[trophies] May has come, and another Fall to Spring school year is in the books. And whether you are headed home to work tireless hours at a low-paying and underappreciated summer job, hanging around campus to take a few summer classes, or busting your tail at that amazing summer internship, one thing is for certain: no one will be longing for snow or nasty 8 a.m. classes for the four months.
This past school year has most likely had its extreme highs, like that time when you partied all night long the night before an exam only to ace the thing the next day, and its saddening lows, like that time you partied all night long the night before an exam only to bomb the thing the next day.
Yes, life at MSU can certainly be filled with peaks, valleys and downright holes. The same can certainly be said for the athletic teams on campus as well.
Throughout the past two semesters, MSU sports fans have seen moments that leave them in euphoric awe as well as instances that leave them in disappointing heartache.
Take October for example, when after an incredible 4-0 start to the football season which included an overtime thriller at Notre Dame, fans then had their hearts torn out as the Spartans inexplicably dropped six of their last seven games.
Or what about the winter basketball season? With both the men’s and women’s teams coming off Final Four appearances last season, everyone in East Lansing expected nothing but greatness for the 2005-2006 campaign.
There were the extremely high points, like the big three of Paul Davis, Shannon Brown and Maurice Ager leading the team to a 30 point drubbing of Iowa in January, or watching senior honorable mention All-American Liz Shimek become the school’s all-time leading scorer in March and all-time leading rebounder in January. There were also the low points, with both teams ending their seasons considerably earlier than last year, the men in the first round of the NCAA tournament and the women in the Sweet 16, the MSU gymnastics team who ended the year taking fifth place at the NCAA regional meet and the MSU women’s rowing team, who going into the Big Ten Championships were ranked No. 7 nationally with a Big Ten Boat of the Week honor coming for the week of April 18.
All in all, it has certainly been another exciting, exhilarating and exhausting year of collegiate sports here at MSU. But what is a sports year without a post-season awards ceremony?
So without further adieu, I unveil to you the first ever MSU Big Green Sports Awards for the 2005-2006 season. These awards have been carefully determined and researched by TBG’s resident sports expert…me. They include all athletes and teams who have completed their sports seasons this year, so I apologize to any softball or baseball players out there who may wish bad things upon me after reading this list.
Most Improved Player Award: Victoria Lucas-Perry, MSU women’s basketball[vic2]
For the Flint native junior guard Lucas-Perry, the 2005-2006 season was definitely a break out year. After averaging a solid 7.7 points per game for last year’s national runner-up squad, Lucas-Perry jumped into a starting role this season and flourished with a career high 10.2 points per game and an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection.
Highlights of the year for Lucas-Perry came on Feb. 2 at Northwestern where she scored a season high 23 points including four 3-pointers and on Dec. 21 at Oklahoma where she notched her first career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Coming off her best season at MSU in 2005-2006, Lucas-Perry seems to be primed for an outstanding senior year next season for the Spartans.
Best Individual Achievement: Lindsay Bowen beats Marquette’s Steve Novak to win the 3-point shootout
After beating Stanford’s Krista Rappahahn in the women’s final of the 18th Annual Dell College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Shootout, the MSU senior guard then topped the men’s winner Novak in the co-ed final in a rout by a score of 25-17.
This was a great cap to an outstanding senior season for Bowen who finished her career as the second leading scorer in school history behind teammate Liz Shimek and the all time leading 3-point shooter.
Bowen, along with Shimek, also finished her stellar career at MSU as part of the all-time winningest class in school history with 96. Bowen will truly be remembered as one of the best players in MSU women’s basketball history.
Other candidates include Bowen’s teammate Shimek being selected 18th overall by the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA draft.
Game of the Year: MSU Football, MSU 44-Notre Dame 41 (OT)
[foot]Forget the fact that the Spartans finished the year on a disappointing slide, on Saturday, September 17 in South Bend, the Spartans certainly played like champions.
Junior quarterback and team MVP Drew Stanton finished 16-of-27 for 327 yards and three touchdowns passing along with 14 carries for 48 yards and one touchdown rushing.
During this game which featured over 1,000 yards of combined total offense between the two teams, MSU saw a 21-point lead in the third quarter evaporate before surging back in overtime to take the win.
Senior running back Jason Teague took an option pitch from Stanton and scampered 19 yards for the winning touchdown in overtime.
The win put the Spartans at 4-0 on the season and gave them a much impressive road win over the highly ranked Fighting Irish.
Team of the Year Award: MSU men’s hockey
Not only did the Spartan skaters end up as the most successful team on campus this past year, but they might also be considered the most improved.
After coming off a non-customarily mediocre 20-17-4 season in 2004-2005, the Spartans stormed back in 2005-2006 with a critic silencing 25-12-8 record which included its first CCHA tournament title since 2001, as well as finishing their year one win away from the Frozen Four.
Junior captain Drew Miller led the team in points with 43 including a team high 18 goals and freshman goalie Jeff Lerg planted himself as the next great Spartan goalie finishing with a 17-6-6 mark and a miniscule 1.96 goals against average.
Other notables were sophomore forward Bryan Lerg who finished with 38 points for the Spartans and senior forward David Booth who ended the year with 35.
MSU also finished the season with a 14-7-7 mark in CCHA regular season play, good enough for a second place regular season finish.
With most of its key members returning for next year, the bar will certainly be set very high for head coach Rick Comley and the Spartans.
Other candidates for the award included the MSU women’s basketball team, who finished their season 24-10 before falling to Duke in the Sweet 16 and the MSU gymnastics team who ended the year taking fifth place at the NCAA regional meet.
Player of the Year Award: (Tie) Nick Simmons and Andy Simmons, MSU wrestling
The junior brothers from Williamston both finished with outstanding seasons for the Spartan grapplers with Nick ending with a 36-2 mark at the 125-pound weight class and Andy finishing 36-6 at the 141-pound weight class. Both brothers won individual Big Ten titles at their respective weight classes as well. [bros]
Nick ended his year by taking fourth place in the nation in his weight class and earning his third straight All-American award while brother Andy finished fifth nationally in his weight class and garnered his second All-American recognition.
The brothers shared the team’s Most Outstanding Wrestler Award, which makes three straight seasons that a Simmons brother has taken the honor (Nick in 2005 and Andy in 2004).
Nick Simmons will enter next season only 10 pins short of the all-time MSU pin record of 45.
The brothers will both chase the all-time wins record for MSU with Andy holding a slight lead at 101-97. Each will also be making a run at finishing high on the all-time NCAA tournament victory list as well.
Other notable candidates include MSU junior quarterback Drew Stanton, who broke single season school records in individual total offense, touchdown passes, consecutive games with at least 200 yards passing and consecutive games with touchdown passes thrown; Liz Shimek, who was named as an honorable mention All-American in women’s basketball and Spartan hockey captain Drew Miller.
There you have it, the best of the best at MSU in the 2005-2006 fall and spring semesters. So as you get ready to soak up some sun this summer, take a deep breath and get some rest as you will no doubt need it for next year’s sports seasons.
Just remember to scream loudly, keep your fingers crossed and keep a heavy supply of Maalox and Pepto Bismol on hand for those nail-biters.

One thought on “TBG Sports Awards”

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