Kyle Bonis & Anna Rudd Chosen As Ferris State's 2012-13 Dean Davenport "Bulldog of the Year" Award Winners

Kyle Bonis & Anna Rudd Chosen As Ferris State's 2012-13 Dean Davenport "Bulldog of the Year" Award Winners

CBS 9&10 News Feature

Big Rapids, Mich. - By a nearly unanimous margin, a pair of talented Ferris State University student-athletes have earned the prestigious distinction as recipients of the Dean Davenport "Bulldog of the Year" Award for the 2012-13 athletics campaign.

This year's award winners include senior captain Kyle Bonis (Lindsay, Ontario) of the Bulldog men's ice hockey program along with national champion runner Anna Rudd (Leslie), a junior in the FSU women's track and field/cross country program.  They were selected in voting conducted by the Bulldog head coaches and selected FSU Athletics Department staff members.

Both individuals were recognized as the school's top male and female student-athletes, respectively, for the first time in their collegiate careers. 

"Kyle and Anna clearly stood out among our many talented student-athletes as this year's recipients of the Dean Davenport Bulldog of the Year Award," said FSU Atheltics Director Perk Weisenburger.  "Kyle followed in the footsteps of some tremendous individuals before him in serving as team captain while being an oustanding leader both on the ice and in the classroom.  

"In Anna's case, being a national champion is very unique and a special honor, which continues a long standing tradition of outstanding middle and distance runners at Ferris State in additon to being a first-team academic all-american," he added. "We congratulate both of them on their tremendous accomplishments as true student-athletes." 

The Dean Davenport "Bulldog of the Year" Award, which was reinstated in the 2002-03 season following a seven-year absence, is presented annually to the most outstanding Ferris State male and female student-athlete.  Award criteria consists of strong athletic achievements (must be a letterwinner and achieve outstanding athletic accomplishment), strong individual character and academic achievement.

The award was renamed in honor of former Ferris State Athletics Director Dean Davenport, who served in the position from 1979-93. During his tenure at Ferris, Davenport was instrumental in the planning of the FSU Sports Complex, the growth of women's intercollegiate athletics, the emergence of Ferris' NCAA Division I men's ice hockey program and the development of the athletics scholarship program. He also led the athletics department to 14 consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) President's Cup Championships.  Davenport also played a key role in helping found many of the department's key major annual awards.

The 5-11 Bonis concluded his senior season at Ferris State this past year where he led the Bulldogs with 19 goals and 27 points in 37 games while serving as team captain. The 24-year-old native of Lindsay, Ontario, also led the team in multi-point games (8), multi-goal games (4), and game-winning goals (3). 

Bonis played in 136 collegiate games with the Bulldogs, recording 47 goals and 77 points. He was a key member of the 2011-12 FSU team that advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four and the national championship game.  Bonis claimed Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Honorable Mention laurels this season and was an NCAA Frozen Four All-Tournament Team selection last year.

The Bulldog winger was nominated this season for both the prestigious Hobey Baker Award and was a national finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, which honors NCAA men's ice hockey student-athletes who excel both on and off the ice. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.

Following his senior campaign, Bonis inked his first professional contract and joined the defending American Hockey League (AHL) Calder Cup Champions in the Norfolk Admirals.

"Kyle is very deserving of this prestigious award and was a great leader for our team this past year both on and off the ice as well as in the classroom," said FSU Hockey head coach Bob Daniels.  "There have been many outstanding student-athletes who've achieved this honor in the past and he ranks right up there with the best of them.  We're excited he's been recognized as one of this year's recipients and it truly is well-deserved."

Meanwhile, Rudd etched her name in the record books this season as she claimed the NCAA Division II Championship in the women's 5,000 meters during the national indoor meet held at the Birmingham (Ala.) CrossPlex March 7-9. She became only the second-ever women's track and field individual national champion in school history by winning the indoor 5,000 at the national meet.

In addition to winning the 5,000 meters at the indoor championships, she also finished as the runner-up in the 3,000 meters while claiming United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II All-America honors in both events. For her efforts, Rudd was named to the USTFCCCA All-Midwest Region Team in three events (mile, 3,000 and 5,000) and also honored as this year's recipient of the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Women's Track Athlete of the Year honor for her accomplishments during the indoor campaign.

By virtue of her national title effort, Rudd joined former FSU long jumper Amy Woodman as the only women's NCAA national track and field champions in school history.  Her personal-best winning time of 16:28.18 narrowly eclipsed the previous school record held by 11-time All-American Tina Muir. Her 18 total points from the two events in the meet also enabled the Bulldogs to place 14th overall nationally in the team race at indoor nationals.

