Successful Athletic Year Celebrated with Awards

Elmo Rey Arciaga

Amanda Zepeda

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Female athlete of the year, Jit Athwai, receives her award.

CSU East Bay’s Athletic Department, athletes and coaches came together to celebrate the many accomplishments over the past year in the 2010-2011 Athletic Banquet.

On May 26, every Pioneer team, both male and female was represented in the celebration.

In a year that saw CSUEB water polo place 4th in the WWPA for the best finish in school’s history, volleyball finish tied for second in the CCAA with a 20-7 overall record, and an assortment of individual broken records, the 2010-2011 campaign brought plenty to get amped about for the Pioneers.

The event kicked off with opening words from the university Director of Athletics, Debby DeAngelis who quickly made it a point to recognize President Mohammad Qayoumi as she and others reflected on the past five years with the president and what he has meant to East Bay athletics.

“Our transition to Division II would not have been possible without you,” expressed DeAngelis to President Qayoumi.

“Mo, you may be leaving us but your momentum will carry us far into the future.”

The event continued with special words from President Qayoumi, men’s basketball captain Will Freedman, president of the student athlete council and relief pitcher Johnny Volk, ASI President Mohammed Beig, and volleyball coach Jim Spagle who was named the CCAA Coach of The Year.

At the end of the night many were recognized and various awards were distributed to the most deserving athletes.

The Male Athlete of the Year award went to Bryce Miller, junior and starting pitcher for the Pioneers baseball team who finished the year with a 3.01 ERA ranking him 9th among all CCAA pitchers.

Taking home the Female Athlete of the Year Award is senior Sukhjit Athwal, otherwise known as Jit.

Athwal led the volleyball team to an impressive finish, ranking top 5 on the team in every statistical category and who also received All-CCAA Second Team honorable mention.

“We had a good season and to know that you’re being recognized for that is a good feeling,” said Athwal.

“I want to thank everybody that has been there to support us as it is everybody around us that makes this team. We feed off their energy.”

Every year, the Pioneer Spirit Award is awarded to an athlete who has shown great enthusiasm and involvement not only in Pioneer athletics, but around campus as well.

This athlete shows a great devotion to his team and to the university life as a whole.

This year’s Pioneer Spirit Award went to Senior Johnny Volk, relief pitcher for Pioneer baseball and President of the Student Athlete Council.

Volk has attended all four years at East Bay and currently finds himself working with the Oakland Athletics professional baseball organization working in promotions on game day.

“There are a lot of other people that deserved the Spirit Award more than I did but I am humbled by it and thankful my peers voted for me,” said Volk.

“Four years here at East Bay has definitely been a treat. I encourage the student athletes to stay involved on campus and even if you’re not an athlete to stay involved because there are so many things to do. College is an awarding experience.”

A highlight of the evening was the Student-Athlete Academic Honors presentation where many athletes were recognized for their accomplishments not only on the field, but also in the classroom.

An honorary of the night was Claire Peirce, Water Polo, who was recognized for her accomplishments in making the Dean’s List and who also received the 2011 Capital One Academic All District Award.

Peirce also received honorable mention as an All-WWPA First Team and All Tournament Team member.

The senior athletes were sent off with a senior blanket and recognized for their efforts in their time here at CSUEB and in Pioneer Athletics.

The 2010-2011 year is officially in the books, but CSUEB will continue its move into Division II as on May 27, East Bay filed the NCAA report for full eligibility.

Full membership is expected to be attained on July 8th.

“The consultant that came out said that we exceeded the standards expected for Division II, so we are extremely hopeful and very expectant that it will be a positive answer,” said Director of Athletics, Debby DeAngelis.

“Division II is the right thing for this campus. The CCAA is the right place for us to be and it’s a good home for us.”

The 2010-2011 Student Athlete Banquet put an exclamation point to another successful year in East Bay athletics and the future looks to be that much more promising.

“In the ten years that I have been here, this event has gotten bigger,” said DeAngelis.

“We’ve gone from barely 150 athletes to almost 250 athletes with the same amount of sports. We’re recruiting more athletes and we’ve got more caliber athletes. It’s really hard to pick winners in something like this but it’s just wonderful to have a night of celebration where we can come together and enjoy the successes we’ve had this year.”