Human Resources, Nonprofits, and Sports Business

Sports commission names athletes of the year

February 8, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Meijer State Games 2015 Athlete and Volunteer of the Year
Maddy Frank, left, Eric Engelbarts, Michael Edward Droste Jr., Aubrey Cohoon and Isaac Washburn pose for a shot at Van Andel Arena. Courtesy West Michigan Sports Commission

A regional sports nonprofit has awarded its top annual honors.

The Meijer State Games of Michigan, which is produced by the Grand Rapids-based West Michigan Sports Commission, announced last month its 2015 athlete and volunteer of the year award winners.

The winners were nominated by coaches, parents, spectators or peers.

Athlete of the Year

Youth: Aubrey Cohoon, figure skating, Spring Lake

The 11-year-old Cohoon took first place in the preliminary freestyle program and fourth place in the preliminary compulsory moves event. She qualified for the 2017 State Games of America, which will be hosted in Grand Rapids. She has also raised more than $30,000 for Make-A-Wish Michigan.

Female: Maddy Frank, mountain biking, Walker

Frank, 15, won the Women’s A Division Short Track event. She competes in biking events year-round and also took first place in the Iceman Cometh Challenge in Traverse City. She volunteers for local running and biking races, such as the East Grand Rapids Trailblazer Run, Grand Rapids Triathlon and Skirts in the Dirt all-female bike race.

Male: Michael Edward Droste Jr., tae kwon do, Saranac

Droste, 32, won the yellow belt division in the tae kwon do forms division. The Saranac native was born with cerebral palsy and ligament issues and enjoys participating in martial arts to learn lessons on respect, self-control and discipline.

Volunteer of the Year

Isaac Washburn, Grand Rapids

Washburn has been involved in the Meijer State Games for five years and helps organize the high school hockey tournament. He helps execute the tournament and assists in set up, tear down and problem resolution. Washburn is the video coach for the Kalamazoo Wings, head coach for the Division 1 and 3 roller hockey teams at Grand Valley State University and the director of team development of the Midwest Collegiate Roller Hockey League. He is a graduate of the sports leadership and management division at GVSU.

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