BYU Athletics Hosts Annual Y Awards

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah -- Hundreds of BYU athletes and Cougar Club members gathered for the annual Cougar Club Y Awards on Tuesday evening, paying tribute to the top student-athletes, coaches and volunteers for their efforts on and off the field over the past year.

The ceremony will be televised nationally on BYUTV at a later date.

Y Award winners among the nominated BYU student-athletes are selected by a vote of their peers and represent the finest accomplishments and performances of the past 12 months.

During that time, BYU teams have won nine Mountain West Conference championships. Individually, Cougar student-athletes have earned 153 All-Conference citations while collecting six MWC Athlete of the Year awards and two Freshman of the Year honors. Cougar coaches have garnered six Coach of the Year accolades. A total of 223 BYU athletes were named to the Academic All-Mountain West team, more than any other Mountain West Conference school.

The Cougars’ success has also been recognized on a national level, with six BYU student-athletes earning All-America honors and four earning Academic All-America recognition. One Cougar – senior Jimmer Fredette – recently earned his sport’s highest honor as the men’s basketball National Player of the Year.

The following is a list of Y Award winners and their accomplishments.

Female Athlete of the Year – Lacey Cramer Bleazard, Women’s Track and Field

Given to the female athlete who demonstrates the competitive spirit of desire, dedication, and determination, leading them to the top of competition and serving as an inspiration to both teammates and fans

- Indoor All-American in the 800m after placing second in that event at the NCAA Indoor National Championships

- Won the 800m indoor at the UW Invitational (2:05.19), New Balance Invitational (2:05.33) and the MWC Indoor Championships (2:05.55)

- Won the MWC Outdoor Championship 800m with a time of 2:04.67

Male Athlete of the Year – Jimmer Fredette, Men’s Basketball

Given to the male athlete who demonstrates the competitive spirit of desire, dedication, and determination, leading them to the top of competition and serving as an inspiration to both teammates and fans

- Named National Player of the Year by USBWA (Oscar Robertson Trophy), Sporting News, Basketball Times, SI.com and CBSSports.com, an All-American by USBWA, Sportings News, Yahoo! Sports, FoxSports.com, SI.com, CBSSports.com and Lute Olsen and the MWC Player of the Year and All-MWC First Team

- Led the nation in scoring with 28.9 ppg, while averaging 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game and is BYU’s all-time scoring leader

- Scored a BYU-record 52 points vs. New Mexico, 40 or more points four times and 30-plus points 15 times

Ed Stein Outstanding Senior Male Athlete – Andrew Rich, Football

Given to the senior who has most clearly demonstrated high athletic and academic performance and sportsmanship; the oldest recognition bestowed upon a BYU male athlete

- Team captain, All-MWC First Team, Phil Steele All-MWC First Team and East-West Shrine game selection; was Academic All-MWC and 2010 Lott Trophy candidate for his service, academics and performance on the field

- Led the team with 110 tackles, the third-highest total by a BYU player in the last 20 years, while totaling a team-leading 63 solo tackles, 47 assisted tackles, 5 interceptions, 8 pass breakups and 3 forced fumbles

- Named New Mexico Bowl Defensive MVP in his final game after tying a BYU bowl record with two interceptions and adding four tackles and one tackle-for-loss

Lu Wallace Outstanding Senior Female Athlete – Kassidy Shumway, Soccer

Given to the senior female athlete who has most clearly demonstrated high athletic and academic performance and sportsmanship

- TopDrawerSoccer.com.com’s Top 100 Player of the Year

- NSCAA All-Pacific Region Third Team

- MWC All-Conference First Team

Female Rookie of the Year – Jennifer Hamson, Women’s Basketball

Given to the female freshman student-athlete who contributes the most in her true freshman or redshirt freshman year

- Started all league games while tallying 10 double-figure games, including five in MWC contests

- Had season and career highs with 19 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocks

- Ranked third on the team in rebounds and led the team in blocks while recording one double-double with 16 points and 13 boards

Male Rookie of the Year – Jake Heaps, Football

Given to the male freshman student-athlete who contributes the most in his true freshman or redshirt freshman year

- Broke every BYU freshman record, including most wins as a starter, most games played, most games started, most touchdowns thrown, most passing yards, most completions and most attempts

- Started the last 10 games of the year, leading BYU to wins in five of its last six games to finish with a winning record

