Pack Athletics honors seniors at annual Wolfies dinner

Pack Athletics honors seniors at annual Wolfies dinner

PUEBLO, Colo. (April 19, 2018) Wednesday night, the Colorado State University-Pueblo Department of Athletics honored its seniors and doled out awards for 2017-18 at the 2018 Wolfies, the department's annual student-athlete awards banquet, held in the brand new Occhiato Student Center ballroom.

ThunderWolves coaches and administrators recognized 99 senior student-athletes, athletic trainers, and cheer and dance team members who are in their final seasons at CSU-Pueblo. The Pack Athletic department thanked these nearly 100 student-athletes and presented them with a gift for their dedication and sacrifice to the ThunderWolves.

Katie Cunningham of the Pack Women's Basketball team earned Eddie DeRose Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year. Thomas Staines of the Men's Cross Country and Track & Field teams took home the Eddie DeRose Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year award.

Cunningham became the third straight women's basketball student-athlete to win Eddie DeRose Outstanding Female Athlete. She was also the keynote speaker for the event, offering advice and her student-athlete perspective to the crowd. Staines gives the Pack Track & Field and Cross Country teams its second consecutive winner.

The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Champion Women's Basketball team added another award to its trophy case when Tuileisu Anderson earned the female Art & Lorraine Gonzales Perseverance Award. JaVaughn Perkins of the Pack Wrestling Team claimed the Art & Lorraine Gonzales Perseverance Award on the men's side. Perkins finished second in the nation at the 2018 Division II Wrestling Championships.

The Jessie Banks and Spank Blasing Awards were handed out to the female and male senior student-athletes that best balanced success in the classroom with excellence in competition. Mikala Morris of Women's Volleyball took home the Jessie Banks Award after posting a 4.0 GPA in three majors. Derrick Williams received the Spank Blasing Award, giving Pack Track & Field and Cross Country programs its second consecutive win in this category.

Zach Boyd of the Football Team and Paul Roberts of the men's track & field and cross country teams shared the Fellowship of Christian Athletes award. For Boyd, this is his second consecutive season earning this honor. Kylee Sakaguchi of the women's soccer team collected the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Integrity Award on the women's side.

Award Winner Nominations

Katie Cunningham (Sr., Aurora, Colo.) – Eddie DeRose Female Athlete of the Year

"Katie has shown her leadership on the court with improving her game to help this team win another regular season championship. She increased her production on offense (led the RMAC in assists per game with 4.9 and assists/turnover ratio at 2.3) and was voted back-to-back RMAC Defensive Player of the Year, as the POINT GUARD led the league in rebounding for the second straight year. But her leadership has been unmatched with helping this team move forward and reach the NCAA Tournament in both her seasons with the Pack. She was named all-region second team and gathered RMAC Tournament MVP honors for her play in the title run for the ThunderWolves. She was as dominant as any player in the region over the final month of the season, averaging 14.9 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game since the start of February.

With 9.6 rebounds per game in her career, Cunningham ranks fourth all-time in program history. Her 602 rebounds in just two seasons ranks seventh all-time at CSU-Pueblo. The Pack's point guard ranks third all-time at CSU-Pueblo with 4.4 assists per game in here career. Her 277 career assists rank seventh-most in school history."

- Women's Basketball Head Coach Curtis Loyd

Thomas Staines (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Eddie DeRose Male Athlete of the Year

"Thomas is a National Champion, as he won the indoor national meet in the 800m, breaking the previous meet record, and running the 2nd fastest time in D2 history! He now holds the second and fourth fastest 800m in D2 history, as a sophomore, and the runner who has the record, Drew Windle from Ashland University just placed 2nd in the world at the indoor world championships in the 800m. A two-time All-American at the indoor championships, he was named USTFCCCA South Central Region Track Athlete of the Year and RMAC Track Athlete of the Year,"  

- Head Track & Field and Cross Country Coach Matt Morris

 Tuileisu Anderson (Sr., Vancouver, Wash.)  – Female Art and Lorraine Perseverance Award

"Anderson played last year up until she couldn't anymore because of her pregnancy (gave birth to twins last summer) and this year she hasn't missed a beat helping this team win back-to-back RMAC Championships. She also received the award for First Team All-RMAC for the third year in a row. Anderson is the program's second leading scorer all-time with 1,516 career points."

