Ski teams, MVPs highlight Bobcat banquet

BOZEMAN — The Bobcat men’s and women’s ski squads each took home top team honors while a pair of league MVPs earned student-athlete of the year awards at Montana State Athletics’ ALL (Academics, Leadership and Life Skills) Banquet in Worthington Arena on Tuesday.

The Bobcat ski teams landed men’s and women’s team of the year honors after combining to finish 9th in the NCAA Championships last month, qualifying full squads in both the men’s and women’s competitions. Jessica Yeaton earned First Team All-America honors on the women’s side, while Sawyer Kesselheim was a Second Team All-America among the men. Skier Ryan McConnell earned the Conner Firstman Most Inspirational Award for the courage he’s shown after a devestating injury suffered skiing this spring.

Brad Daly, a football All-America, Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year, and 2013 Buck Buchanan Award winner, earned Travis Lulay Male Student-Athlete of the Year honors. Daly enjoyed a historic senior season, becoming MSU’s second consecutive national defensive player of the year. Golfer Paige Crawford landed Tennyson Ballek Female Student-Athlete of the Year honors after winning Big Sky medalist honors last spring.

This year the banquet was named for Firstman, the former MSU student and Athletics videographer who lost a long and courageous battle with cancer this spring. Firstman, originally from the Portland area, was on schedule to graduate from MSU with his degree in Film and Photography, and school President Dr. Waded Cruzado announced during the banquet that he will earn his degree posthumously during Commencement next month.

MSU’s 2013-14 A.L.L. award winners follow…

Most Hours of Community Service – Football
Top Academic Team – Women’s Tennis
Most Improved – Women’s Golf
Most ALL Points – Football
Jack & Pat Robbins Team Supporting Teams Award – Women’s Tennis
ALL Star Award – Julie Theis, Cheer & Dance
Al Beye ALL Challenge Award – Football
Best Dressed Award – Women: Heather Demorest, Cross Country/Track & Field; Men: Rob Marshall, Football and Nick Melone, Track and Field

Men’s Team of the Year – Men’s Skiing
Women’s Team of the Year – Women’s Skiing
Newcomer of the Year – Jenette Northey, Track and Field
Conner Firstman Most Inspirational – Ryan McConnell, Men’s Skiing
Dr. Ginny Hunt Award – Nicole Baker, Volleyball
Nico Harrison Award – Lee Perkins, Football
Travis Lulay Student-Athlete of the Year – Brad Daly, Football
Tennyson Ballek Female Student-Athlete of the Year – Paige Crawford, Women’s Golf

— MSU Sports Information

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