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Kellen Voss, Sports Editor

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GVSU Soccer’s Riko Sagara named DII Honda Award Finalist

Riko Sagara, a senior midfielder from Grand Valley State University was named the DII Honda Athlete of the Year finalist for soccer, as announced Thursday, Jan. 2 by Executive Director Chris Voelz of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.

Sagara is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DII Honda Athlete of the Year. This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the CWSA program, now in its 44th year.

“I am extremely honored to be selected as a finalist for the 2020 Honda Division II Athlete of the Year,” Sagara said. “I accept this selection of behalf of Grand Valley State and the soccer program. We had an incredible team that was unselfish and cared so much for each other both on and off the field. We had a wonderful season that was capped with the ultimate team accomplishment in a national championship.”

Sagara scored 20 goals and dished 23 assists for 63 points on the season, and is a four-time All-American as a transfer. In just two years at GVSU, she ranks second all-time in program career assists with 46.

Former Laker football player named as finalist for Walter Payton Man of the Year award

Brandon Carr, a former Laker great on the gridiron and current defensive back for the Baltimore Ravens, has been named a nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Carr is one of 32 players – one from each team – nominated for the 50th annual Award, which recognizes players for their community service activities and excellence on the field. Carr was named the Ravens’ Walter Payton Man of the Year, marking the third time in his career that Carr has been his team’s recipient.

Carr was a four-year standout for the Lakers on the gridiron and played a key role in GVSU’s 2005 and 2006 NCAA Division II National Championships. Carr was a  fifth round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2008 NFL draft and is in his 12th year in the league.

The winner of the award each year receives $250,000 donated to the charity of their choice. All other 31 nominees will receive a $50,000 donation in their name donated to their charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.

The award was established in 1970 and was renamed in 1999 after the late Chicago Bears running back. Each team announces one winner of the award, and as the Ravens’ winner, Carr will be eligible to win the 2019 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which will be revealed at NFL Honors the night before the Super Bowl.

VARSITY SCHEDULE

Men’s Basketball: Thursday, Jan. 9, 7:30 p.m., @ Ashland

Saturday, Jan. 11, 7:00 p.m., @ Wayne State

Women’s Basketball: Thursday, Jan. 9, 5:30 p.m., @ Ashland

Saturday, Jan. 11, 5 p.m., @ Wayne State

Men’s/Women’s Swimming & Diving: Saturday, Jan 11., 2 p.m., @ Indianapolis facing Lindenwood, Indy, and Davenport (Women’s only)

Men’s/Women’s Indoor Track & Field: Friday, Jan 10, 2:45 p.m., Bob Eubanks Open @ Kelly Family Sports Center