Seniors honored at 2017 Student-Athlete Banquet

Seniors honored at 2017 Student-Athlete Banquet

PUEBLO, Colo. (April 19, 2017) – The Colorado State University-Pueblo Department of Athletics recognized its seniors and handed out awards to the winners of the 2017 Wolfies at the department's annual student-athlete awards banquet Wednesday night at Massari Arena. Molly Rohrer of the Pack Women's Basketball team and Derrick Williams of the Men's Cross Country and Track & Field teams earned the Eddie DeRose Most Outstanding Female and Male Athlete Awards respectively.

ThunderWolf coaches and administrators honored 96 senior student-athletes, athletic trainers, and cheer and dance team members. CSU-Pueblo Athletics thanked these nearly 100 student-athletes and presented them with a gift for their dedication and sacrifice to the ThunderWolves.

Basketball swept the Art & Lorraine Gonzales Perseverance Awards, given to the senior student-athlete who has overcome adversity to contribute to both their team's success and the success of the department. Jaszymn Johnson (Sr., Denver, Colo.) of the Women's Basketball team earned the female Art & Lorraine Gonzales Perseverance Award, while Rico Spikes (Sr., Merriville, Ind.) won the Art & Lorraine Gonzales Perseverance Award on the men's side.

A pair of runners took home the Jessie Banks and Spank Blasing Awards, given to the female and male senior student-athletes that best balanced success in the classroom with excellence in competition. Sydni Riley (Florissant, Colo.) of the women's cross country and track & field teams received the Jesse Banks Awards. The Spank Blasing Award was bestowed to Dante Carter (Las Vegas, Nev.) of the Men's Cross Country and Track & Field Teams

Zach Boyd (Jr., Fort Lupton, Colo.) of the Football Team and Caitlin Broadwell (Jr., Lawrence, Kan.) claimed the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Integrity Awards. Both Boyd and Broadwell exhibited the values of the FCA on and off the court.

 Award Winner Bios

Molly Rohrer (So., Greenwood Village, Colo.) – Female Athlete of the Year

RMAC Player of the Year… Led the Pack to a 28-4 record and the team's First RMAC Regular Season Championship since 1987-88… Helped the Pack earn a No.1 seed in an NCAA  Tournament for the first time in school history… Named First Team All-Region… Received RMAC Player of the Week honors six times during the 2016-17 season… Named First team Academic All-RMAC… Set a school record with eight blocks in a game February 3 vs. Adams State… Broke the school's single-season blocks record with 77 rejections and 2.4 blocks per game… Took over the game against Colorado Mines with 32 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter to lead the Pack to a 24-0 start… Led Pack to school record 28 wins… Ranked 12th in the NCAA with 77 total blocks…Ranked 20th in the NCAA with 2.41 blocks per game... Fourth leading scorer in the RMAC with 15.6 points per game.

Derrick Williams (Jr., Columbia Falls, Mont.) – Male Athlete of the Year

Two-time indoor All-American this season (4-time in career) with the DMR and in the 3000m…2-time Outdoor All-American in career… multiple school record holder (indoor mile, indoor 3000m, indoor DMR, outdoor steeplechase, outdoor 1500m, outdoor 5000m)…3.99 GPA… two-time Elite 90 Award winner (2016 Outdoor Nationals, 2017 Indoor Nationals)… 2017 RMAC Indoor Track and Field Academic Athlete of the Year…All-region and All-RMAC in both cross country and indoor track this season…Preseason All-RMAC for outdoor season…Cross Country All-American in 2015.

Jaszymn Johnson – Female Art and Lorraine Perseverance Award 

Johnson had tried out for the women's basketball team three years in a row and battled an ACL tear before finally making the team as a walk-on in 2015-16.  Through the first 10 games of the season 15-16, Johnson only played for a total of 24 minutes.  In the 11th game of the season, we were down by 16 in the first half.  Johnson came off the bench to score 20 points in 18 minutes to lead the team to a comeback victory.  After that she was in our regular rotation for a record breaking team that won the RMAC Shootout and was a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. 

In 2016-2017, Johnson worked her way to earning a full scholarship and became one of the senior leaders for a team that started the season 24-0.  Johnson scored a layup in the last second of overtime for a road win at Black Hills State to keep the record-setting undefeated streak alive.  Johnson started two games late in the year and became the 3rd leading scorer for a team ranked as high as #3 in the national polls, won the RMAC regular season championship, and was a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.  Johnson was named to the All-RMAC Honorable Mention Team and the RMAC All-Academic Honor Roll. 

Rico Spikes – Male Art and Lorraine Perseverance Award

Spikes came from a tough background to find his way to CSU-Pueblo.  Out of high school, he went to the job corps to get himself straightened out before attending Brown Mackie Junior College.  Signed to come to CSU-Pueblo in 2014 and was our point guard.  In his first season at CSU-Pueblo as starting point guard, was named to All RMAC second team.  His leadership helped us win 21 games, which was the first time in 17 years we had reached the 20-win plateau.  During the 2015-16 season,  Spikes suffered a broken bone in his foot (some know this type of fracture as the Kobe Bryant injury).  After recovering from the fracture and receiving a medical redshirt for the 15-16 season, Spikes returned for 16-17 and changed positions from point guard to forward and had an even better year than his first, being selected first team all-RMAC.  He led us to 19 wins and in the process scored in double figures in 21 of his final 23 games.  He will go down as one of the greatest rebounding guards in CSU-Pueblo history, and one of the most versatile. 

Sydni Riley – Jessie Banks Award

            GPA:  3.992    Major: Psychology

Academic All-RMAC First Team for indoor track and field…Indoor All-American (first in program history)…holds multiple school records (DMR, 800m, 4x400m relay)…All-RMAC Indoor First Team in the 800m, second team with the DMR and 4x400m relay teams…CoSIDA Academic All-District in 2015.

Dante Carter – Spank Blasing Award

GPA: 3.897          Major: Computer Information Systems

Academic All-RMAC in cross country and indoor track and field…Indoor All-American (2017) with the DMR and national qualifier in the mile…holds multiple school records (DMR, 800m)…all-region in the mile, 800m and with the DMR…all-region and All-RMAC in cross country.

Caitlin Broadwell – Female FCA Integrity Award 

"Caitlin is the emotional and moral leader of our team," said Volleyball Head Coach Jill Muhe.  "She is very involved in FCA.  She participated in an internship with FCA during the 2016 summer and will participate in the same internship with them this upcoming summer."

Broadwell led the Pack with 3.34 kills per set, the eighth best average in school history.

Zach Boyd – Male FCA Integrity Award

"Zach has been a part of the FCA program since he came to CSU-Pueblo," said Head Football Coach John Wristen. "He's a two-time All-RMAC player, an all-region selection and is a very important leader on the team.  He was selected to speak at the FCA fundraising dinner.­­­­"

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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.