This indoor season, she led the Bulldogs as she claimed two individual event titles at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Indoor Championships held in Allendale (Feb. 23-24) en route to being tabbed as both the Women's Track Athlete of the Meet along with being voted as the league's nominee for the regional track athlete of the year honor.  Rudd ran a meet-record 16:42.95 over 5000 meters at the league indoor meet and also won a title at 3000 (9:37.06) meters before redshirting during the outdoor season.

"Anna had a tremendous indoor track season along with being successful in the classroom," said head coach Steve Picucci of the Ferris State track and field/cross country program.  "The years of hard work and dedication paid off as she was able to make the most of her opportunities at both the GLIAC and NCAA Championships. Her performance at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships will go down in history as one the the best athletic performances in school history."

Bonis' selection marks the fourth time a Bulldog men's ice hockey player has been honored as a winner of the Dean Davenport "Bulldog of the Year" Award and the second in a row following in the footsteps of All-America goaltender Taylor Nelson a year ago. Meanwhile, Rudd is now among eight women's track and field/cross country participants to claim the honor and it marks the fifth year in a row in which a member of the program has earned the distinction on the heels of three-time winner Tina Muir (2009-12) and former runner Mikinzie Stuart in 2008-09.

The other student-athlete nominees for the 2012-13 Dean Davenport Bulldog of the Year Award were Laurent Galarneau (men's tennis), Drew Lehman (men's basketball) and Anne Sutton (volleyball).

Bulldog of the Year Recipients:
2012-13 – Kyle Bonis (Men's Ice Hockey) and Anna Rudd (Women's Track & Field/CC)
 – Taylor Nelson (Men's Ice Hockey) and Tina Muir (Women's Track & Field/CC)
2010-11 – Justin Keenan (Men's Basketball) and Tina Muir (Women's Track & Field/CC)
2009-10 – Justin Keenan (Men's Basketball), Eric Lilleboe (Men's Golf), and Tina Muir (Women's Track & Field/CC)
2008-09 – Jake Visser (Football), Mikinzie Stuart (Women's Track & Field/Cross Country)
2007-08 – Jake Visser (Football), Rachel Folcik (Women's Basketball), and Becky Hoffman (Women's Golf)
2006-07 – Mike Klobucher (Football), Rachel Folcik (Women's Basketball), and Kristie Smilanich (Women's Soccer)
2005-06 – Dennis Springs (Men's Basketball), Jenny Irwin (Women's Cross Country and Women's Track & Field)
2004-05 – Carlton Epps (Men's Basketball), Karla Fairbanks (Women's Volleyball)
2003-04 – Derek Fudge (Football), Lucy DeMartin (Women's Basketball)
2002-03 – Chris Kunitz (Men's Ice Hockey), Kathryn Bobbie (Women's Golf)
1995-96 – Bill Love (Football), Theresa Luciow (Softball)
1994-95 – Bill Love (Football), Shelli Gaul (Women's Track & Field)
1993-94 – Ed Philion (Football), Kathy O'Connor (Women's Volleyball & Women's Basketball)
1992-93 – Monty Brown (Football), Jodi Raab (Women's Basketball)
1991-92 – Dan Hutcheson (Wrestling), Monica Ferguson (Women's Cross Country/Track & Field)
1990-91 – John DePourcq (Men's Ice Hockey), Karen Volkers (Women's Volleyball)
1989-90 – Paul Cochran (Men's Track & Field/Football), Karen Volkers (Women's Volleyball)
1988-89 – Jarvis Walker (Men's Basketball), Penny Bailey (Women's Track & Field/Cross Country)
1987-88 – Dave DenBraber (Football), Patty Theis (Women's Volleyball)
1986-87 – Brad Morris (Wrestling), Patty Theis (Women's Volleyball) and Karen Kramer (Women's Basketball)
1985-86 – Scott Kelly (Baseball), Patty Theis (Women's Volleyball)
1984-85 – Paul Jungck (Wrestling), Sharon Sanders (Women's Volleyball)
1983-84 – Terry Schumacher (Wrestling), Leigh Feenstra (Women's Volleyball)
1982-83 – Bruce Faccio (Football), Monta Ware (Women's Basketball) and Linda Spicer (Women's Volleyball)
1981-82 – Tim Smelser (Wrestling), Vicki Williams (Women's Basketball)
1980-81 – Rick Baillergeon (Men's Basketball), Terri Fraser (Women's Volleyball & Women's Basketball)
1979-80 – David Sall (Football), Roxanne Abramouski (Softball)
1978-79 – Tim Herman (Men's Basketball), Sharon Lipinski (Women's Basketball)