5th Annual Moby Awards

 Uncategorized
May 092010
 
Authors: Cris Tiller, Adam Bohlmeyer, Kyle Grabowski, Stephen Meyers

For the fifth consecutive year, the Rocky Mountain Collegian is bringing you the Moby Awards, recognizing the best in Colorado State athletics from the academic year, both NCAA and club. Listed below are the six winners of the Fifth Annual Moby Awards, selected by the Collegian sports desk.


Male Athlete of the Year: Riley Arp
By Adam Bohlmeyer

Riley Arp may not play in front of thousands of fans, but when he finishes a round of golf, there is certainly something to cheer about.

Arp, a senior and leader of the CSU Rams men’s golf team, is putting together the best season of his college career. The Fort Collins native consistently ruled the golf course this season, posting an average score of 71.77, tied for second lowest in the Mountain West Conference.

Arp said that he’s been pleased with the season he’s had and said he’s gotten a little better every year.

“It’s quite a big improvement for me,” Arp said. “If you check my stats over the last four years, every year has gotten better. It hasn’t changed this year, and it’s even gotten a lot better since last year. That’s what you’re always looking to do by advancing yourself. This year I have been able to do that and it’s been nice.”

Along with improvements in his overall game, Arp said that the biggest changes this season have come in his maturity level and decision-making.

“When you are making stupid decisions all the time, you really aren’t giving yourself a good opportunity to play well,” he said. “When you start making the right decision … it really gives you the opportunity to play your best golf.”

Arp’s hard work has made a visible impact on the CSU team as a whole. The Poudre High School graduate just helped lead the Rams to their second MWC Championships title in the past three years, while shooting an impressive three-round score of 212 (-1), good enough for a fifth place individual finish.

After graduating this spring, Arp said he wants to try and go pro and will attempt to get on a minor golf tour to start.

“I’ve been doing it for so long that I have to go out and give it a try,” he said. “I don’t think that there is any doubt that I will go out and try and make some money doing what I love. That’s playing golf.”

Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports@collegian.com.


Coach of the Year: Tim Miles
By Stephen Meyers

If the CSU men’s basketball team were a stock, it would be rising.

Just two seasons removed from a winless Mountain West Conference record, CSU returned to prominence this season with a 16-16 record and its first postseason appearance since 2003.

“We are moving this program in the right direction,” said head coach Tim Miles.

And Miles is the one doing most of the moving.

Since arriving to CSU in 2007, Miles has changed the culture of CSU basketball: 0-16 MWC record in 2007-08, 4-12 in 2008-09 and 7-9 this past season.

“Unfortunately, when I got here everything sort of imploded. We had to start from scratch,” Miles said. “Now I feel very good about the future of this team.”

This season had its challenges.

Guard Jesse Carr spent the entire year out with a hip injury, junior forward Andre McFarland, a consistent contributor since he was a freshman, was in and out of the lineup battling injuries and senior guard Harvey Perry sat out a portion of the season due to suspension.

“I was very worried at the beginning of the year,” Miles said. “I wondered who was going to play guard with Jesse (Carr) out, and we thought we’d get more contributions from Andre (McFarland) and Harvey (Perry),” Miles said.

But the team stayed course and earned a trip to the College Basketball Invitational.

Points came from freshman sensation Dorian Green, senior transfer Travis Busch and a more aggressive Travis Franklin.

“As a coach, you have the same mantra to just live for the day. You get the team to survive the day and play the next game,” Miles said.

The team’s future looks bright with nearly 85 percent of its production coming back and with a core of Green, Carr, Franklin, Andy Ogide, Adam Nigon, Greg Smith and Pierce Hornung, another postseason run is certainly capable.

“If our team was a stock, we’d be an upward trend,” Miles said. “I’d buy us.”

Men’s Basketball Beat Reporter Stephen Meyers can be reached at sports@collegian.com.


Freshman of the Year: Dorian Green
By Stephen Meyers

A freshman point guard isn’t supposed to play 32 minutes a game, score 11.8 points per game, shoot 38 percent from three-point range or help lead his team to its first postseason appearance since 2003.

But that’s exactly what Dorian Green did for the Rams this season.

And it almost didn’t happen.

Head coach Tim Miles planned on redshirting the 6-foot-2, 170-pound freshman from Lawrence, Kansas this season for physical development.

“Tells you how much I know,” Miles said. “We knew he had the mental game and the skills, but we thought we’d sit him out a year to let him grow and mature a bit. But after seeing him, we had to get him on the court.”

One look at him during practice and exhibition games and the coaches were convinced the freshman was ready to play. And with returning point guard Jesse Carr out with injury, Green had to step in immediately to fill the void.

During his first collegiate game, Green scored 16 points and dished out five assists in 34 minutes against UC-Davis – there was no question he belonged on the court.

“Dorian handled the transition very well,” Miles said. “There wasn’t too much of a learning curve for him.”

Green was handed the reigns to the Rams’ offense and showed a knack for hitting the big shot when his team needed him most.

The freshman hit three-pointers late in games against Air Force and Utah to help seal two victories for the Rams.

“He is a guy you can trust at all times,” Miles said. “He is a highly intelligent kid with great poise.”

Miles shouldn’t have to sweat it thinking about whom to play at point guard the next three years.

Men’s Basketball Beat Reporter Stephen Meyers can be reached at sports@collegian.com.


Game of the Year: CSU Volleyball vs. No. 6 Washington (NCAA Tournament)
By Kyle Grabowski

The last volleyball game of the year in Moby Arena proved to be a match for the ages, as CSU’s win over sixth-ranked Washington won the Moby Award for Game of the Year.

