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Monday, July 15, 2024

Column: Rosenblum Awards Part I

It’s practically all over.

Sunday’s baseball game against UC Irvine was the last sporting event on the UC Davis campus for the 2011-12 school year, and with the exception of those athletes making their way to the track and field national championships (congratulations to Sarah Sumpter and Ashley Hearn), Aggie athletics are over until August.

So with a full year of sports in the books, it is time to hand out some post-season awards, which I will call the Rosenblum Awards, in honor of the sports editor in charge when I first started working for The Aggie.

Of course you can still look out for The Aggie’s traditional Athlete of the Quarter and Athlete of the Year awards next week, but here are some categories not covered in our traditional awards issue.

Best dressed — Jim Les, head coach, men’s basketball

While Les’ team struggled this season on the floor, the Aggies were constantly guided by a well-put-together head coach off it.

With the stylish suits and the slicked back hair, Les often looked more like a character in “Mad Men” than the head coach of a basketball team. His stylish looks may not have helped the team during its 20+ game losing streak, but at least Les was better dressed than his predecessor, Gary Stewart.

Honorable Mention: Mike Kurtz for the liberal use of bow ties.

Best comedy routine(s) — UC Davis baseball team

If you haven’t seen the videos of UC Davis baseball yet, put down this newspaper and head straight to YouTube.

The team notorious for getting along well, in a sport that often encourages a certain level of goofiness, the Aggies (in conjunction with Assistant Athletics Communications Director Amanda Piechowski) produced two videos that have caused fans to laugh out loud.

“Look at all our hits” satires UC Davis record season in recording hit-by-pitches with Comcast Sports Net-style quality, while their dance to the LMFAO hit “Sexy and I Know It” gives the fans an idea of just how relaxed the team is.

Best game face — Blair Shinoda, guard/center, women’s basketball

If you know women’s basketball, then you understand why Shinoda deserves this award.

The look of sheer determination displayed on the junior’s face as she makes her way down the floor is something that only hours of practicing in a mirror could yield.

The look is a perfect combination of focus, ferocity and poise that strikes fear into the hearts of opponents. Shinoda’s game face helped her to an impressive season in 2011-12, and Aggie fans can only expect the face and the player to improve next season.

Best senior day — Volleyball

The perfect senior day is a combination of several ingredients: great seniors, a rousing speech and the outpouring of emotion.

The UC Davis volleyball team had just that when it said goodbye to Betsy Sedlak and Katie Denny this season.

The duo will go down in UC Davis history as two of the program’s greats, and they were lauded by fellow players and coaches as not only great players but great people as well.

The crucial element in the volleyball senior day was that the ceremony was held after the game, when the players and coaches were free to express their emotions without having one eye on the upcoming match.

Biggest disappointment — UC Davis football vs. Humboldt State

Say what you will about Humboldt State’s impressive 2011 season — there was no excuse for UC Davis’ loss to a Division II program.

At a time when the Aggies were looking to build momentum after major losses to Arizona State and Hawaii, UC Davis fans were counting on a win over the Lumberjacks to help turn the season around. Instead, the Aggies were handed a 23-17 defeat that will go down as one of the worst moments of the year.

Look for more Rosenblum Awards next week.

TREVOR CRAMER would like to wish senior first baseman Eric Johnson a speedy recovery. He would also like to congratulate Matt “The Man” Yuen on being named next year’s sports editor. If you want to comment on this column or any sports story, please e-mail sports@theaggie.org.

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