2016 Directors’ Awards winners announced
ANCHORAGE – Two athletes on meteoric career trajectories and two teams on remarkable runs of excellence bookend a 2016 Directors’ Awards Class that also includes a hockey star-turned leader of youth and a basketball player who overcame tremendous adversity.
The 2016 Directors’ Awards recipients will be recognized this summer at the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame 10-Year Celebration events in Anchorage on July 28th and 29th.
The 2016 winners:
Joe Floyd Award–For Significant and Lasting Contribution to Alaska through Sports.
Dennis Sorenson – After a prolific career at UAA in the early 80’s, the two-time, first-team All-American began coaching youth hockey in Anchorage. His Bantam Team was the first Alaska team to win a USA Hockey Tier I national championship. He has coached at Dimond High School since 1991 and accumulated 500 wins — nearly twice the number of the second-place coach. He has led his team to four state championships and many of his players have gone on to college and professional hockey careers.
Trajan Langdon Award–For Leadership, Sportsmanship and Inspiration.
Laci Effenberger – The former Ketchikan High School basketball star overcame a devastating string of injuries to play a key role on the NCAA D2 Cal State East Bay women’s basketball team. Armed with amazing toughness and resiliency, the 24-year-old came back from seven knee surgeries to start for the Pioneers and break the team single-season record for three pointers made (96) and game-record for 3-pointers made (7) for conference champion CSEB. “I’m lucky to be here,” she said. “I enjoy playing with people that have passion for the game and I’m thankful my teammates do.”
Pride of Alaska Award (female)–For Consistent Excellence in Athletic Competition.
Allie Ostrander (co-winner) – After winning the Pride of Alaska Award in 2015, the Soldotna native outdid herself by breaking her state high school track records in the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters; bettering a 25-year-old record on Mount Marathon in her senior women’s race debut (while placing second); winning the junior women’s title at the World Mountain Running Championships in Wales, UK; and placing second, as a Boise State University freshman, at the 2015 Division I national cross country championships.
UAA Women’s Basketball Team (co-winner) – Under coach Ryan McCarthy, the Seawolves registered a combined 67-4 record over the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons and held the NCAA Division II No. 1 ranking through part of that time. They concluded the 2015-2016 as the NCAA Division II national runner-up after losing a hard-fought title game. Their frenetic style of play — and the victories — energized the city of Anchorage and drew large enthusiastic crowds to home games.
Pride of Alaska Award (male)–For Consistent Excellence in Athletic Competition.
Soldotna High School football team (co-winner) – In 2015, the Stars won their fourth straight medium-school football championship and ran their state-record winning streak to 39 games. The Stars’ stretch of dominance has included a record eight state championships since 2006. During that time the team has gone 96-6.
The Directors’ Awards recipients will be honored at a free, family-friendly event from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, July 28th, at the Alaska Airlines Center where the public will be able to meet the honorees. Presentation of the Directors’ Awards will take place on July 29th at the VIP Banquet at the Ted Stevens International Airport.
In addition to the Directors’ Awards winners, all past and current inductees into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame are invited to the 10-Year Celebration events. Visit http://alaskasportshall.org/10-year-celebration-events/ for more information.
For additional information about the Directors’ Awards and previous winners visit http://alaskasportshall.org/honor/directors-awards/ . Director’s Award recipients will be recognized on a plaque at the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame gallery at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International airport.
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors are Eric Ohlson (President), Jim Balamaci (Vice President), Chris Myers (Treasurer/Secretary), Matt Carle, Chuck Homan, Nina Kemppel, Gina Luckey, Jason Metrokin and Rick Mystrom. Harlow Robinson is the Executive Director.