Quick Hits: New football rankings, NCAA Woman of the Year nominee, dodgeball season ranking

Robbie Triano

GVSU football falls from No. 2 ranking to No. 14 

Before the Grand Valley State football team began its season, the team was highly regarded around the Division II world and earned the No. 2 ranking in the country, voted by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).

However, after the Lakers were upset by unranked University of Indianapolis Thursday, Aug. 31, GVSU football’s overall ranking fell all the way down to the No. 14 spot in the AFCA rankings.

Powered by their explosive running game against the Lakers, Indianapolis went from an unranked team all the way up to the 18th spot, the largest jump from any team in Division II. 

Taking over the Lakers’ former No. 2 spot is longtime GVSU rival Ferris State University, which has yet to play in a game this season. Ferris State eliminated GVSU from playoff contention last season.

Holding the No. 1 ranking is last season’s Division II Football National Champions, Northwest Missouri State. 

The Lakers hope to bring their record to 1-1 and improve their overall ranking as they face Davenport University at Lubbers Stadium Saturday, Sept. 9.

Former GVSU soccer player named NCAA Woman of the Year Top 30 Honoree

Earlier in the summer, former Grand Valley State women’s soccer player Clare Carlson was nominated to be considered for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.

The wait is over for Carlson, as she has been selected as one of the 30 finalists overall for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award Wednesday, Sept. 6. The award recognizes graduating female student athletes who finished their careers as model NCAA athletes on the field and excelled in the classroom.

Carlson is one of 10 female student athletes selected out of Division II. There were 197 nominations for female student athletes out of Division II this year.

During her time at GVSU, Carlson was a member of a program that won three NCAA Division II National Championships and accumulated a 92-5-5 record with her on the roster. 

Carlson’s personal accolades include GLIAC Defensive Player of the Year during her junior and senior year, two-time All-GLIAC First Team selection, two-time NSCAA Scholar All-American, and two-time recipient of the Fall GLIAC Commissioner’s Award.

Off the field, Carlson was a biomedical sciences major with a cumulative 3.91 GPA.

GVSU club dodgeball named NCDA favorite this season

Having won the past five national championships, the Grand Valley State club dodgeball team was tagged as this year’s favorite in the Michigan Region by the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association. 

It’s hard to put the Lakers in any other spot, as the program has dominated by capturing nine of the past 11 national championships, the most out of any other program in the nation. 

The Lakers will be returning many veteran players, including junior captain Brandon Meisel, Aaron Krafft, Sam Stockdale and Ray Franklin, who broke out onto the dodgeball scene last year with a 79 mph throw.

Kevin Bailey, a writer affiliated with the NCDA, said in an article, “It is hard to look at the GVSU roster and say they aren’t poised for a six-peat. If they can put together a strong rookie class, they will be a very difficult team to beat.”

The schedule has not been announced for the GVSU club dodgeball team.