By Wayne Witt

Each athletic year at Incarnate Word ends with an impressive list of student-athletes who have received special recognition for their efforts both on the field, court, track, or pool and in the classroom. There is also a second list, shorter and more exclusive that adds “of the year” behind a player’s name and an extra star or two to their credit.

The 2011-2012 Cardinals had an impressive group of 11 individuals being singled out as the year’s best in their areas.

UIW’s fall competition had four “of the year” awards presented to three athletes. Callum Riley, of men’s soccer was voted the Lone Star Conference (LSC) Offensive Player of the Year while teammate Chris Fidler received double honors as LSC Academic Athlete of the Year and the Daktronics South Central Regional Player of the Year. Cross country’s Amanda Bishop was the LSC Female Runner of the Year.

During the winter competition, a trio of Cardinals were recognized with “of the year” awards. Swimmer Mark Rubin was the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Academic Athlete of the Year while Kaitlyn Whalen, also a swimmer, was the RMAC Female Freshman of the Year. Shaun Umeh of men’s basketball was named LSC Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

When spring arrived another trio of Incarnate Word athletes were honored. Luke Trautmann was the LSC men’s tennis Sportsman of the Year while Coach John Newman was voted the LSC Women’s Coach of the Year.  UIW track and field team member Howard Gill also received honors as the LSC Track Academic Athlete of the Year.

As the dust settled on the athletic year, members of the UIW coaching staff along with athletic administrators voted on their own choices for male and female athletes of the year.  Those honorees were Chris Johnson from basketball and Flower Castillo from golf.