Awards to remember: Newcomers, best moment, humanitarians all get chances in spotlight at Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University freshman Lauren Van Remortel sets the volleyball during an exhibition match against Glen Oaks at Vandament Arena in Marquette on Aug. 21. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

MARQUETTE — Five more awards are mentioned in today’s installment of the 2019-20 Wildcat Awards at Northern Michigan University.

These are awards chosen by NMU Athletics and released through NMU Sports Information. Information on these and all the awards are also available through social media and at the official NMU athletics website, www.nmuwildcats.com.

There will be two more parts to this story with the next part later this week. They will include the Best Play of the Year, Breakthrough Athlete of the Year, Team of the Year, Athletes of the Year and Gildo Canale Outstanding Seniors Award.

Today’s awards, with details coming from NMU, include the Newcomers of the Year, Best Moment of the Year, Scholar Athletes of the Year, Lindsay Griffith and Todd “Stix” Honch Fan of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year.


Northern Michigan University's Lauren Van Remortel signals a strategy for an upcoming play in the fourth set of a GLIAC volleyball match against Saginaw Valley State on Sept. 28 at Vandament Arena in Marquette. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Newcomers of the Year

Not too surprisingly, a pair of freshman have been named the Newcomers of the Year — volleyball player Lauren Van Remortel of Carmel, Indiana, as female recipient and swimmer Roberto Camera of Rozzano, Italy, as the male winner.

As the team’s primary setter, Van Remortel led the volleyball Wildcats with 1,085 assists, which was 85 percent of the team total.

Playing in all 29 matches and in 110 of 113 sets this season, she also tied for third at NMU with 19 service aces and was fourth in digs with 215 while also making 40 blocks and 76 kills.

In the GLIAC tournament quarterfinal on Nov. 20, she made 60 assists in No. 6 seed Northern’s five-set upset at No. 3 Ashland, Ohio.

Northern Michigan University's Ryan Glover competes during the men's one-meter diving competition against Wisconsin-Green Bay on Jan. 12, 2019, at NMU's PEIF pool. (Photo courtesy of Shannon Stieg)

Camera highlighted his season by winning the 100-yard breaststroke in 54.64 seconds at the GLIAC Championships on Feb. 21 at Saginaw Valley State.

He also qualified in the 50 freestyle and 100 and 200 breast for the NCAA Division II Championships that ended during the third day of the five-day event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He did earn Honorary All-American honors as part of the NMU men’s 200 free relay and 400 medley relay.


Best Moment of the Year

Northern Michigan University's Jamie Kimble competes during the women's three-meter diving competition against Wisconsin-Green Bay on Jan. 12, 2019, at NMU's PEIF pool. (Photo courtesy of Shannon Stieg)

Again in the pool, quite literally, the winning team at the GLIAC Swimming and Diving Championships traditionally takes a plunge and the Wildcat women did just that after winning the title on Feb. 22 at SVSU.


Scholar Athletes of the Year

Although numerous NMU athletes have earned recognition academically in their conferences, two seniors stood out enough to earn Scholar Athlete of the Year — Eric Suess of Ludwigsburg, Germany, from the men’s soccer team and Jamie Kimble of Prior Lake, Minnesota, on the women’s swimming and diving team.


Northern Michigan University diver Jamie Kimble competes in the three-meter competition on Jan. 13, 2018, against Wisconsin-Green Bay at NMU's PEIF pool. (Shannon Stieg photo)

Lindsay Griffith & Todd “Stix” Honch Fan of the Year

As well known as she is, her dyed-green hair probably still precedes Kathy Andel at every NMU athletic event as the green-and-gold teams’ top fan this year.

She was cited for always having a positive attitude, being supportive of each student-athlete no matter the result and having a winning smile around campus.


Humanitarian of the Year

Northern Michigan University's Eric Suess moves the ball upfield in the first half of a GLIAC men's soccer game played against Purdue Northwest at the NMU Soccer Field on Sept. 20. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

While in high school, men’s sophomore diver Ryan Glover of Marquette was a winner as a senior at the U.P. Swimming and Diving Finals that helped earn him All-U.P. recognition.

But he has done as much away from the pool while at NMU that earned him this year’s Humanitarian of the Year award with his multiple contributions in the community.

They include helping to run Kids for Change, an afterschool program at Cherry Creek Elementary School that works with UPAWS — the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter — and local nursing homes.

He also volunteers at the local homeless shelter, Room at the Inn, covering overnight shifts when it can be hard to find help, and over the summer, brought his talents to Big Bay to help at the Bay Cliff Health Camp as a swim instructor.

When notified of this honor, Glover was hesitant to accept.

“I don’t really think I need an award at all,” he said. “The way I look at it, all the hours I’ve logged volunteering have been paid for by the Marquette community that has given me every opportunity I need to succeed.

“I’ve also been very proud of the work our community does to those who need help, and I’m just glad to give back however I am able to.”

Swimming and diving coach Heidi Voigt is also laudatory of Glover and his philanthropy on a Twitter video message at the NMU athletics website.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

Kathy Andel of Marquette and her grandson, Karsten, age 4, were two of the spectators watching NMU students break a Guinness World Records mark for most participants in a freeze tag game. The Andels made signs in honor of Al Roker's visit to NMU. (Journal file photo by Renee Prusi)

Roberto Camera


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)