Note: This is the first of four major FSU Athletics Awards that will be presented this week for the 2012-13 campaign. The remaining awards will be announced over the next three days.
Big Rapids, Mich. - Senior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) of the Ferris State University women's volleyball team has been chosen as the recipient of the FSU Athletics Department's Willie Bouyer Leadership Award for the 2012-13 campaign.
The Willie Bouyer Leadership Award, which is regarded as one of the most prestigious of the FSU Athletics Department's four annual major honors, is named in memory of Ferris State's first All-America football student-athlete Willie Bouyer. Bouyer was tragically killed in his hometown of Detroit in 1977. The recipient is chosen by a FSU Athletics Department committee.
Candidates for the award are judged on their strong inspirational leadership and dedication to fellow Ferris State student-athletes. The nominees also should be involved outside of athletics in other college and community activities along with participating on a varsity athletics team for at least two years. The Willie Bouyer Leadership Award was reinstated upon the conclusion of the 2002-03 season following a seven-year absence.
"Samantha has been a leader in our volleyball program throughout her career and is very deserving of this prestigious award," said FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger. "Her efforts have helped Bulldog Volleyball achieve success and consistently contend for championships over the past four years. She's a great choice as the recipient of this leadership award that bears the name of Willie Bouyer."
A two-time recipient of the Division II Athletic Directors Association Academic Achievement Award, Fordyce was one of last fall's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Commissioners Award winners for Excellence. The 2012 AVCA Honorable Mention All-Region honoree helped the Bulldogs advance to their third NCAA Tournament appearance in the last four seasons and a second-straight berth in the regional semifinals as a senior.
Fordyce started all 122 of her matches at the collegiate level. She posted season assist totals that ranked among the program's top 15 single-season efforts during each of her four campaigns. A Daktronics All-Region selection in 2012 and a two-time All-GLIAC First Team pick, Fordyce also was named to the Dean's List at FSU as an optometry major.
"We are so honored for Samantha to receive this award in an athletic department filled with great leaders," said FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. "It is a testament to Samantha's drive and her teammates desire to be at the highest levels on and off the court.
"Samantha was a leader for Bulldog Volleyball in every sense," she added. "She set the standards for the rest of the team for effort level in practice, determination in competition and in sacrifice to the team. She was a force of positivity, fortune and accomplishment for her teammates. She would lead from the front taking responsibility for the team. She would lead from the side by encouraging and believing in her teammates. And she would lead from behind by pushing and making the team reach higher."
Fordyce is the fourth volleyball student-athlete in school history to receive the Willie Bouyer Leadership Award, following in the footsteps of Brittny Godlewski (2004-05 & 2005-06) along with Danielle Baucher (2006-07) and Ashley Huntey (2011-12).
The other 2012-13 nominees for the Willie Bouyer Leadership Award included Kyle Bonis (Hockey), Dietrich Lever (Men's Basketball), Amanda Foster (Women's Soccer), Deana Droste (Women's Basketball) and David Silversmith (Men's Cross Country/Track and Field).
Willie Bouyer Leadership Award Recipients
2012-13 – Samantha Fordyce (Volleyball)
2011-12 – Ashley Huntey (Volleyball)
2010-11 – Matt DeHart (Men's Basketball)
2009-10 – Casey Haines (Men's Ice Hockey) and Kurt Valley (Men's Golf)
2008-09 – Holly Bruntjens (Softball)
2007-08 – Raquel Hansen (Women's Golf) and Katie Kraai (Softball)
2006-07 – Danielle Baucher (Women's Volleyball) and Raquel Hansen (Women's Golf)
2005-06 – Brittny Godlewski (Women's Volleyball) and Jeffrey Shanahan (Men's Basketball)
2004-05 – Brittny Godlewski (Women's Volleyball) and Navreet Gill (Softball)
2003-04 – Melissa Worsley (Softball) and Derrick McIver (Men's Ice Hockey)
2002-03 – Steve Picucci (Mens' Cross Country and Men's Track & Field)
1995-96 – Benny Roe (Football)
1994-95 – Tim Christian (Men's Ice Hockey)
1993-94 – Jere Getzinger (Wrestling and Football)
1992-93 – Dave Morin (Baseball)
1991-92 – Erica Thomas (Women's Basketball)
1990-91 – Mark Kamppinen (Baseball)
1989-90 – Doug Mooney (Wrestling) and Jody Johnson (Softball)
1988-89 – Jim Beson (Football and Wrestling)
1987-88 – Sam Sweet (Men's Track and Field)
1986-87 – Paul Surmont (Cheerleading – Bulldog Mascot)
1985-86 – Kurt Stevens (Men's Basketball)
1984-85 – Steve Piotraczk (Football), Katy Kelley (Women's Basketball)
1980-81 – Fred Kirkland (Football and Men's Track & Field)