the Scholar Athlete of the Year awards were women's volleyball player Claire Speweik (JR/Elgin, Ill.) and men's basketball player Andrew Eck (SR/Belvidere, IL). This marks the first award for Speweik and Eck's third time receiving the honor. Speweik is majoring in Elementary Education and Eck is graduating with a degree in biochemistry. Other nominees included Mary Emington (SR/Cadillac, MI) and Amanda Zylstra (SR/Mishawaka, IN) for the women, and Caleb Fletcher (JR/Lake Fenton, MI), Shane O'Leary (SR/Chicago, IL), and Noah Shannon (JR/Alpha, IL) for the men.


The Judson Athlete of the Year award was presented to softball's Mary Emington and men's golf Eric Wessel (SR/Dekalb, IL). Emington has been honored as a NCCAA All-American, All-Conference 1st team and All-Tournament team. Coach Venus quoted, "Mary is truly the most behaved and well-rounded Christian student athlete that I have seen. Mary's character and integrity is loved and well respected by everyone on campus. Her work ethic is second to none. Mary consistently and selflessly likes to serve and help others. She is a true winner by nature and habit and is admired by her teammates and coaches." Mary has also worked with the Boys and Girls Club as well as Faith Assembly Christian after school care. She is widely recognized in her role on JSO.


Wessel has accumulated a long list of accomplishments that include 2nd at the 2016 Rose Hulman Invite, 8th out of 125 golfers at the Carthage Invite in the fall of 2016, 3rd at the 2016 NCCAA Regional Tournament, 2nd at the 2016 Benedictine Invite, 6th at the 2017 Bethel Invite, and 2nd at the 2017 Elmhurst College Invite. Wessel is also a 3 time NCCAA Men's Golf Athlete of the Week. Coach Geu quoted, "Eric has been a captain for all thre years he has played at Judson on the Men's Golf team. He models for his teammates consist hard work as he works at his game just about as hard as I have ever coached a player in my 16 years of coaching golf. His self-control, attitude, and respect for the game of golf is admirable. His mental strength on the golf course is incredible. He is extremely well-liked by his teammates and competitors and has earned the respect of many teams and coaches in our conference and other various Midwest schools that we compete against." Along with a great 2016-2017 season, Wessel was also the first men's golfer in program history to win the 2015 NCCAA North Central Regional Golfer of the Year and first to qualify for the NCCAA National meet.Wessel is one of the best to come through the program and has helped re-build it over his career.


Other nominees for Athlete of the Year included Jayla Barrett (JR/Homewood, IL) for the women, and Ty Parquette (SR/Crystal Lake, IL) and Andrew Eck for the men.