- Women's Basketball Head Coach Curtis Loyd

 JaVaughn Perkins (So., Omaha, Neb.) – Male Art and Lorraine Perseverance Award

"Perkins has been ranked No. 1 in the country all year and finished as the national runner-up and All-American at the National Championships. He was the RMAC and West Region Tournament Champion at 184 pounds. JaVaughn was selected from the RMAC to tell his success story on how CSU-Pueblo has saved his life, which will air at the end of the month. This story was also featured in the Pueblo Chieftain, which touched on his experience spending seven months in solitary confinement at the age of 18, which he remains on probation for his offenses."

- Head Wrestling Coach Dax Charles

Mikala Morris (Sr., Tempe, Ariz.) – Jessie Banks Award

GPA: 4.0 Majors: Mass Communications, Political Science, Spanish

"A team captain this year, Mikala was 2017 Third-Team Academic All-American (3rd in program history) while pursuing three undergraduate degrees with a perfect 4.0 GPA.  She was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District Selection, named First Team Academic All-RMAC in 2015, and a four-time member of the RMAC's Honor Roll. Mikala has been the essence of what it means to be a student-athlete during her career. She has also been an amazing teammate and captain during her career. She has been a pleasure to coach both on and off the court and has set an incredible standard for all PACK Volleyball student-athletes to follow."

- Head Volleyball Coach Jill Muhe

Derrick Williams (Sr., Great Falls, Mont.) – Spank Blasing Award

GPA: 3.993 Majors: Biology (Biomedical Science) and Biology (3+2)

"Derrick is the perfect combination of athletically competitive and academically outstanding. As of the 2018 indoor national meet, Derrick is now an 11-time All-American and has won the Elite 90 Award (top GPA at the championships) three times (just the second Division II student-athlete to win the award three times). He maintains a 3.99 GPA in a very rigorous biology program as he is finishing his biology master's degree (3+2 program). He is a two-time Academic All-American, has been named RMAC Academic Player of the Year three times and has earned the RMAC Summit Award for the top GPA at the championships. I can think of no one I have ever coached who would be more qualified for this award."

- Head Track & Field and Cross Country Coach Matt Morris

Kylee Sakaguchi (Jr., Apple Valley, Calif.) – Female FCA Integrity Award 

"Kylee is the picture of integrity, which has put her into a leadership position within the women's soccer program. She is someone that all of our players and our coaching staff look up to. In her first year as team captain this year, Kylee was faced with many challenges that tested her integrity. Time and time again, she showed her strength of character; always resolving issues in the most fair and honest way possible. She is a fantastic example of the Championship Character that we strive to instill in our athletes here at CSU-Pueblo. Her actions consistently align with her values as a person and leader. As a team captain and women's soccer SAAC representative, we couldn't have anyone better to be an example of what our program, athletic department and university strive to produce in our student-athletes. In addition to her character and integrity, Kylee is a pillar for our team on the field. As a junior, she started every game for us, and played a key role in our midfield, helping us to control the game."

- Head Women's Soccer Coach Sierra Cardenas

Zach Boyd (Sr., Fort Lupton, Colo.)  – Co-Male FCA Integrity Award

"Zach has led the FCA here on campus for the past two years. He was the 2016-17 FCA Integrity Award Winner. He is a three-time All-RMAC Tight End and named all-region the last two seasons of his career."

- Head Football Coach John Wristen

Paul Roberts (So., Boulder, Colo.)  – Co-Male FCA Integrity Award

"Paul is very active with FCA here on campus. An excellent student who conducts himself with the highest of integrity. He is also a VERY competitive athlete as well, an All-American who has also won a US Junior National title and made three World Teams. A perfect nominee for this award."

- Head Track & Field and Cross Country Coach Matt Morris

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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.