EeeWoos celebrate year’s best

After a thrilling 2012-2013 athletic year, annual awards give recognition


The Eagles gather before the Football Championship Subdivision playoff game against Wagner. The team and many of its members earned nominations in 11 EeeWoos categories. Photo by Aaron Malmoe

By Peter Sowards



[email protected]

Eagles quarterback Vernon Adams read the blitz and knew there were too many rushers for the offensive line to block. So he had to make a little magic to get this play to work in a way only Adams knows how. Adams’ ensuing scramble and 10-yard touchdown pass to former EWU receiver Greg Herd versus Sacramento State on Oct. 20 was nominated for Best Play at the fifth-annual “EeeWoos,” an event created to honor Eastern Washington University student athletes. “Everybody was saying, ‘Throw it away,’ but I just kept running, and I kept my eyes downfield. I saw Greg [Herd], and I just threw it,” Adams said. “It was crazy.” Adams’ magician-like demonstration was named as a finalist for the Geico Play of the Year and became an instant YouTube sensation. The awards ceremony takes place at the Showalter Auditorium on June 4 and costs $5 for EWU students with valid student identification and $10 for the general public. Student athletes will be admitted free of charge. According to, “a social hour with beverages and hors d’oeuvres takes place at 6 p.m., with the awards presentations beginning at 7 p.m.” A total of 16 awards will be presented in 11 different categories, including Best Team, Best Game or Competition, Best Play, Best Athlete (male and female), Newcomer of the Year (male and female), Freshman of the Year (male and female), Coach of the Year, Triple-Threat Citizen, Best Record-Breaking Performance, Scholar-Athlete of the Year (male and female) and Career Achievement Award (male and female). Winners of each award are determined by votes from a committee consisting of department coaches, staff and administrators.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 11.13.39 AM
Joseph Cohen, top, and Cassie Black, bottom, were nominated for Best Male Athlete and Best Female Athlete, respectively.
Photos by Anna Mills and Aaron Malmoe

Nominees for Best Team included football, which finished the 2012 season with an 11-3 record, a share of the Big Sky Conference title and two home playoff victories; women’s basketball, advancing to the Women’s NIT and finishing third in the Big Sky; soccer, which overcame injuries to finish with its best winning percentage since 2009, and men’s outdoor track and field, led by eight All-Big Sky Conference performances to play fourth at the Big Sky Track and Field Championships. The Eagles football team dominated the nominations, garnering recognition in 11 of 16 categories. Adams was nominated for Best Play, Best Athlete, Freshman of the Year, Best Record-Breaking Performance, as well as quarterbacking two games that were nominated for Best Game, versus Montana and at Montana State. Adams overcame a fumble and interception to throw two touchdowns in the final two minutes, 19 seconds, versus Montana on Sept. 29, his first home start, including a game-winning 20-yarder to Ashton Clark with 53 seconds left. The play call required Clark to run a 5-yard out, but the senior wideout changed course after seeing Adams scramble in the pocket. “Once I saw him start running, I just took off down the field, and nobody followed me.” With a host of accolades and recognition during his redshirt freshman season, Adams realizes the high expectations that come along. “I’m trying to take this leadership role for the team, and I’m just trying to work hard and meet up to those expectations,” he said. Senior runner Brad Wall, fresh off winning his fourth Big Sky title in the 400-meter dash, earned nominations for Best Athlete, Scholar-Athlete and Career Achievement. “I’m not sure if I have a shot at winning any of them,” Wall said. “But just to get your name out there and get it recognized — it’s rewarding, and you know that your hard work is being recognized out there.” According to, Wall became just the fourth Eastern male athlete in school history to win four individual conference titles. Also, he was the second to claim three outdoor titles in a single event, and he did this while maintaining a 3.54 grade point average and winning his eighth Big Sky All-Academic honor. “For me, it’s just what I’ve expected of myself,” Wall said of excelling both on the track and in the classroom. “I’ve always had good values and always dedicated myself to having a good balance between track and school.” Wall has been nominated in years past for Best Athlete and Record-Breaking Performance but has yet to bring home any hardware. He feels that his best shot for a win is in the Career Achievement category. Volleyball players Allie Schumacher and Kellen Barfield each were voted most improved player by their team and received nominations for Freshman of the Year. Schumacher said she was in geography class when Barfield saw on her phone that they had both been nominated. Schumacher broke the EWU school record for kills in a match in a five-set win at Northern Arizona on Nov. 1, tallying an impressive 35 kills. “I think it was hands down the most exciting game I’ve ever played in,” Schumacher said. The match, which marked the Eagles’ first road win of the season, received a nomination for Best Game or Competition. Not wanting to take all the credit, Schumacher was quick to compliment her teammates. “I’ve never played with a group of girls who just had so much love for each other and for the game,” she said. “I remember just the feeling after we won, and it was so exciting.” … Follow me on Twitter @PeterSowards or at @EasternerSports