WAYNE – A pair of student-athletes from the same town were named as scholarship recipients Friday afternoon by the NSIC office in Burnsville, Minnesota.
Blair natives and juniors at Wayne State College, Natalie Rech and Vance Janssen were awarded the fifth annual Butch Raymond Scholarship sponsored by Sanford Health. Each student-athlete is awarded a scholarship for $7,500 for the 2018-19 academic year.
In a release from the Wayne State Athletics office, the scholarship is in recognition of Butch Raymond, the NSIC Commissioner from 2004-14. For over a decade, Raymond led the NSIC from an eight-team league to a 16-team super conference. During his tenure, the league won 13 team national championships while achieving a high level of academic success.
Janssen is a 6-2-point guard from Blair that has started every game in his three years on the Wildcat men’s basketball team. This season, Janssen averaged 9.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 86.7 percent at the free throw line. He ranked fifth in the NSIC in steals per game (1.5) and has a 3.707 grade point average majoring in chemistry health sciences/pre-pharmacy.
Rech, also from Blair, is a 5-4 midfielder who has started three years on the Wildcat women’s soccer team. This season, she started 16 of 18 games and recorded four points with one goal and two assists while ranking third on the team in minutes played (1,528). Rech was an All-NSIC honorable mention selection as a sophomore (2016) after leading the Wildcats in scoring with 10 points on four goals and two assists. Rech is majoring in chemistry and health sciences and maintains a 3.75 grade point average.
To be eligible for the scholarship, the recipient must be a senior academically in 2018-19, have a grade point average of 3.20 or higher, be participating in intercollegiate athletics and plan to work in a health-related field or attend graduate school in a health related field.
Past Wayne State athletes that have received the prestigious scholarship include Jordan Spencer in 2014-15 (women’s basketball), Leisa McClintock 2015-16 (volleyball), softball player Monique Alyea in 2016-17 and Derek Lahm (men’s track and field) and Katelyn Wobken (softball) in 2017-18.