Beaver Nation Celebration 2024

As we near the end of the 2023-24 season, Bemidji State University Athletics honored its 386 student-athletes at the 2024 Beaver Nation Celebration Tuesday night. A night filled celebrating the triumphs and successes of its student-athletes was capped-off as four Beavers were selected from a pool of nominations as Bemidji State’s Student-Athletes of the Year.

Bemidji State Women’s Soccer defender Megan Ko and men’s golfer Caden Lick were voted as the Beavers’ 2023-24 Female and Male Newcomers of the Year. Women’s soccer defender Halle Peterson and men’s hockey defenseman Kyle Looft were highlighted as BSU’s Female and Male Student-Athletes of the Year.

In addition, softball senior Stella Dolan was named the recipient of the fifth annual BSU Community Impact Award for her involvement around campus groups and service to the community.

16 student-athletes also excelled in the classroom achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA and were named Female and Male Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Zack Seitz (Football), Bill Ketola (Football), Logan Schoepp (Golf), Logan Acheson (Hockey), Patrik Satosaari (Hockey), Rachel Koenig (Basketball), Sydney White (Basketball), Mary Goodwin (Cross Country/Track), Abbie Thompson (Hockey), Taylor Nelson (Hockey), Isabella Vannavong (Soccer), Katrina Barthelt (Soccer), Lilian Wade (Soccer), Alyssa Hill (Track/Basketball), Kylie Struble (Volleyball) and Lauren Sitter (Volleyball) were all recognized as Scholar-Athletes of the Year.

The Bemidji State Volleyball team was recognized as this year’s Outstanding Female Academic Team compiling a team GPA of 3.72 and the Men’s Hockey team was awarded the Outstanding Male Academic Team totaling a team GPA of 3.58.

In total, 61 seniors were recognized during the event in addition to 16 NSIC Myles Brand Academic with Distinction Award winners and two NSIC Elite 18 Award winners, Maggie Cade (Soccer) and Logan Schoepp (Golf).

Community Impact Award – Stella Dolan (Softball)
Senior – Pitcher – St. Paul, Minn.

Stella has made a tremendous impact throughout the community while also serving on student and professional committees. Stella has served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee that has organized numerous events to help people within the community. She has volunteered her time with the United Way of Bemidji, the Mount Zion Church Soup Kitchen and has helped teach multiple youth softball programs throughout the Bemidji and St. Paul communities. She’s served on many young professionals committees including the BSU President’s Student Commission Council and Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network and has presented for Minnesota Undergraduate Scholars, Nebraska Business Honors Academy Case Competition and the Bemidji State Student Achievement Conference. In addition, Stella has been awarded the NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic Award, a three-time NSIC All-Academic Team of Excellence selection and two-time BSU Most Outstanding Major Award winner in Sport Management.

Female Newcomer of the Year Award – Megan Ko (Soccer)
Freshman – Defense – Lake Oswego, Ore.

Megan was one of four freshmen on the team to play in all 23 games and made 22 starts, second most among BSU freshmen. She was an All-NSIC Second Team selection and helped the Beavers to a NSIC Tournament Championship and third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. Logging 1,443 minutes on the pitch, the seventh most on the team, she helped the Beavers’ backline finish third in the NSIC with just 16 goals against and 12 shutouts. She also contributed one assist and three shots on goal on the offensive half.

Male Newcomer of the Year Award – Caden Lick (Golf)
Freshman – Lino Lakes, Minn.

Caden appeared in 25 rounds for the Beavers during his freshman season and averaged 75.8 strokes per 18 holes with an average of four-over par, the third-best average on the team. His best finish this season was at the NSIC Championship where he tied for second earning NSIC All-Tournament Team status. He Posted his best round this season of 72 on five different occasions with the most recent coming at the NSIC Championship helping the Beavers to their first NSIC Championship since 2000.

Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award – Halle Peterson (Soccer)
Fifth Year – Defense – Stillwater, Minn.

Halle Peterson led the Beavers playing in 94.7 percent of the team’s minutes on the pitch totaling 1,980 minutes during the 2023 season. She was named the NSIC Defensive Player of the Year, All-NSIC First Team selection, and two-time All-Region selection. She helped the Beavers to a NSIC Tournament Championship and third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. She solidified the Beavers’ backline that limited opponents to just 95 shots on goal and 16 goals over 23 games including 12 shutouts. Not only a shutdown defender, Peterson also contributed offensively tying for the NSIC lead with four goals from the backline. She also excelled in the classroom and is a Scholar All-America First Team selection.

Male Student-Athlete of the Year Award – Kyle Looft (Hockey)
Fifth Year – Defenseman – Mankato, Minn.

Kyle captained the Beavers to a CCHA Regular season championship and CCHA Tournament championship game appearance during the 2023-24 season. He was named the CCHA’s Defenseman of the Year and Best Defensive Defenseman while also earning All-CCHA First Team honors. He finished second on the team despite missing six games due to injury and posted 28 points in 32 games, leading the team with 22 assists. Kyle led all league defenseman in points and finished seventh among all league skaters averaging 0.88 points per game and finished second in the conference with an on-ice rating of +17. Four times during the season he was named league Defenseman of the Week and twice the Defenseman of the Month.

(unable to attend the Beaver Nation Celebration)