BYU celebrates 10th annual Y Awards

(Photo by Bella Torgerson/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah—BYU athletics celebrated another year of academic and athletic excellence at the 2013 Y Awards Wednesday at the Utah Valley Convention Center, honoring teams, coaches and athletes who went above and beyond during the 2012-2013 season.

Athlete of the Year accolades were awarded to Kyle Van Noy (football) and Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall (women’s soccer), while women’s volleyball coach Shawn Olmstead received Coach of the Year and women’s soccer assistant coach Aleisha Rose received Assistant Coach of the Year.

For the second year in a row, the men’s cross country team garnered Men’s Team of the Year honors for taking sixth in the NCAA tournament, while women’s soccer picked up Women’s Team of the Year for its quarterfinal finish in the NCAA tournament and best final regular-season ranking ever.

Male and Female Rookie of the Year awards were given to Ben Patch and Alexa Gray, both volleyball players.

See below for a complete list of Y Awards winners.

Y Awards winners are selected by votes from their fellow student-athletes. Each head coach nominates one athlete from their team for each of the categories. The Cougar Council, a group of athletes comprised of two representatives from every team, narrows down the candidates prior to the general athlete voting.

The Y Awards celebration is put on by the Cougar Club each year. The event host was Greg Wrubell of KSL Radio.

BYUtv will rebroadcast the event Saturday at 9 p.m. MDT.

Y Award Recipients

Female Rookie of the Year: Alexa Gray (women’s volleyball)

This award is given to the freshman student athlete who contributes the most in her true freshman or red-shirt freshman year.

·      AVCA All-America Honorable Mention, WCC Freshman of the Year and All-WCC Freshman Team

·      Averaged 3.26 kills per set, second most on the team, while hitting .362 and collecting .60 blocks per set, the fourth most on the team

·      Started every match for the Cougars, helping them to a finish in the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament

Male Rookie of the Year: Ben Patch (men’s volleyball)

This award is given to the freshman student athlete who contributes the most in his true freshman or red-shirt freshman year.

·      Received National AVCA and MPSF Player of the Week accolades for his performance in BYU’s wins over then-No. 5 Stanford and then-No. 14 Pacific; the only player in history to win back-to-back national player of the week awards

·      Recorded a BYU rally-scoring record of 35 kills in BYU’s comeback road win over then-No. 1 UC Irvine

·      Second on the team in blocks with 61 on the season

Lu Wallace Outstanding Senior Female Athlete: Carlee Payne Holmoe (women’s soccer)

The oldest recognition bestowed upon a BYU female athlete; this award is annually given to the senior who has most clearly demonstrated high athletic and academic performance and sportsmanship.

·      NSCAA All-West Region Second Team and All-WCC Second Team, she tallied 7 goals, 9 assists and 39 shots in her senior year and helped lead the team to the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament

·      NSCAA Scholar All-America Second Team and WCC All-Academic Team and public health major, she holds a 3.50 GPA

·      Demonstrates leadership both on and off the field by participating in regular service activities and by being a voice of experience and example to her teammates

Ed Stein Outstanding Senior Male Athlete: Brady Wells (men’s swim and dive)

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

·      Was the only male member of the 2011-2012 swimming team to qualify for U.S. Olympic Trials and was named to the 2013 All-MPSF First Team by placing second in the 400 medley relay and eighth in 100 breast

·      With a 3.45 GPA in exercise science, was named a CSCHA Academic All-American 2013

·      A 2013 team captain

Walk on of the Year: Fan Fan Charles (men’s track and field)

This award is given to one non-scholarship athlete at BYU who plays a significant role on his or her team.

·      Ran a team-best 100-meter dash with a time of 10.45 during the 2012 outdoor season

·      Ran a team-best 200-meter dash with a time of 22.00 at the 2012 MPSF Indoor Championships

·      Named to the 2012 MPSF All-Academic team

Cougar Club Memorial Junior Award: Andrew Rutherford (men’s swim and drive)

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; given to an outstanding junior male or female athlete with high scholarly achievement.

·      Majoring in finance, Andrew holds a 3.92 GPA

·      Participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics representing Bolivia and swam a personal best in the 100 free

·      An Academic All-American in 2013, he finished the season ranked fifth in the 200 breast and seventh in the 100 breast in the MPSF

Comeback Player of the Year: Keilani Unga (women’s basketball)

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

·      Started in every game this season, returning to the starting lineup on the team after a two-year absence to have two children. She was team co-captain

·      Averages 7.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game

·      Ranks fourth on the team in rebounding, third in blocks and has third-best field goal percentage at .497 (83-167)

Female Crowd Pleaser: Erica Owens (women’s soccer)

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

·      Finished in first place in the WCC for her GAA, save percentage and total shutouts in her junior year

·      With 77 saves and 12 shutouts, she helped lead the team to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament

·      Named to the CollegeSportsMadness.com’s All-WCC First Team and All-America Second Team, a NSCAA Scholar All-American and to the NSCAA All-Region Team

Male Crowd Pleaser: Cody Hoffman (football)

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

·      With eight 100-yard receiving games, he finished 2012 with 100 catches for 11 touchdowns and 1,248 yards (second-most in a season in BYU history)

·      Had a career-best performance at New Mexico State with 182 yards and 5 touchdowns, a school record. One touchdown went for a season-long 67 yards and another featured Hoffman hurdling over a defender down the sideline to get into the end zone

·      An All-America Honorable Mention, has caught a pass in 32 straight games and 38-of-39 career games

Leona Holbrook Spirit of Sport: Heather Hannemann (women’s volleyball)

Presented in memory of Dr. Leona B. Holbrook; this award is given to the senior female athlete whose participation best exemplifies the true spirit of sport in athletics and in life.

