Quick Hits: Judon garners another award for GVSU football

Lanthorn Staff

Judon named Defensive Player of the Year

Grand Valley State defensive end Matt Judon has been named the 2015 Don Hansen Super Region Four Defensive Player of the Year after a record-setting season. Judon was also named the 2015 Gene Upshaw Award winner, which honors the best lineman in Division II, earlier in the year.

Additionally, GVSU placed a region-high seven players on the Don Hansen First and Second-Team Super Region Four teams. GVSU’s first-team honorees are Judon, defensive back Marquez Gollman, offensive guard Jim Walsh and wide receiver Matt Williams. Quarterback Bart Williams, running back Kirk Spencer and wide receiver Jamie Potts were named to the second team.

Judon had one of the best seasons in Laker history, tallying 21 quarterback-sacks on the year, which broke a GVSU school record and was the highest mark in the nation, regardless of division. His 23.5 tackles for loss broke another GVSU record, as did his 81 total tackles, the most by a defensive lineman in school single-season history.

Judon ends his GVSU football career as the school’s all-time sack leader, with 34.

GVSU ranked No. 4 in preseason poll

Grand Valley State softball was picked to finish No. 4 in the GLIAC Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll, and received the second-most first-place votes.

Defending GLIAC champion Wayne State was picked to finish first, with 166 total points and 10 of the 14 total first-place votes. Saginaw Valley State was ranked second with 147 total votes and one first-place vote. Ashland was close behind with 146 points, and GVSU had 143 points, as well as the final three first-place votes.

GVSU returns all starters and its top three pitchers from a team that finished 32-17 in the 2015 campaign. First-Team All-GLIAC selection and Lakers’ leading hitter Jenna Lenza will lead an experienced squad that will look to improve on last season. Lenza finished 2015 with a .378 batting average, 11 doubles, six home runs and 36 RBIs.

Ellie Balbach, another First-Team All-GLIAC selection, was a dual threat for the Lakers. Balbach sported a .296 batting average, and boasted an 8-2 record with a 2.04 ERA in the pitching circle.

Lenza, Balbach and the rest of the Lakers will look to exceed their preseason expectations when they travel to Rosemont, Illinois, for the Lewis Dome Tournament on Feb. 26-27.

Two Lakers receive athlete of the week honors

Grand Valley State’s Ethan Barnes was named the GLIAC Men’s Track Athlete of the Week honors for his time in the 800 meter race, and Jaime Roberts was named Women’s Field Athlete of the Week for her performance in the pole vault.

Barnes placed fourth in the 800 meter at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational with a time of 1:49.51 on Feb. 5. The time earned him a NCAA provisional qualifying standard, and was good for first in the conference and second overall in Division II.

Roberts placed first in the pole vault at the Hillsdale Wide Meet with a 4.10 meter mark on Feb. 6 . Her vault automatically qualifies her to compete at the 2016 NCAA Division II National Championships, and was the top mark in the GLIAC and Division II.