Air Force Water Polo Announces 2008 Team Awards
April 4, 2009
USAFA, Colo. - Air Force water polo head coach Jeff Ehrlich is proud to announce the recipients of the 2008 team awards, as given out during the team's annual awards banquet last night. The Falcons celebrated a successful season which included a final 17-15 overall record and a final ranking of 20th in the nation.
Earning MVP honors in 2008 was junior goalkeeper David Ostrom, who ended the year with 243 saves, ranking 16th in the nation in that statistical category. A second-team All-WWPA Tournament honoree, Ostrom also helped lead a defense that ranked 10th in the nation in goals allowed per game at 8.19.
Most valuable offensive player honors were shared by junior Alex Churnside and sophomore Bobby Geiger. Churnside, an honorable mention All-WWPA selection, led the Falcons in total points scored with 77 (44g, 33a). Churnside now ranks among the top 25 career scorers in Air Force history, sitting in 16th place with 190 career points. Meanwhile, Geiger finished the year with a team-high 52 goals, while also adding 17 assists, to lead the Air Force offense.
Earning most valuable defensive player honors for the second-straight season was junior Jack Hines. A second-team All-WWPA honoree as a 2-meter defender, Hines was also one of the Falcons' top scorers, registering 46 goals and 17 assists on the year. With a strong two-way performance in the home series versus Iona, Hines became the first Air Force player ever to earn WWPA Player of the Week honors. Hines was also the recipient of the Iron Bolt award, given to the player who sets a strong example with his dedication to the strength and conditioning program.
The most improved player award was given to sophomore Matt Versage, who tallied 37 points (26g, 11a) in 2008, after scoring just two goals in his rookie campaign. Meanwhile, rookie of the year honors went to goalkeeper Danny Harold, who tallied 40 saves on the season in relief of Ostrom.
Other awards handed out included nods for the Most Inspirational, Hardest Worker and the Coaches Award. Senior Joey Brewer captured Most Inspirational honors for a third-consecutive season, while junior Jason Fung, who registered 15 goals and 11 assists on the season, was named the Hardest Worker. Meanwhile, senior Miles McMullan, who tallied a career-best 15 goals in his final season, was the recipient of the Coaches Award.
The team's captains' awards went to seniors Kevin Williams and Tyler Hewko. Meanwhile, Hewko, a second-team All-WWPA Tournament selection, was also presented with the Derek Argel Memorial Award, named for the former Air Force water polo player who was involved in a fatal aircraft crash in Iraq in May 2005. The Derek Argel Memorial Award, now in its fourth season, is awarded annually to the player who demonstrates perseverance and an incredible work ethic, those attributes which most exemplify the character of Argel.
Also honored at the banquet were a group of athletes who held at least a 3.0 GPA for the semester. Included in this group were Hines, Harold, senior Ted Saitz, sophomore Andrew Strawbridge and freshman Karl Berwyn.