- Named New Mexico Bowl Offensive MVP after leading BYU to a 52-24 win over UTEP. Heaps became the first BYU quarterback to start a bowl game, completing 25-of-34 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns

Walk-On of the Year – Kendalyn Hartsock, Women’s Volleyball

Given to a non-scholarship athlete who plays a significant role on his or her team

- Played in 114 of 123 sets in her first season as a Cougar

- Finished the 2010 season with a team-leading 411 digs, over 100 more than the next closest player

- Ended the year with 48 assists and 12 service aces

Cougar Club Memorial Award – Miles Batty, Men’s Track and Field

Given to an outstanding junior male or female athlete with high scholarly achievement; Established in memory of eight Cougar Club members who lost their lives in an airplane crash at the Point of the Mountain in November of 1965

- USTFCCCA All-American, MWC Cross Country Male Athlete of the Year and three-time MWC Athlete of the Week Award winner

- Broke BYU’s 31-year-old mile record with a time of 3:55.79 at the UW Husky Classic

- National Male Track Athlete of the Year after winning the individual national championship in the mile (3:59.49) and a team national championship as part of the distance medley relay team at the NCAA Indoor Track Championships

Comeback Player of the Year – Alex Wolfe, Baseball

Given to the male or female athlete who has overcome incredible odds to succeed as a Cougar athlete

- Ended the 2010 season with a 12-game hitting streak, a .340 batting average, 11 homers and 57 RBI after a medical redshirt in 2009 due to injuring his left knee during an at bat vs. St. John’s in the 11th game of that season

- CollegeBaseballInsider.com Regional Player of the Week and Mountain West Conference Player of the Week vs. Washington; he had the game-winning RBI with a two-run double in BYU’s 16-4 romp over Washington in a game he doubled and hit a two-run homer for four RBI in BYU’s 13-run second inning

- Mountain West Conference Player of the Week vs. Utah in Provo when he accounted for both of BYU’s game-winning RBI with a walkoff homer in the finals

Female Crowd Pleaser – Carlee Payne, Soccer

Presented to the female athlete whose enthusiasm and outstanding performance have given extra excitement to the crowd

- Named First Team All-American by Soccer America

- Named First Team All-American byTopDrawerSoccer.com

- NSCAA All-Pacific Region Second Team and MWC All-Conference First Team

Male Crowd Pleaser – Jimmer Fredette, Men’s Basketball

Presented to the male athlete whose enthusiasm and outstanding performance have given extra excitement to the crowd

- Named National Player of the Year by USBWA (Oscar Robertson Trophy), Sporting News, Basketball Times, SI.com and CBSSports.com, an All-American by USBWA, Sportings News, Yahoo! Sports, FoxSports.com, SI.com, CBSSports.com and Lute Olsen and the MWC Player of the Year and All-MWC First Team

- Led the nation in scoring with 28.9 ppg, while averaging 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game and is BYU’s all-time scoring leader

- Scored a BYU-record 52 points vs. New Mexico, 40 or more points four times and 30-plus points 15 times

Leona Holbrook Spirit of Sport Award – Haley Hall, Women’s Basketball

Given to the female athlete whose participation best exemplifies the true spirit of sport in athletics and in life; presented in memory of Dr. Leona B. Holbrook

- A two-year starter and a three-year co-captain earning two MWC Academic All-Conference citations, two Honorable Mention All-MWC accolades and a Third-Team All-MWC award

- Recorded 27 double-figure games and led the team in the steals category, ranked second in assists, and made the most three-pointers; also had one double-double with 19 points and 11 assists

- Her single-game career totals include scoring 24 points, grabbing nine rebounds, putting up six three-pointers, dishing out 11 assists and making seven steals

Dale R. McCann Spirit of Sport Award – Jackson Emery, Men’s Basketball

Given to the male athlete whose participation best exemplifies the true spirit of sport in athletics and in life; presented in memory of Dale R. McCann

- Named All-MWC Second Team, second-team All-District and a team captain for the second-straight year, averaging 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game

- Also named MWC Defensive Player of the Year and to the MWC All-Defensive Team for the third-consecutive year while averaging a league-best 2.7 steals per game

- Set BYU records for career steals (249) and steals in a season (101)

Coach of the Year – Mark Robison, Men’s Track and Field

Given to an outstanding head coach

- Guided the 2010 men’s track and field team to both the Indoor and Outdoor Mountain West Conference Championships