Hosting opening round play at Moby Arena, the Rams had defeated Middle Tennessee State 3-2 in the opening round, but the Washington Huskies, who touted a No. 6 national seed, stood between CSU and the Sweet 16.

Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Danielle Minch and the rest of her CSU teammates had other ideas, taking the first two sets en route to a 3-1 victory over the Huskies.

“It gave us a sense of how far we’d come,” Minch said. “No one expected us to win.”

Head coach Tom Hilbert felt that his team was peaking at the right time, which allowed them to come out on top.

“The team stayed fresh through the whole year. They were playing their best volleyball at the right time.”

The win against Washington moved the team into a more favorable seed the next round. Though the Rams lost their Sweet 16 match to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Hilbert still praised his team’s effort, saying they played very well.

“The win moved us into a seed that was more manageable and winnable,” he said.

The win against Washington was significant for both Minch and Hilbert, with Minch ranking it as the best win of her career. For Hilbert, it was the teams‘ best win in the NCAA Tournament since he began serving as head coach 13 years ago.

“We’ve had other signature wins, like when we beat UCLA when they were the number one team in the country,” he said, “but for them to play that kind of match in the post-season was pretty significant.”

Sports Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.


Female Athlete of the Year: Danielle Minch
By Kyle Grabowski

The awards just keep piling up for CSU junior volleyball player Danielle Minch.

Not only was she named the 2009 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, the outside hitter was honored with the 2010 Moby Award for Female Athlete of the Year and though a Moby isn’t as prestigious as the conference player of the year, Minch was appreciative of the recognition.

“Even little awards are a big deal,” she said. “It feels good to see your hard work paying off.”

Minch has been a contributor for the Rams the past three years but took a big step forward this season, said head coach Tom Hilbert.

“She had a higher error percentage her first two years and some of her decisions cost us,” he said, “but she figured some stuff out this year.”

Minch led the MWC in kills per set in conference matches at 3.8 and finished second in overall points per set at 4.16. This season, she increased her kills per set by a kill and a half while more than tripling her digs from 2008.

Minch led the team in kills in 25 of the Rams’ 31 matches and recorded more than 20 kills four times. She was named the MWC Player of the Week for the week of November 16.

This season, Minch was also named all-conference for the first time in her career.

“It’s not something I went out and said ‘I’m gonna get that,” she said. “It feels good to have your improvement recognized.”

The American Volleyball Coaches Association voted Minch and two other Rams honorable mention All-Americans.

Hilbert had mixed feelings in regard to the fact that he only had one year left with Minch.

“It’s better than none,” Hilbert said. “She’s one of the premier outside hitters in our league.”

Sports Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.


Club Sports Team of the Year: Men’s Lacrosse
By Cris Tiller

For years, CSU has produced not only competitive club sports teams, but dominant ones that let people around the country know who the Rams are.

This season proved equally as great, with the men’s lacrosse team second to none.

The Rams went 16-2 this season in one of the most competitive conferences in the country and walked away as Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference champions.

Their success landed them in the second seed in the national tournament, where they will be one of the favorites to win.

First year head coach Alex Smith said he has been extremely happy with the way his team has played throughout the year.

“This particular team feels a lot like the years when we were having a lot of success,” Smith said. “As our conference and the talent pool of lacrosse have gotten better, it’s made us have to work a lot harder.”

Strong leadership, boasting the RMLC Offensive Player of the Year in junior Cooper Kehoe and Co-Defensive Players of the Year with goalie Alex Jacques and defenseman Andrew Stein, led the team

And through hard work and determination, the team has come closer together.

“This year’s team is so great just from the family aspect, Smith said. “The way our guys hang out off the field and live together and are truly best friends. That’s what our program is all about.”

After looking at all of CSU’s tremendous club sports teams, Smith and the team said they are honored that they’re considered the best.

“One thing that’s great about CSU is that we have a strong tradition of club sports, so it means a lot to us because there are a bunch of great teams,” Smith said. “That’s what is so cool about our university.”

Club Sports Reporter Cris Tiller can be reached at sports@collegian.com.


Male athlete of the year: Riley Arp
By Adam Bohlmeyer

Riley Arp may not play in front of thousands of fans, but when he finishes a round of golf, there is certainly something to cheer about.

Arp, a senior and leader of the CSU Rams men’s golf team, is putting together the best season of his college career. The Fort Collins native consistently ruled the golf course this season, posting an average score of 71.77, tied for second lowest in the Mountain West Conference.

Arp said that he’s been pleased with the season he’s had and said he’s gotten a little better every year.

“It’s quite a big improvement for me,” Arp said. “If you check my stats over the last four years, every year has gotten better. It hasn’t changed this year, and it’s even gotten a lot better since last year. That’s what you’re always looking to do by advancing yourself. This year I have been able to do that and it’s been nice.”

Along with improvements in his overall game, Arp said that the biggest changes this season have come in his maturity level and decision-making.

“When you are making stupid decisions all the time, you really aren’t giving yourself a good opportunity to play well,” he said. “When you start making the right decision … it really gives you the opportunity to play your best golf.”

Arp’s hard work has made a visible impact on the CSU team as a whole. The Poudre High School graduate just helped lead the Rams to their second MWC Championships title in the past three years, while shooting an impressive three-round score of 212 (-1), good enough for a fifth place individual finish.

After graduating this spring, Arp said he wants to try and go pro and will attempt to get on a minor golf tour to start.
“I’ve been doing it for so long that I have to go out and give it a try,” he said. “I don’t think that there is any doubt that I will go out and try and make some money doing what I love. That’s playing golf.”

Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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