NWC Athletics Announces Annual Athletic Award Winners

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The Northwestern College athletic department has announced the winners of the four annual Red Raider athletic awards for the 2022-23 academic year, including the inaugural Dr. Noordewier Academic Achievement Award. The awards were voted on by the NWC coaching staff, athletic department staff, and the Raider Athletics Advancement Board (RAAB).

VANDER STOEP AWARD – FEMALE

Bekah Horstman, Volleyball

Being the fourth-straight Northwestern volleyball player to be voted the female Vander Stoep reward recipient, Bekah Horstman (Sr., Pella, Iowa) is the 2023 winner. Horstman was a five-year starter and was a two-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American, being a First Team All-American this past season.

In her five seasons in a Northwestern uniform, she garnered three First Team All-Conference honors (2020-22) and two Second Team accolades (2018-19). She leaves the program sitting third in total blocks (580) and eighth in solo blocks (106). Additionally, she’s just one of two Red Raiders to have 1,000 kills and 500 blocks in their Northwestern career. After her freshman season in 2018, Horstman was named the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Freshman of the Year.

VANDER STOEP AWARD – MALE

Noah Van’t Hof, Football

Returning for his fifth-year of football, the 2023 male recipient of the Vander Stoep award, Noah Van’t Hof (Sr., Lester, Iowa) helped guide the Northwestern football team to their first NAIA national title since 1983 as a safety and a captain of the Red Raider defense. He is also one of the few five-year starters in school history.

In his Red Raider career, he was a two-time NAIA All-American performer and a three-time First Team All-Conference selection. According to head coach Matt McCarty, he played a huge part in the team’s national championship run and was named the Defensive Most Outstanding Player in the title game.

In the classroom, Van’t Hof studies finance and was awarded the prestigious honor as a College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-America selection twice while at Northwestern (2020, 2022). Additionally, Van’t Hof was a multi-year captain for the Red Raiders and was a leader on NWC’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).

ABOUT VANDER STOEP AWARD

The oldest of all the athletic awards presented at Northwestern College, the Vander Stoep Award began in 1946 by Arie Vander Stoep, a former business manager at the college. In 1978 Don Vander Stoep joined Arie in sponsoring the award. One award was presented annually to a male athlete until 1978-79 when a second award was added for women.

The award, which can be won by juniors and seniors, takes into consideration attitude and sportsmanship on and off the playing field and comparative contribution made to the success of the team.

To be eligible, the athletes must have attended Northwestern College for four consecutive semesters. He or she must also have participated in one or two major sports for at least two years, while earning a minimum of two varsity letters in one or more sports.

DR. NOORDEWIER ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Female – Jen Boeve, Softball

The inaugural Dr. Noordewier Academic Achievement Award female recipient is awarded to Northwestern softball student-athlete Jennifer Boeve (Sr., Hastings, Neb.) for her work in the classroom and on the softball diamond. Boeve is a mathematics and secondary education double major, with a minor in statistics, at Northwestern and holds a perfect 4.00 GPA in the classroom. She will be graduating Summa cum laude and was named the Outstanding Graduating Senior from the Math and Physics Department.

On the diamond, she serves as a team captain for the softball team and has been a three-time GPAC All-Conference performer, including her first-career First Team All-Conference nod last season (2022). She holds the record in season and career doubles, and currently sits top-5 in career hits, RBI, walks, putouts, and batting average as a Red Raider.

Male – Kip Cullinan, Baseball

On the male side, the inaugural recipient goes to Northwestern baseball student-athlete Kip Cullinan (Sr., Urbandale, Iowa). At Northwestern, Cullinan is a Biology Health Professions major and carries a 3.99 GPA. After graduation, he plans to attend medical school and currently sits 15th on the wait list to the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa.

Kip has been on of the most productive offensive players in the GPAC during his time in a Red Raider uniform. He has hit over .300 in each season at Northwestern, holding a career batting average of .353.

Despite missing roughly 25 games due to Covid-19 and another 20 last season due to injury, as of March 24th, Kip sits No. 10 in Northwestern program history in home runs (21). Furthermore, he sits in the top-25 in career RBI and doubles. The Urbandale, Iowa native has been a two-time Honorable Mention All-Conference performer and a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete, with more honors expected after the 2023 season.

