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Student Athlete of the Week



The Berrien County Student Athlete of the Week program is an over 30-year running, community-wide salute to our outstanding High School athletes. Each week of the school year, the SAW selection committee picks that week’s outstanding High School Student Athlete. Students are nominated by an Athletic official from their respective school.


The program is made possible by generous sponsorship support that allows us to bring you weekly MailMax updates, commercials on your favorite Mid-West Family Broadcasting radio station, and more!

At the end of the school year, a special banquet recognizes each of the weekly award winners. The banquet is attended by athletes, parents, coaches and athletic directors. A male and female Athlete of the Year are chosen from the outstanding weekly student athlete award winners. A Coach of the Year is also selected.


Schools involved in the program include: Benton Harbor, Berrien Springs, Brandywine, Bridgman, Buchanan, Coloma, Countryside Academy (Benton Harbor), Eau Claire, Grace Christian-Watervliet, Lake Michigan Catholic, Lakeshore, Michigan Lutheran, New Buffalo, Niles, River Valley, St. Joseph and Watervliet.



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Week of March 16, 2014: Cortez Moore of Benton Harbor High School Basketball


Cortez Moore of Benton Harbor High School Basketball is Berrien County's Student Athlete of the Week for the week of March 16, 2014. In the Tigers' state semi-final game against Cadillac, Cortez scored 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Then in their state championship match-up with Milan, he finished with 18 points and eight rebounds.

Cortez is a member of the JAG Club and was a second team all-conference member of the Tiger footbal team. In the classroom, he carries a 3.6 grade point average.

Cortez is the son of Evelyn Broyles of Benton Harbor.

Week of March 2, 2014: Jeff Coard of St. Joseph High School Swimming


Jeff Coard of St. Joseph High School Swimming is Berrien County's Student Athlete of the Week for the week of March 2, 2014. At the Division 3 State Championship Meet, Jeff swam the lead leg for the state champion 400 Free Relay team that broke a state record with a time of 3:10.19. He swam the anchor leg for the 11th place 200 Free Relay team that broke a school record with a time of 1:30.01. He also placed 9th in the 50 Freestyle and 100 Freestyle with personal best times in each event.

Jeff works as a lifeguard over the summer. In the classroom, he carries a 3.26 grade point average.

Jeff is the son of Randy and Laura Coard of St. Joseph.

Another finalist for the week was Jade Madison of New Buffalo Basketball.

Week of February 23, 2014: Kalabrya Gondrezick of Benton Harbor Basketball


Kalabrya Gondrezick of Benton Harbor High School Basketball is Berrien County's Student Athlete of the Week for the week of February 23, 2014. In the Tigers' District opening win over Dowagiac, Kalabrya finished with 14 points, five assists, five rebounds, and three steals. She followed that up with 19 points, six assists, seven rebounds, and two steals against Buchanan. She ended the week with 24 points, five assists, seven rebounds, and two steals against Lakeshore.

Kalabrya is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Senate, and Academic Advisory Council. She also serves as a representatibve in the state's Safe and Supportive Schools Program. In the classroom, she carries a 4.6.

Kalabrya is the daughter of Grant and Felicia Gondrezick of Benton Harbor.

Another finalist for the week was Nicole Visin of Lake Michigan Catholic Basketball.

Week of February 16, 2014: Casey Ross of Michigan Lutheran High School Basketbal


Casey Ross of Michigan Lutheran High School Basketball is Berrien County's Student Athlete of the Week for the week of February 16, 2014. In the Titans' win over Howardsville Christian, Casey turned in 31 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists. Then in a win over Countryside Academy, he scored 40 points to go along with 15 rebounds, three steals, three assists, and one blocked shot. He finished the week with 23 points, four rebounds, and two assists in a win over West Michigan Lutheran.

Casey is also a member of the Football and Soccer teams. In the classroom, he carries a 3.4 grade point average.

Casey is the son of Carey and Karon Ross of St. Joseph.

Another finalist for the week Kysre Gondrezick of Benton Harbor Basketball.

Week of February 9, 2014: AJ Gibson of St. Joseph High School Basketball


AJ Gibson of St. Joseph High School Basketball is Berrien County's Student Athlete of the Week for the week of February 9, 2014. AJ led the Bears with 30 points, eight rebounds, and four assists in a win over Benton Harbor. He then scored ten points in a win over Mattawan. He finished the week with 14 points and three assists in a win over Niles.

