Dakota State University held its annual Honors Banquet on Monday evening at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse.
The most outstanding male and female athletes, Dusty Andersen Memorial Award, NAIA Champions of Character, NAIA National and North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) conference awards were announced.
Curt Boeke (football) and Braden Curnow (cross country and track & field) were selected as the Most Outstanding Male Athletes of the Year.
Boeke is the first defensive lineman in school history to be a two-time NAIA All-American. He is a two-time NSAA Football All-Conference First-Team selection. He was the conference's Co-Defensive Player of the Year after leading in tackles and quarterback sacks. He racked up 124 tackles in 10 games in 2018, averaging 12.4 tackles per game. He had eight quarterback sacks and averaged 0.8 sacks per game.
Boeke finished his career with 290 tackles, 19 quarterback sacks for 123 yards loss and 46 tackles for loss of 212 yards loss. He also had an interception and returned it for 13 yards.
He is the son of Neal Boeke and Kim Thomas of Clear Lake and is a senior business management major.
In Curnow's junior season, he collected two NAIA All-America distinctions. In the fall, he won four individual cross country titles, including the conference championship. He was named the NSAA Most Valuable Runner. He fueled the Trojans to their second NSAA conference men's cross country team championship and qualified for the NAIA Men's Cross Country national championships, where they placed 30th. At the national cross country meet, Curnow produced a personal record time of 24:54.00 to place 19th overall. As a result, he earned his first NAIA All-America distinction after placing in the Top 30.
In track, Curnow is a two-time NSAA indoor 5000-meter run conference champion. He won the 3000-meter race in the conference meet, helping DSU dethrone four-time defending champion Dickinson State.
Curnow collected his second NAIA All-America honor at the national indoor track & field meet. After producing the top time in the men's 5000-meter run in the semifinals, he placed fourth in the national finals in 14:58.47. He qualified for the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Nationals, where he will be making his third straight appearance in the full marathon this spring. He also ran in the 10,000-meter run in last year's national outdoor track meet.
Barbara Briceno (volleyball) was named the Most Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year. She became the first Trojan to be named to NAIA Volleyball Honorable Mention. She was named to the AVCA/NAIA All-Region First Team. Briceno was also selected to the NSAA Volleyball All-Conference First Team.
She led the team with 347 kills and 47 service aces. She ranked fifth in the conference in overall kills per set and sixth in digs per set. She averaged 3.0 kills and 4.2 digs per set during 14 NSAA contests. Briceno was an integral member of the Trojan volleyball team that recorded three victories over NAIA Top 25 nationally-ranked teams, including a 3-1 victory over No. 7-ranked Viterbo (Wis.) which ended the V-Hawks' historic 53 straight victories in conference matches.
DSU advanced to its first NSAA Volleyball Postseason Tournament's championship match, falling short to Viterbo.
She is the daughter of Luis Enrique Briceno and Carmen Rosa Rabanal of Lima, Peru, and is a junior computer science major.
Justin Folkers was this year's recipient of the annual Dusty Andersen award for accomplishments in men's basketball. He was selected to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball All-America Second Team and was chosen as the NSAA Men's Basketball Player of the Year. Folkers was named to the All-Conference team for two consecutive years. He started in all 31 games in 2018-19. He poured in 582 points and averaged 18.8 points per game. He led the conference in overall scoring. His 582 points ranked as the ninth-most points in DSU records. He was 241-of-443 from the field, which is the fifth most field goals made in school history. He scored in double digits 27 times and produced double-doubles seven times.
Folkers finished his career as the eighth all-time scorer in Trojan history with 1,518 points. He was 630-of-1,136 from the field, recording the ninth best all-time field goal percentage of 55.5 percent. His 630 field goals ranks fifth most all-time. He also collected 570 career rebounds, which is the seventh most all-time. He registered 59 blocks and tied for fourth all-time blocks at DSU.
He is the son of Brad and Amanda Folkers of Mission and is a senior exercise science major.
Each sport has a representative who best exhibits the core values of the Champion of Character initiative of the NAIA and the NSAA. DSU representatives are:
Football: Jared Richardson
Volleyball: Kaity Barnes
Men's Cross Country: Jonathan Lein
Women's Cross Country: Kirsten Paetow
Men's Indoor Track & Field: Austin Row
Women's Indoor Track & Field: Lyndsay Pruss
Men's Basketball: Josh McGreal
Women's Basketball: Kelley Criddle
Men's Outdoor Track & Field: Evan McCreary
Women's Outdoor Track & Field: Alyssa Juelfs
Baseball: Tanner Landman
Softball: Tatum Ronke