Northern Michigan Unveils Major Award Winners

Northern Michigan Unveils Major Award Winners

MARQUETTE, Mich. — Northern Michigan announced its major award winners for the 2015-16 season at its annual Student-Athlete Awards Banquet Sunday.

Marcus Tucker and Bre Gaspervich were named Athletes of the Year while Heidi Voigt earned the Coach of the Year award.

Levi Perry and Felicia Gesior captured Gildo Canale Outstanding Senior accolades. Kieren Becker rounded out the Athletic Director Award honorees, receiving Humanitarian of the Year honors.

The full photo gallery from the banquet can be viewed at this link.

Tucker led the football team in receptions (79), tied for first in receiving touchdowns (9) and finished second in receiving yards (813). Among GLIAC receivers, he ranked eighth in receiving yards per game (73.9) and tied for fifth in receiving touchdowns.

Tucker averaged 25.1 yards on kickoff returns, helping Northern Michigan lead the GLIAC in kickoff return average (23.3). The two-time captain became the eighth Wildcat in program history to catch three touchdown passes in a single game against Quincy Sept. 12 and was named to the all-GLIAC first team. Tucker finished his career with 2,330 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns.

Gaspervich posted 12 points per game for the women's basketball team. The junior was even better in conference play, averaging 12.7 points per contest. Gaspervich also led the Wildcats in assists per game (2.4) and steals per game (1.7). For her play on both ends of the court, she earned a spot on the all-GLIAC second and defensive teams.

Gaspervich's performance during a five-game span in February helped a Northern Michigan squad featuring eight underclassmen reach its fifth-straight GLIAC tournament. In four of the Wildcats' first five games, she reached the 20-point plateau, helping them post a 4-1 record. Over that span, Northern Michigan pulled off victories against GLIAC frontrunners Michigan Tech and Saginaw Valley State.

Voigt coached three All-Americans and six GLIAC champions this season. Under Voigt's watch, nine Wildcats, six men and three women, qualified to compete at the NCAA Swimming & Diving National Championships in a total of 20 events. The sixth-year women's swimming & diving coach revived the men's team this season and was named the GLIAC Men's Coach of the Year after leading the Wildcats to a third-place finish at the league's championship meet. The Northern Michigan women's team also took third at the GLIAC Championship.

Perry finished the year with 85 tackles, including 51 solo stops, and was named to the all-GLIAC second team. He hauled in two interceptions, including one he returned for a 25-yard touchdown against Malone Oct. 10. The two-time captain also led Northern Michigan in tackles for a loss with 9.5. Perry wrapped up his time as a Wildcat with 192 tackles, including 105 solo tackles and 15.5 tackles for a loss.

Gesior won two events and placed in the top five in four more over the course of the season. An all-CCSA first team selection, she was the top Northern Michigan finisher in the 5K freestyle (16th, 13:38.4) and the second Wildcat to cross the line in the 15K classic (18th, 56:34.3) at the NCAA National Championships. She also represented the U.S. at the World U-23 Championships Feb. 18-29. As a junior, Gesior placed 13th in the 15K classic (49:43.7) and 16th in the 5K freestyle (15:19.1) at the NCAA National Championships. 

Becker spent June 2015 in Los Angeles as part of the Athletes in Action's Urban Project. While there, she took part in lectures and discussions on socioeconomic development in urban areas and trained women who were serving their community service hours as part of their work-release program. She was also placed at Faith in Christ Ministries, a church and community center in a predominately Hispanic part of the city. She took the initiative to work as a communications assistant and was tasked with representing Faith in Christ Ministries in print and on the internet.

Over the summer, Becker also volunteered at two road races and worked with children ages 11 to 18 as a volunteer running coach at Uncle John's Cider Mill in St. Johns, Mich. At Northern Michigan, she served as the secretary of the Black Student Union and helped the Veteran Student Association assemble care packages for veterans and troops currently deployed.

Molly Kearney received Northern Michigan's inaugural Performance of the Year award, selected based on a social media fan vote that ran from Mach 23 to April 14. Kearney received 412 votes and was the lone nominee to reach the 400-vote plateau. She was nominated for her performance in the 1-meter dive at the NCAA National Championships March 11. The senior took fifth, capturing All-American honors for the seventh time in her career. Her 459.70 score was the best she posted in the 1-meter dive at a national meet. Earlier in the competition, Kearney took seventh in the 3-meter dive.

Male Athlete of the Year: Marcus Tucker
Female Athlete of the Year: Bre Gaspervich
Coach of the Year: Heidi Voigt
Humanitarian of the Year: Kieren Becker
Gildo Canale Outstanding Senior: Levi Perry
Gildo Canale Outstanding Senior: Felicia Gesior
Performance of the Year Award Winner: Molly Kearney

Most Valuable
Most Improved
Women's Soccer
Football - Offense
Football - Defense
Cross Country
Women's Basketball
Men's Basketball
Women's Swimming & Diving
Men's Swimming & Diving
Men's Skiing
Women's Skiing
Track & Field
Men's Golf
Austin Elsner
Women's Golf
Mason Groehler
Tom Piscopo
Taylor Turner
Cecily Ripley
Alejandro Sancho
Randon Miranda
Dalton Roberts
Austin Morrow