AJ also volunteers as an official and coach for Biddy Bear basketball. In the classroom, he carries a 3.2 grade point average.

AJ is the son of Aaron and Cassia Gibson of St. Joseph.

Other finalists for the week were Kalabrya Gondrezick of Benton Harbor Basketball, Jade Madison of New Buffalo Basketball, and Tyler White of St. Joseph Basketball.

Week of February 2, 2014: Brock Thumm of Watervliet High School Wrestling


Brock Thumm of Watervliet High School Wrestling is Berrien County's Student Athlete of the Week for the week of February 2, 2014. Brock won his two matches at Team Districts. Later in the week he went on to win the 135 lb. championship at Individual Districts. He earned his 150th career win, improved to 32-0 on the season and 151-9 in his high school career, and won his third District title.

Brock is also a member of the Cross Country and Track teams, National Honor Society, Student Council, Honors Club, and Leadership Council. In the classroom, he carries a 4.0 grade point average.

Brock is the son of Mike and Tonya Thumm of Watervliet.

Other finalists for the week were Brandon Earls of Brandywine Wrestling, Micah McCree-Davis of Berrien Springs Basketball, and Hailey Maas of Michigan Lutheran Basketball.

Week of January 26, 2014: Noah Hanau of Lakeshore High School Wrestling


Noah Hanau of Lakeshore High School Wrestling is Berrien County's Student Athlete of the Week for the week of January 26, 2014. Noah won the 140 lb. title at the Big 16 Championships. He went 3-0 on the day, including a win over the 6th ranked wrestler in Division 1. Earlier in the week, he won his duel match against Lakeview.

Noah also assists with the Lakeshore youth wrestling program. In the classroom, he carries a 3.7 grade point average.

Noah is the son of John Cathy Hanau of St. Joseph.

Other finalists for the week were Noah Hall of Niles Wrestling, Tammy Lee of Brandywine Basketball, and Casey Ross of Michigan Lutheran Basketball.

Week of January 5, 2014: Kysre Gondrezick of Benton Harbor HS Basketball


Kysre Gondrezick of Benton Harbor High School Basketball is Berrien County's Student Athlete of the Week for the week of January 5, 2014. Kysre finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, and three assists in a win over Mattawan. Then in a win over Muskegon Heights, she turned in 40 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and four assists.

Kysre is also a member of the National Honor Society, Student Academic Advisory Council, Conservancy Committee, and Student Council. In the classroom, she carries a 4.5 grade point average.

Kysre is the daughter of Grant and Felicia Gondrezick of Benton Harbor.

Another finalist for the week was Parker Saladin of Buchanan/Bridgman Swimming.

Week of December 28, 2013: Grant Gourlay of Niles High School Bowling


Grant Gourlay of Niles High School Bowling is Berrien County's Student Athlete of the Week for the week of December 28, 2013. In the Viking's win over Allegan, Grant bowled four games, turning in scores of 213, 200, 189, and 268 for a 217 average.

Grant has been a member of the Niles Bowling team for three years. He is also a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club, and Soccer team. In the classroom, he carries a 3.5 grade point average.

Grant is the son of Darrin and Amy Gourlay of Niles.

Week of December 8, 2013: Mitchell Davis of St. Joseph High School Swimming


Mitchell Davis of St. Joseph High School Swimming is Berrien County's Student Athlete of the Week for the week of December 8, 2013. In the Bears' dual meet against South Bend Clay, Mitchell swam a leg for three winning relay teams, including the 200 Free Relay team that broke a pool record. Then at the East Grand Rapids Quad, he won the 200 IM and 100 Breaststroke and wam a leg for two winning relays.

Mitchell is a member of the National Honor Society and is an Eagle Scout. In the classroom, he carries a 3.85 grade point average.

Mitchell is the son of Matt and Cathy Davis of St. Joseph.

Another finalist for the week was Sarah Eggebrecht of Grace Christian Basketball.

Week of December 1, 2013: Lauren Clem of Lakeshore High School Basketball


Lauren Clem of Lakeshore High School Basketball is Berrien County's Student Athlete of the Week for the week of December 1, 2013. In the Lancers' win over Lakeview, Lauren pulled down 16 rebounds and scored seven points. Then in a win over Portage Northern, she grabbed 16 more rebounds and scored a career high of 19 points.