- Coached his athletes to three All-America citations and 25 All-MWC awards

- Also oversaw a program that had 26 athletes honored as Academic All-MWC recipients

Assistant Coach of the Year – Dick Legas, Women’s Track and Field

Given to an outstanding assistant coach

- Helped the women’s track and field team win both the Indoor and Outdoor Mountain West Conference Championships

- Assisted in coaching 4 All-America performers and 36 All-MWC honorees

Men’s Team of the Year – Men’s Basketball

Given annually to BYU’s most outstanding men’s team

- Advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for the first time since 1981

- Won a program-record 32 games

- Earned a top-10 ranking for nine straight weeks during the course of the season

Women’s Team of the Year – Softball

Given annually to BYU’s most outstanding women’s team

- Advanced to the NCAA Tournament Super Regional for the first time in program history

- Achieved a program-best 46-13 record

- Claimed the sixth Mountain West Conference title since the program began in 2000

Kimball Memorial Award – Natalie Stewart, Women’s Track and Field

Presented to the BYU student-athlete who has the highest GPA among those who qualify

A public health major with a family life minor, Stewart maintains a 4.0 grade point average while contributing to the BYU women’s track and field team that has one every Mountain West Conference title since she joined the squad. A member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society and a member of the dean’s honor roll, Stewart has received the MWC Scholar Athlete Award in each of her first two years at BYU. Upon completion of her degree at BYU, Stewart would like to become a teacher of public health and help prevent chronic diseases.

Floyd Johnson Service Award – Nicole Przybyla, Women’s Swimming and Diving

Given to an athlete who makes a positive impact in the community and among his/her teammates

A senior diver and Cougar Council representative, Nicole Przybyla has put her considerable talents to good use in service to others. In addition to her normal volunteer work with BYU’s “Buff Don’t Puff ” program, the technology whiz designed and filmed a new video for the campaign, saving the athletic department thousands of dollars. Przybyla also got her groove on at the Trinity Mission Health and Rehabilitation Center Valentine’s Day Dance as she took over the drum section and rocked out with the patients whom she has spent countless hours helping. In the ultimate example of sacrifice and selflessness, Przybyla gave up everything for one year to serve children in Africa and India affected by AIDS and leprosy.

Volunteer of the Year – Jayare Roberts

Given in recognition of volunteers who selflessly serve the BYU Athletic Department without thought of recognition or reward

Roberts first got involved with BYU sports as a volunteer in 2005 when he started out helping the track team at meets and became a certified official. Now he serves as a host for almost every Olympic sport, as many as conflicting schedules will allow. But Roberts sees his role as so much more than a simple greeter; he enjoys wearing many hats, such as usher, security guard, babysitter, ball fetcher, cheerleader, welcomer and even pizza delivery man. His smiling face and willing attitude have led to many other volunteer opportunities including working at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics. He also enjoys volunteering for local community and BYU events such as Special Olympics, Cougar Tipoff, Education Week, Sports Hero Day, Freedom Festival, Rex Lee Run, and countless others. If you can name it, Roberts has probably volunteered for it!

Play of the Year – Alex Wolfe, Baseball

In athletic competition there are moments where incredible performances engrave themselves into memory. This category honors some of the truly extraordinary plays made this year

Trailing 4-3, in the bottom of the ninth inning last April at Miller Park, BYU tied rival Utah to set up the heroics of Alex Wolfe, whose two-run walk-off home run brought 1,826 fans to their feet and his teammates from the dugout. With a one-one count, Wolfe hit an opposite-field blast over the leftfield wall to clear the bases. The win gave BYU the Deseret Duel’s baseball trophy for the third-straight year.

Performance of the Year – Jimmer Fredette, Men’s Basketball

Recognizes great performances over the course of an entire game, match or meet as opposed to a single outstanding play

Jimmer Fredette scored a BYU-record 52 points against New Mexico in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament. The National Player of the Year hit 22-of-37 from the field and 7-of-14 from three to achieve the record-setting total. With 4:24 remaining, Fredette completed a three-point play to set the single-game scoring record while also passing Danny Ainge for the BYU career scoring record.

Y Games Award – Baseball

The Y Games consist of one home event for each of BYU’s 21 teams that all student-athletes are encouraged to attend. Attendance is counted at each of these Y Games, and the Y Games Trophy is presented to the team with the highest percentage of student athletes attending these events to cheer on their peers.