Most Improved Player/Eagle Award
Women's Team Most Improved Award – Rachel "Big Rache" Kleczka
No one improved their basketball skills this season so dramatically as #23, Rachel Kleczka. Whatever challenges she faced as a freshman adjusting to the college level of competition were quickly overcome as she immediately secured a starting position that she would maintain the entire season. Not content with just being one of the starting five, Rachel steadily climbed to become our leading rebounder, and then finished as a leading rebounder in the Women's NCCAA DII (#1 total rebounds: 350; #2 average rebounds/game: 14.6). Rachel's rebounding prowess earned her the nickname, "Boss" (because you had to ask her permission if you wanted to get a rebound :-). A relentless pursuit of excellence and a burning competitive fire both in games and in practices made her (and her teammates) better every week. In addition to strong rebounding, Rachel averaged 9.3 points/game which cemented her as our third best scorer for the season. Rachel not only worked hard on her basketball game, she worked hard on her spiritual "game" as well. Rachel's love for the Lord and her teammates was seen over and over as she shared testimonies of God's work in her life and served as well as encouraged her teammates throughout the season.
Men's Team Eagle Award – Jayce Goergen
Hustle, Christ-like attitude, and energy - these are the characteristics of the annual men's basketball Eagle award winner. The team nominations for this year's selection reflected a team filled with potential selections, as five different team members received at least one vote, but ultimately, the team consensus recognized freshman Jayce Goergen with the honor. Throughout the season, Jayce consistently brought a high level of intensity and energy to every game and practice. Jayce led the team in minutes per game at 34, while averaging 11.9 points and 4.5 assists per game. On the defensive end, he was consistently matched up with the opposing team's quickest offensive player, while offensively managing the game as the point guard.
Coach Fincham had this to say about Jayce "Jayce practices and plays with one of the highest motors I've ever coached. He never had a complaint. Whether it was practice or a game - sprints or scrimmages, he always gave his best effort, no questions asked. As a freshman and our starting point guard, he had to jump right in and run the team offense, which he did exceptionally well. He has a great attitude and work ethic as well as a strong desire to honor the Lord with his play. Congratulations to Jayce on being selected by his teammates and coaches for this award - he's highly deserving of it."
Jayce finished the season 6th in the nation in assists per game, and 10th in assist to turnover ratio. He was also selected as an NCCAA II North Region Honorable Mention team member.