Lauren is also a member of the Soccer and Volleyball teams, Key Club and National Honor Society. In the classroom, she carries a 4.12 grade point average.

Lauren is the daughter of Doug and Sherry Clem of Stevensville.

Another finalist for the week was Connor Myers of St. Joseph Wrestling.

Week of November 17, 2013: Jake Achterberg of Lakeshore High School Football


Jake Achterberg of Lakeshore High School Football is Berrien County's Student Athlete of the Week for the week of November 17, 2013. In the Lancers' State Semi-final game against Zeeland West, Jake rushed for 114 yards on just eight carries. On defense, he led the team with 13 tackles.

Jake is also a member of the Lakeshore Track team and his church youth group. In the classroom, he carries a 3.53 grade point average.

Jake is the son of Matt and Laurie Achterberg of Stevensville.

Another finalist for the week was Jessica Foster of St. Joseph Swimming.

Week of November 3, 2013: Elise Rosenbaum of Michigan Lutheran HS Volleyball


Elise Rosenbaum of Michigan Lutheran High School Volleyball is Berrien County's Student Athlete of the Week for the week of November 3, 2013. Elise helped lead the Titans to the District Championship. In their District opener against Lake Michigan Catholic, she collected seven kills, one block and 24 digs. In the semi-final win over Grace Christian, she turned in 11 kills, 46 digs, and three aces. Then in the championship win over Eau Claire, she finished with two aces, eight kills, and eight digs. In all three matches, she had a 100% serving percentage.

Elise is also a member of the Soccer team, National Honor Society, Chorus, Festival Singers, and Band. In the classroom, she carries a 4.0 grade point average.

Elise is the daughter of Glen and Mary Rosenbaum of St. Joseph.

Week of October 27, 2013: Jack Turak of St. Joseph High School Football


Jack Turak of St. Joseph High School Football is Berrien County’s Student Athlete of the Week for the week of October 27, 2013.  In the Bears’ Pre-District win over Sturgis, Jack rushed for a school record 391 yards on 43 carries.  His 43 carries also breaks a school record.  On defense, he recorded eight tackles and an interception.

Jack serves as a senior mentor and is also a member of the Baseball team, Robotics team, Key Club, and National Honor Society.  In the classroom, he carries a 3.82 grade point average.

Jack is the son of Teri Sue and Sean Winters.

Another finalist for the week was Erik Edwards of St. Joseph Cross Country.

Week of October 20, 2013: Patrick Cecil of LMC HS Cross Country


Patrick Cecil of Lake Michigan Catholic High School Cross Country is Berrien County’s Student Athlete of the Week for the week of October 20, 2013.  At the Division 4 Regional Meet, Patrick finished 6th overall with a time of 17:41.2.  With his performance, he qualified for the Division 4 State Meet.

Patrick is also a member of the Track team, Key Club, and Interact Club.  In the classroom, he carries a 4.0 grade point average.

Patrick is the son of Theresa Cecil of St. Joseph.

Another finalist for the week was Jessica Foster of St. Joseph Swimming.

Week of October 13, 2013: Danny McEachen of Lake Michigan Catholic HS Soccer


Danny McEachen of Lake Michigan Catholic High School Soccer is Berrien County’s Student Athlete of the Week for the week of October 13, 2013.  In the Lakers’ 6-1 District opening win over Bangor, Danny scored three goals to go along with an assist.  In their 2-0 semi-final win over New Buffalo, he scored both goals.  Then in the Lakers’ 3-0 District Championship win over Bridgman, he turned in two goals and an assist.

Danny is also a member of the Basketball team, Key Club, Environmental Club, and SADD.  In the classroom, he carries a 3.25 grade point average.

Danny is the son of James and Paula McEachen of St. Joseph.

Other finalists for the week were Thomas Bellio of St. Joseph Tennis, Casey Ross of Michigan Lutheran Football, and Charlie Felton of St. Joseph Cross Country.

