A sophomore men’s basketball scoring wizard and a freshman all-region performer for the women’s basketball team are the Athletes of the Year at Northwest College.
The annual awards banquet was bypassed due to a closed campus, but announcement of NWC year-end athletic awards went ahead as usual with a video release by Athletic Director Brian Erickson on the Trapper Athletics Facebook Page.
Kyle Brown — who led Region IX men’s basketball in scoring with an average of 24.7 points per game — was chosen the male Trapper Athlete of the Year. Freshman Adela Smutna of the Czech Republic — an all-Region IX pick in women’s basketball — was the Trapper Athlete of the Year on the women’s side.
Four other awards, two each in men’s and women’s sports, were also announced.
The Trapper Award, recognizing a student athlete who demonstrates excellence in the areas of academics, citizenship, leadership and performance, went to Mysen McArthur, a sophomore basketball player from Lovell; and Devon Curtis, a freshman volleyball player from Powell.
The Athlete of the Year and Trapper Award winners are selected each year. Their names will be added to plaques in the lobby of Cabre Gym.
The Trapper Dave scholarship, presented for the first time, went to women’s soccer player Alexa Williams of Douglas and men’s soccer player Johny Mercy of Denver. The $1,000 scholarships are named for Dave Fink, who has been the smiling spirit of Northwest College athletics for 25 years.
Each head coach at NWC nominates one student-athlete for each award. Two separate committees choose the recipients from nominees.
Brown, a redshirt sophomore for the NWC men’s basketballl team from New York City, had a breakout season for the Trappers.
“I recruited Kyle [Brown] to Northwest College,” said Erickson, who resigned to become athletic director before he got a chance to coach Brown. “I enjoyed watching him grow. He is humble, polite and very talented. Kyle was in the gym every day getting better, and it showed on game day.”
NWC men’s basketball coach Jay Collins said he was happy for Brown’s selection as Athlete of the Year to cap his NWC career. Brown has not decided where he will play basketball next year, but he has attracted “plenty of interest” — including Division 1 teams, Collins said.
The Athlete of the Year award goes to a sophomore most of the time, but the fact that Smutna won the women’s award “goes to show how good Adela is as a freshman,” Erickson said.
Her women’s coach, Cam Levett, agrees.
“What stands out most about Adela, so far, is how she carries herself,” Levett said. “She’s a very humble person who doesn’t brag or pound her chest looking for attention. She just takes care of business; a 3.9 GPA to go along with 13 points per game. What more could you ask from a student-athlete?”