ABOUT THE DR. NOORDEWIER ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Dr. Noordewier taught in Northwestern’s biology department for 34 years and is one of the reasons Northwestern College is known for its strong science programs. Dr. Noordewier has served as Northwestern’s Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) for 30 years and as the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Eligibility Chair for 15 years. He has also served numerous long-standing appointments at the NAIA level. In 2013 he received the NAIA’s Wally Schwarz Faculty Athletics Representative of the Year Award, and in 2015 he received Northwestern’s Faculty Inspirational Service Award. Dr. Noordewier is known for academic excellence and rigor, attention to details, and a desire to serve students.

GEORGE DUNLOP AWARD

Jakob Francksen-Small, Wrestling

Jakob Francksen-Small (Merrill, Iowa) becomes the third-straight Raider wrestler to receive the George Dunlop Award. He has been a two-year team captain who has made an impression on the wrestling team, the Northwestern campus, the GPAC, and the NAIA.

Francksen-Small was selected by the conference to represent the GPAC on the NAIA’s Association of Student-Athletes (ASA), and was a voice on the committee that sponsored the recently passed “Institutional Day Off” policy at the 2023 NAIA National Convention. Additionally, He was voted by his team to be Northwestern Wrestling’s Champion of Character.

On campus, the Merrill, Iowa native is involved on campus as an Ambassador for the admissions office and as a tutor in the PLC. He is a regular attendee and frequent leader at the Wrestling team’s bible study on Monday nights, as he is intentional about his faith and leading his team throughout the year.

In competition he continued to excel on the mat as he earned his second-career All-Conference honor at 174 pounds. He would go on to represent Raider wrestling at the NAIA National Championships in Wichita, Kan. and placed at the GPAC Championships for the third-straight season.

ABOUT THE DUNLOP AWARD

The George Dunlop Sportsmanship Award was originated in 1968 by Mike Eischeid in memory of his late grandfather. Eischeid was a punter in the Super Bowl for both the Oakland Raiders and the Minnesota Vikings. The award is given to the man who best typifies what sportsmanship meant to George Dunlop, a former resident of Orange City. The recipient does not have to be a senior but preference is given to seniors.

The winner of the award must be an active participant – in some capacity – in athletics at Northwestern. Athletic ability is not the determining factor. To win, one must represent the finest in character and sportsmanship, not only on the athletic field, but off the field, in classroom activities and his everyday life and relationship with others. He must do his best at all times, regardless of the job or position he is asked to hold or play. He must be known as one who never quits, working always for the good of his team and his school. His character and sportsmanship must be an inspiration to those around him, doing what is right in the sight of God and man.

ALTENA CHRISTIAN WOMEN’S AWARD

Jadeyn Schutt, Volleyball

Volleyball student-athlete Jadeyn Schutt (Sr., Orange City, Iowa) has been voted the Altena Christian Women’s Award winner for the second-straight year, becoming the third Red Raider female to earn the honor in back-to-back years, joining Robin Pals (1990-91) and Kassidy De Jong (2018-19).

Schutt is a true servant of the Lord. She is constantly found involved in different projects and events that help others. Schutt has taken multiple trips to Haiti on mission work, and has organized fundraisers to support United Christians International to send money for food relief. She has also spent time visiting people in prison to share the gospel and participated in packaging food on campus.

ABOUT THE ALTENA CHRISTIAN WOMEN’S AWARD

The Carl Ver Steeg family, whose daughter is Mary Ver Steeg, established the Christian Women’s Award in 1982. Mary was instrumental in the development of varsity women’s sports programs at Northwestern College. She coached women’s basketball for six years and volleyball for four years. In 2006, the name of the award was changed to the Heidi (Jeltema) Altena Christian Woman Athlete Award in memory of Heidi, who demonstrated a sincere Christian faith and servant heart as well as being an outstanding athlete.

The winner of this award must demonstrate a lifestyle and conduct that reflects her faith and commitment to Jesus Christ while participating in athletics. She must also demonstrate qualities of leadership on and off the court or field.

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