Week of October 6, 2013: Jade Madison of New Buffalo HS Volleyball


Jade Madison of New Buffalo High School Volleyball is Berrien County’s Student Athlete of the Week for the week of October 6, 2013.  At the River Valley Tournament, Jade helped lead the Bison to the championship with 32 service points, seven aces, 20 assists, 62 kills, and 77 digs on the day.  Then in a win over Michigan Lutheran, she recorded two service points, seven assists, 11 kills, and eight digs.

Jade is also a member of the Basketball and Track teams and the New Buffalo Missions team.  In the classroom, she carries a 3.43 grade point average.

Jade is the daughter of Paul and Karla Madison of New Buffalo.

Other finalists for the week were Zach Lear of St. Joseph Football and Elise Rosenbaum of Michigan Lutheran Volleyball.

Week of September 29, 2013: Luke Traver of Watervliet HS Football


Luke Traver of Watervliet High School Football is Berrien County’s Student Athlete of the Week for the week of Sept. 29, 2013.  In the Panthers’ win over Marcellus, Luke completed eight of 16 passes for 294 yards and five touchdowns.  He also connected on all seven of his extra point tries.  On defense, he recorded four tackles.

Luke is also a member of the Basketball and Baseball teams and the School Leadership Council.  In the classroom, he carries a 3.7 grade point average.

Luke is the son of Jeffery Traver and Magdalen Dygert.

Other finalists for the week were Darek Bullock-Mills of Niles Football, Charlie Felton of St. Joseph Cross Country, and Elise Rosenbaum of Michigan Lutheran Volleyball.

Week of September 22, 2013: Matt Van Winkle/Ed Nieh of St. Joseph HS Tennis


Matt Van Winkle and Ed Nieh of St. Joseph High School Tennis are Berrien County’s Student Athletes of the Week for the week of Sept. 22, 2013.  The Bears’ doubles team went 6-0 on the week, recording straight set wins over Kalamazoo Central, Sturgis, Allegan, Grandville, Forest Hills Eastern, and Holt.  They remain unbeaten in Division 3 play this season.  In the match against Holt, Matt recorded his 100th career win.

Ed is also involved with Key Club, Robotics, Orchestra, and National Honor Society while carrying a 3.97 grade point average.  Matt is also involved with Key Club, Robotics, Young Life, Science Olympiad, and National Honor Society while carrying a 3.87 grade point average.

Matt is the son of Joel and Bea Van Winkle.  Ed is the son of Jerry and Lillian Nieh.

Other finalists for the week were Luke Traver of Watervliet Football and Danny McEachen of Lake Michigan Catholic Soccer.

Week of September 15, 2013: Allie Matti of Lakeshore HS / Bridgman Swimming


Allie Matti of Lakeshore High School and a member of Bridgman High School Swimming is Berrien County’s Student Athlete of the Week for the week of Sept. 15, 2013.  At the Bridgman Invitational, Allie won all four events she swam.  She won the 200 IM in a new school record time of 2:18.52.  She also won the 100 Fly and was a member of the winning 200 Medley and 400 Free Relay teams that have also broken school records.  Against Allegan, she won the 500 Free and swam on two winning relay teams.

Allie is also a member of the Irish Aquatics team and Lakeshore Asset Advisory Council.  In the classroom, she carries a 3.89 grade point average.

Allie is the daughter of Mike and Kelly Matti of Berrien Springs.

Other finalists for the week were Casey Ross of Michigan Lutheran Football, Joe Avance of Niles Football, and Dashawn Perry of Benton Harbor Football.

Week of September 8, 2013: Jack Turak of St. Joseph HS Football


Jack Turak of St. Joseph High School Football is Berrien County’s Student Athlete of the Week for the week of Sept. 8, 2013.  In the Bears’ win over Lakeshore, Jack rushed for 142 yards on 30 carries.  He also had one pass reception for 31 yards.  On defense, he recorded eight tackles, including a sack and two tackles for a loss.

Jack is also a member of the St. Joe Baseball team, National Honor Society, and Key Club.  In the classroom, he carries a 3.82 grade point average.

Jack is the son of Teri Sue and Sean Winters of St. Joseph.

Another finalist for the week was Erik Edwards of St. Joseph Cross Country.