·      Is No. 8 at BYU in the rally-scoring era for career assists with 2,486

·      Ranked No. 31 in the nation for assists per set (11.17)

·      Named AVCA All-America Honorable Mention, AVCA All-Pacific Region Honorable Mention and WCC Honorable Mention

Dale McCann Spirit of Sport: Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah (football)

Presented in memory of Dale R. McCann; this award is given to the senior male athlete whose participation best exemplifies the true spirit of sport in athletics and in life.

·      Put pads on for the first time in 2010 and after just three years of playing football has become one of the top defensive players in the country

·      Finished the season with 13 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, one interception, 9 pass breakups, 6 quarterback hurries and 1 fumble recovery in addition to his 62 total tackles

·      Snuffed a fake punt, had 8 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 pass breakup while helping hold Boise State to no offensive touchdowns game

Female Athlete of the Year: Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall(women’s soccer)

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

·      2012 NSCAA All-America First Team and 2012 WCC Player of the Year

·      Named a 2012 finalist for the Hermann Trophy Award, the highest honor given to a Division I soccer athlete

·      Anchored a BYU defense that allowed only 13 goals all season and just 4 in WCC play and helped lead the team to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament

Male Athlete of the Year: Kyle Van Noy (football)

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

·      CFPA National Defensive Player of the Year, he finished ranked No. 2 nationally in both sacks (13) and forced fumbles (6), while also ranking No. 4 in tackles for loss (22) and No. 7 in blocked kicks (2)

·      Earned 2012 All-America honors helping BYU achieve the nation’s No. 3 total defense (266.1 yards allowed)

·      Recorded 8 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 blocked kick and 2 touchdowns in the fourth quarter of BYU’s 2012 Poinsettia Bowl victory.

Performance of the Year: Kyle Van Noy in the Poinsettia Bowl (football)

Recognizes great performance over the course of an entire game, match or meet.

In one of the most dominating bowl performances ever, linebacker Kyle Van Noy almost single-handedly wheeled the Cougars to a 23-6 victory over San Diego State. With BYU trailing 6-3 in the fourth quarter, the junior scored two defensive touchdowns to lift BYU over the Aztecs. Van Noy finished the game with eight tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and blocked one kick to go along with the two touchdowns to earn a place on the ESPN, USA Today and CBSSports.com All-Bowl Team.

Play of the Year: Craig Cusick’s game-winning shot vs. Utah State (men’s basketball)

Recognizes an extraordinary play made this year.

BYU led Utah State for nearly the entire game before the Aggies rallied to tie the score at 68-all with 56 seconds to go. The score remained tied until Craig Cusick rebounded a Matt Carlino miss just inside the free-throw line and before returning to the floor, hit the game winner with 0.2 seconds remaining.

Floyd Johnson Service: Russell Tialavea (football)

Given to a male or female athlete who makes a positive impact in the community and among their teammates.

A significant amount of Tialavea’s free time is devoted to service. In his time at BYU, he has spoken to thousands of youth in three school districts about the importance of being “Cougar Strong”—staying away from alcohol, drugs and tobacco along with the importance of practicing a healthy lifestyle by eating right, getting the proper rest and exercising. He recognizes the influence for good he can have and has worked to help kids understand that in addition to being “Cougar Strong,” it is important to treat others with respect and kindness and to know that being a bully is never the answer. He is a go-to-guy and when a service opportunity is presented, his response when asked to help is always “Yes.”

Kimball Memorial: David Corless (men’s swim and dive)

Given to the athlete with the highest GPA.

An accounting major and sophomore diver with a 3.99 GPA, David Corless keeps up with his busy academic and athletic life by staying focused. “Every time I do something I have to make sure I’m focused and I do it as quickly as possible so I have enough time for everything else,” Corless said. “There’s always something wanting more time.” Corless gets his motivation for success from his family, especially from his father who he said “has always been academically driven.”

“I realize I’m not going to dive professionally once I’m out of school,” Corless said. “And I realize that my education is going to show in my occupation later in life. I want to succeed in that to be able to support a family, so I make

sure I always succeed in school because that will continue on longer than any of my other endeavors.”

Corless has placed second in the 3-meter springboard dive in meets against UNLV and Denver in the 2012-13 season. He also competed in the MPSF conference meet, finishing first in the consolation final with a score of 313.85 and 12th in the 1-meter with a score of 275.65.

Corless, a native of La Crescenta, Calif., is the son of Thomas and Christene Corless and has one older brother and one older sister. When not at the pool or studying, Corless plays the cello and goes to concerts. He participated in the university orchestra during the Winter 2012 semester.

Following his graduation from BYU, Corless would like to work as an in-house accountant.

Women’s Team of the Year: Women’s soccer

Given to the most outstanding women’s team.

Finished the season in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament

Men’s Team of the Year: Men’s cross country

Given to the most outstanding men’s team.

Finished 6th in the NCAA tournament.

Coach of the Year: Shawn Olmstead (women’s volleyball)

Given to an outstanding coach.

Coached the women’s volleyball team to a region-semifinal finish in the NCAA tournament.

Assistant Coach of the Year: Aleisha Rose (women’s soccer)

Given to an outstanding assistant coach.

Coached the women’s soccer team to a quarterfinal finish in the NCAA tournament.

Y Games Winner: Gymnastics

During the year, each team has a designated “Y Game.” At this contest, all athletes are encourages to attend to support their fellow athletes. The team with the greatest percentage of members at the Y Games receives this award.

Volunteers of the Year: Dan and Diana Paxton

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