JC Schoonmaker Receives Athlete of the Year Honors; Hockey and women’s basketball add more transfers

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After a sensational season in which he represented his school and the entire United States of America on the international stage two months ago, JC Schoonmaker received the Bill McKay Athlete of the Year Award. 2021-22 from the University of Alaska at Anchorage.

The honor was announced Sunday at the annual UAA All-Sports Banquet at the Alaska Airlines Center.

The eldest and native of Tahoe City, Calif., teamed up with Ben Ogden to finish ninth in the team sprint, and was 13th in the free sprint and 66th in the 15 kilometer classic at the Beijing Olympics in February.

He earned All-American honors in the 20 kilometer freestyle with a third-place finish and placed 11th in the 10 kilometer freestyle at the NCAA Championships to help UAA rank fifth as a team.

Standing out both on skis and in the classroom, Schoonmaker was named to the All-Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association First Team and the National Collegiate All-Academic Ski Team by the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association.

Seawolves hockey continues to store talent

The UAA hockey team continues to be active on the recruiting track as the Seawolves build their roster to compete for the first time since the 2019-20 season after the program was reinstated in August. Head coach Matt Shasby and his staff have added six more player commitments and transfers over the past week and a half.

Max Osborne of Anchorage brings local connections to the team. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound defenseman began his collegiate career at the University of St. Thomas, where he recorded two assists in seven games during the 2020-21 season. He played the following season at St. John’s, where he had five goals and five assists in 24 games. Osborne played in 164 junior hockey games, including 150 games with the Springfield Jr. Blues and 14 with the Kenai River Brown Bears.

He will be joined by other newcomers Connor Marritt (forward) from Northern Michigan University, Matt Allen (forward) from UMass-Lowell, Jarred White (forward) from Western Michigan, Ben Almquist (forward) from Minnesota Duluth and Brett Bamber (defenders), who signed a national letter of intent after playing 187 games with the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder.

Women’s basketball program attracts two accomplished rookies

On Friday, UAA women’s basketball coach Ryan McCarthy announced that transfers Vishe’ Rabb and Kate Robertson had signed scholarship deals to join the team.

“We are thrilled to start our recruiting class with two players of this caliber, especially given the extensive college experience they bring,” McCarthy said in a statement. “As excited as we are about the talent of each young woman, we are more excited about the kind of people they are and who they want to become.”

Rabb still has two years of eligibility after spending five years at NCAA Division II Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She earned a berth in the All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference second team last season by recording 12.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game, shooting 41% from the field and 77 % in free throws.

The Springfield, Minnesota native was also the 2018-19 NSIC Rookie of the Year and was averaging more than 14 points per game before suffering a knee injury six games into his sophomore year.

Robertson is coming off back-to-back strong seasons at Casper College in Wyoming, where she helped propel her hometown junior college program to the NJCAA Region IX title in 2021-22. She started all but one game for the Thunderbirds, earning all-region honors with numbers of 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 50% shooting on goal and 78% shooting. in the free throw. The 6-foot-2 forward recorded 23 double-digit games in her sophomore campaign, including a season-high 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting in a win over Central Wyoming.

Both players have big shoes to fill for the Seawolves, who will lose four seniors, including local product Tennae Voliva. She finished her UAA career with an honorable mention All-American in 2021-22.

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