Week of September 1, 2013: Cameron Bredice of Bridgman HS Cross Country


Cameron Bredice of Bridgman High School Cross Country is Berrien County’s Student Athlete of the Week for the week of Sept. 1, 2013.  Cameron won the eight team New Buffalo Invitational with a time of 17:10.4.  He then placed second out of 176 runners at the 19 team Centerville Invitational with a time of 16:52.7.
 
Cameron is also a member of the Track team and DECA.  He also volunteers with the Booster Club and Post Prom event.  In the classroom, he carries a 3.52 grade point average.
 
Cameron is the son of Mike and Sheri Bredice of Bridgman.
 
Other finalists for the week were Deven Schultz of Watervliet Football, Julian Paulson of St. Joe Football, Jonah Kubath of Michigan Lutheran Soccer, and Alex Miller of Lakeshore Volleyball.

Week of August 25, 2013: Hannah Grall of St. Joseph HS Golf


Hannah Grall of St. Joseph High School Golf is Berrien County’s Student Athlete of the Week for the week of August 25, 2013.  At the West Ottawa Invitational, Hannah finished second out of 45 golfers, shooting an 86.  Then at the SMAC Tournament, she shot an 83, placing third out of 80 golfers.  She capped the week by shooting a 79, finishing second out of 73 golfers at the Hamilton Invitational.
 
Hannah is also a member of the Tennis team and Orchestra.  In the classroom, she carries a 3.67 grade point average.
 
Hannah is the daughter of David Grall and Anne Gain of St. Joseph.
 
Other finalists for the week were Justin Salvano of Lake Michigan Catholic Football, Jesper Ke of St. Joseph Tennis, and Jade Madison of New Buffalo Volleyball.

Athlete and Coach of the Year 2013 Award Winners


Jack Hardman of Lake Michigan Catholic High School is Berrien County’s Male Student Athlete of the Year.  Jack led the Laker Football team with 1322 yards rushing, averaging 7.3 yards per carry.  He scored 20 touchdowns and collected 1760 all-purpose yards.  On defense, he recorded 57 tackles.  He received First Team All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-State honors, and Conference Offensive Player MVP.  In Basketball, he averaged 8.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, earning Second Team All-Conference honors.  In Track, Jack earned All-Conference honors in the 200 Meter and 400 Meter Dash and Honorable Mention All-Conference in the 800 Meter and 1600 Meter Relay.  He was Regional Champion in the 400 Meter Dash.  At the State Finals, he placed fifth in the 400 Meter Dash and 1600 Meter Relay, earning All-State honors.

Jack graduated as Co-Valedictorian of his class with a 4.0 grade point average.  He was also a member of the National Honor Society, Senior Class Council, and Key Club.

Jack is the son of Jay and Renee Hardman of St. Joseph.

Other finalists were Chanc Ravish and Evan Hartman from Brandywine, David Berry and Kenny Garstecki from St. Joseph, and Jake Cowsert from Watervliet.

MacKenzie Shelton of Brandywine High School is Berrien County’s Female Student Athlete of the Year.  In Basketball, MacKenzie earned First Team All-Conference, First Team BCAM All-State, Second Team Detroit Free Press All-State, and First Team Academic All-State honors.  She led the Bobcats to four straight Conference, District, and Regional championships.  In Volleyball, she earned First Team All-Conference honors.  In four years, she helped lead the team to two Conference titles, two District titles, and one Regional title.  In Tennis, she and her doubles partner Ashley DeJonge went 24-1, falling in the second round of the State Finals.  She earned All-Conference honors along with Conference and Regional titles.

MacKenzie graduated as Co-Valedictorian of her class with a 4.0 grade point average.  She was also a member of the National Honor Society, SW Michigan Youth Advisory Council, and Student Senate.

Other finalists were Kalabrya and Kysre Gondrezick from Benton Harbor, Paige Anderson from Berrien Springs, Jade Madison from New Buffalo, Rachel Bendewald from St. Joseph, and Nicole Winter from Watervliet.

Niles Wrestling Coach Todd Hesson is Berrien County’s Coach of the Year.  Coach Hesson was named Division Two Coach of the Year by the Wrestling Coaches Association.  The Vikings went 34-2 on the season, winning the Greater Berrien County Invitational, Penn Super Dual, Milford Yeti Challenge, and Orchard View Invitational.  They went on to win the District and Regional Championships and made it to the State Semifinals.  Coach Hesson’s team also won Academic All-State honors.