A pair of Ferris State University student-athletes, Chelsea Morris (Jenison) of softball and Kyle Wittenbach (Lowell) of men's golf, have been selected as 2011 spring season recipients of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) Meijer Commissioner's Award.
The awards, sponsored by Meijer, Inc., are presented after the fall, winter and spring athletic seasons to six male and six female student-athletes that excel both in the classroom and on the fields of play.
Morris was among six female student-athletes to earn Spring 2011 Meijer Commissioner's Awards, joining Findlay's Calli Coppus, Megan Eddy of Northwood, Jade Fulton of Saginaw Valley State, and Alison Allen of Wayne State.
The six male student-athletes to receive Spring 2011 Meijer Commissioner's Awards besides Wittenbach were Philipp Claus and Cody Grice of Grand Valley State, Saginaw Valley State's Nate Kelly, Jeremy Lee of Tiffin, and Michael Wiseman of Wayne State.
"We are truly proud of the 12 student-athletes representing the conference for the Commissioner's Award," stated GLIAC Commissioner Dell Robinson. "They are a fine example of excellence in the classroom and on the field. The GLIAC greatly appreciates the support of Meijer for their sponsorship of the 2010-11 Commissioner's Award. The award and continued support by Meijer is evidence of our pursuit of academic excellence."
Morris, the GLIAC Softball Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference pick in 2011, batted a career single-season best .331 average while registering a squad-high tying 51 base hits. The junior first baseman led the Bulldogs this spring in RBIs (46) and doubles (13) while her nine home runs tied for top team honors. A 2011 Daktronics All-Midwest Region First-Team selection, Morris accumulated 17 multiple-hit games and turned in 12 multi-RBI outings for the 2011 campaign as each marked both career and season highs. The two-time (2009-10 and 2010-11) FSU's President's Academic Award honoree presently ranks tied for 10th among the program's career leaders in home runs (nine), 18th in batting average (.297), 25th in RBIs (62), and tied for 27th in doubles (18).
Wittenbach achieved All-GLIAC First-Team laurels as a result of claiming medalist honors at the 2010 GLIAC Men's Golf Championships with a first-place 215 three-round stroke score as the Bulldogs won the conference tournament. A 2010-11 team co-Most Valuable Player Award recipient, Wittenbach averaged a team second-best 76.00 stroke average (1,976 total strokes) in 26 rounds this campaign. He amassed five top-20 place performances, which included finishing among the top five individuals on two occasions. The GLIAC Men's Golf "Athlete of the Week" (Oct. 5) concluded his two-year Ferris State career with a 75.84 strokes average in 31 rounds of competition. Wittenbach was a member of the 2010-11 Capital One Academic All-District IV College Division Men's At-Large Team and a 2009-10 D2 Athletics Directors Association Achievement Award recipient. His play this season not only lead Ferris State to a conference championship for the 19th time in the school's history but also to its ninth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
With the selections of Morris and Wittenbach, Ferris State featured four GLIAC Commissioner's Award recipients for the 2010-11 athletics season as women's cross country senior Tina Muir (St. Albans, United Kingdom) and junior Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison) of football were recognized following the 2010 fall season.