Drake Athletics Honors 2015-16 Award Winners

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University athletic department announced and honored its 2015-16 departmental award winners during the annual ‘Welcome Back Picnic’ on Sunday, Aug. 28 at the Knapp Center.The awards recognized some of the top performers and student-athletes from last season as the Bulldogs embark on the 2016-17 season. The awards and those honored include,Bulldog Way Director’s Cup Award – Men’s SoccerHowlett Award Male Student-Athlete of the Year – John Hugunin, footballHowlett Award Female Stduent-Athlete of the Year – Emma Huston, cross country/track and fieldDixie Byers Comeback Player of the Year – Zach Zlabis, footballFemale Newcomer of the Year – Sara Rhine, women’s basketballMale Newcomer of the Year – Nic Jaimes , men’s soccerThe highlight of the presentation was the announcement of the Howlett Award winners. The award is given to the top male and female student-athletes of the year. Football’s John Hugunin (Oswego, Ill.) and Emma Huston (Des Moines, Iowa) were named the recipients of the honor after completing their careers as some of the most decorated student-athletes in Drake history. Hugunin, an All-American and a fifth-year senior in 2015-16, claimed the fourth All-PFL accolade of his career and his second first team honor in December. He was also named a finalist for the STAT Defensive Player of the Year award after setting a PFL record nine forced fumbles and leading the Bulldogs with 116 tackles – ranking 20th in the nation – to go with 15 tackles for loss. Hugunin finished his stellar career as the program’s all-time leading tackler with 417 stops.Huston recently completed her senior season by setting four school records en route to winning the 2016 Missouri Valley Conference title in the 5,000 meters during the outdoor season. She graduated as the school record holder in the indoor 5,000 meters and the outdoor 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 meters. During the cross country season, she finished fourth at the 2015 MVC Championship to earn all-conference honors. Additionally, she was named the MVC Elite 18 award winner for the second time in her career. She was also named the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the week nine times on the season and earned United State Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic team as a senior.Men’s soccer was honored as the Bulldog Way Director’s Cup winner after recording one of the most successful seasons in program history. Under first-year head coach Gareth Smith, the Bulldogs captured the MVC Tournament title for just the second time in program history and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Drake defeated Kentucky, 2-1, in the opening round of the tournament to advance to the second round before falling to Creighton.Football’s Zach Zlabis (Wheaton, Ill.) earned the Dixie Byers Comeback Player of the Year honor after battling back from repeated injuries to earn a starting role during the 2015 season. He finished the season third in receiving with a pair of touchdowns. The award is named after longtime Drake supporter Dixie Byers who has battled cancer numerous times to continue faithfully supporting the Bulldogs.Women’s basketball’s Sara Rhine (Eldon, Mo.) had a breakout first season as a Bulldog. Coming off the bench, she appeared in all 33 games and was named the MVC Freshman and Sixth Player of the Year along with being named All-MVC Honorable Mention. Rhine finished third in the nation in field goal percentage at 62.9 percent. Nic Jaimes (Olathe, Kan.) of men’s soccer played in 20 matches with 19 starts in his first season as a Bulldog. Jaimes was tied for second on the team in goals scored with four and also handed out two assists. He was recogonized for his outstanding first season by being named to the MVC All-Freshman team.Print Friendly Versionlast_img

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