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A Celebration of Laker Athletics

Dr. Mitchell, hockey seniors


Cullen Maksimowski, LSSULakers.com



SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lake Superior State Athletics got dressed up on Thursday evening for a night of awards, celebrating, laughing, congratulating, some highlighting and of course; plenty of photos in front the Laker step and repeat. 

It was the LSSU Athletics Anchor Awards at the Walker Cisler Center, where LSSU student-athletes, coaches and athletic personnel turned out to celebrate another eventful year.

Among the evenings highest honors, was the Bud Cooper Coaches Award, which is presented annually to a male and female athlete that have shown outstanding qualities of leadership, campus & community participation and contributed significantly to the LSSU athletic program. Presented by men's basketball coach Steve Hettinga, Natalie Peterson (women's basketball) and Collin Saccoman (hockey) were this year's recipients.

Additionally, a new annual award was introduced by LSSU President Dr. Peter Mitchell. Named in honor of Justin Kelly, an LSSU student and passionate Laker hockey and athletics supporter who passed away in February, the 'Justin Kelly' award will be presented annually to the most spirited Laker athletics fan. Accepting the inaugural award on Kelly's behalf were members of the Lake State hockey team.  

Adding to the festive and light-hearted atmosphere was a slide show with several embarrassing athlete photos and videos taken throughout the season along with awards for 'Biggest Fail', 'Best Sleeping Photo' and 'Most Injury Prone'.

The annual Cliff Everett Male Athlete of the Year award went to Akaemji Williams (men's basketball) and the Deb McPherson Female Athlete of the Year Award was presented to Tamara Novic (women's basketball). 

Full award list:

Bud Cooper Coaches Award: Collin Saccoman, hockey; Natalie Peterson, women's basketball.

Cliff Everett Male Athlete of the Year: Akaemji Williams, men's basketball.

Deb McPherson Female Athlete of the Year: Tamara Novic, women's basketball.

Terry McDermott Freshman of the Year Award: David Mitter, men's XC & Track; AlexiAnn Drouin, women's tennis.

Kiwanis Scholastic Award: Elizabeth Ballor, volleyball.

Laker Club Award: Women's tennis.

Biggest Victory: Women's Golf, Naomi Keyte for individually winning the Battle at Belmont Tournament during fall season.

Most Epic Play: J.T. Henke's goal from the faceoff circle against Michigan Tech.

Biggest Fail: Tim Cairnduff trip on the fast break against NMU.

Most Spirited Team: Men's basketball.

Best Sleeping Photo: Macarena Bielsa, women's tennis.

Most Injury Prone: Taylor Bryant, women's basketball.

Best Dressed: Wes DeJong, hockey operations assistant.