Dordt & Northwestern Student-Athletes Nominated for National Awards

August 11, 2021 1:16pm

Dordt Northwestern

Several Dordt and Northwestern student athletes are being considered for national honors after the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) announced its 2021 nominees for the top honors in the NAIA, including the A.O. Duer Award, the Emil S. Liston Award, Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award and the NAIA Coach of Character Award.

The female nominee for the A.O. Duer Award is Mika Kooistra, a member of the Dordt Track and Field Team. She is a five-time NAIA All-American and 11-time All-GPAC Performer for the Defenders. The award is named in honor of the NAIA's former executive secretary who served the association for 26 years. It has been annually presented since 1967 to a male and female student-athlete completing their junior season in any sport who has excelled in scholarship, character, and citizenship. Kooistra, from Emo, Ontario, Canada, is majoring in Biology/Environmental Science with a 3.92 GPA.

Northwestern women's basketball player Devyn Kemble is the GPAC female nominee for the NAIA Emil S. Liston Award named in honor of the NAIA's first executive secretary and the prime mover behind the NAIA Men's Basketball National Tournament. Hailing from Panora, Iowa, Kemble holds a GPA of 4.0 while majoring in Nursing at Northwestern. The award has been presented annually since 1950 to one junior men's and one junior women's basketball student-athlete who has shown high athletic and scholastic achievement. Kemble averaged 9.7 points per game and nailed 66 three pointers last season.

Prinsburg, Minnesota, native Matthew Van Eps of Dordt is the GPAC nominee for the Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award. This award is presented annually to an NAIA Student-Athlete who embodies the NAIA Champions of Character initiative and the five core values of respect, integrity, responsibility, servant leadership, and sportsmanship. Van Eps graduated last May with an Electrical Engineering Major and a 3.75 GPA. He was an 11-time NAIA All-American and won five NAIA National Championships in his time as a runner for the Defender Track & Field program. He was also a 22-time All-GPAC performer.

The national winners will be announced during the 2021 NAIA Awards Day on September 15.