The 2014-2015 athletic season is growing closer each day, and I, like many Weber State University students, am so hopeful for this upcoming season. What gives me hope are the stellar individual performances of our student athletes during the 2013-2014 season. Of the many at Weber State, I have chosen five from last year that deserve recognition. Though they will be listed in order from one to five, their number doesn’t make their performances any better than the others.
1. Davion Berry, Men’s Basketball
Unless you have been living under a rock, this name should be very familiar. As a key ingredient for the Big Sky Championship winning season for the program, Berry had an MVP season. Not only was he the Big Sky MVP, but was an honorable mention for the AP All-American team.
He led the Wildcats in scoring in 21 games of the season, with 17 of those in the last 19 games. He averaged 19.2 points per game overall; third in the Big Sky Conference. In 29 of the team’s 31 games, he averaged over 20 points per game, including 24 in the loss to Arizona in the NCAA Tournament.
Most notably for Berry recently, he participated in the Portsmouth Invitational (an all-star game for college seniors) and was invited to train in a few NBA draft camps, including the Utah Jazz
2. Tiffany Hellstrom, Track and Field
Senior Tiffany Hellstrom earned the right to be called “the comeback kid” after the college career she had. After an outstanding freshman season, Hellstrom spent the next two seasons going through injury-related surgery and therapy.
She returned for her final two seasons, the latter of which provided her an opportunity to participate in the NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championship in Oregon.
She place 11th there and earned an All-American honor in the javelin competition, throwing for 158 feet 10 inches. Because of her perseverance and determination, she was able to overcome the odds to finish on top.
3. MaCauley Flint, Softball
The Wildcat Softball team posted their best season yet, falling one game short of the NCAA Tournament. A major reason for that was junior right-handed pitcher MaCauley Flint. On the mound, Flint had a 2.43 ERA and recorded 146 strikeouts, with a 10-8 record for the team. She allowed only 48 runs, while throwing three shut-outs on the mound and combined with Jasmine Ioane for a fourth.
She was named to the All-Conference First team, and will be returning again for the 2014-2015 season. Of the shining stars we have at this school, this is one that we can be excited for, because she will be back for one more season.
4. Niko Davidson, Rugby
One of our lesser known club sports is the rugby team, and this past season they were nearly unstoppable. One of the keys to that was forward Niko Davidson. Both on and off the field, Davidson gave 110 percent for the team’s success, and it paid off. For most of the season, he was voted as man of the match (a tradition in rugby) and scored many of the tries for the team.
Off the field, he worked out as hard as he could to condition himself and set an example for his teammates. When it came time to raise funds, he put forth his best effort. He helped lead the team to the playoffs, and helped lay the foundation for the next year.
5. Jakub Gewert/Todd Fought, Men’s Tennis
I know, this makes six, but this pair helped to take the Men’s Tennis team to the finals of the postseason tournament. Sophomore Jakub Gewert posted a 9-7 singles record, and was the teams number one singles player. He was 5-3 during conference play in the regular season. Sophomore Todd Fought led the Wildcats in singles wins during the regular season, posting a 15-6 record. He alternated between the first and second spot on the team, and was 6-3 in conference.
Alone they both had spectacular seasons, but Gewert and Fought also played as one of the Wildcat’s doubles teams. As a combination, they went 10-9 in doubles play, and posted a 5-2 record in conference play. For that reason, their ability to not only win on their own but to also win as a team puts them as one of the many stars for the school’s 2013-2014 seasons. Like Flint, these boys will return to play again for the 2014-2015 season.