APR 10, 2019
BY: DANA BECKER, The Messenger Sports Reporter
Like so many others, Spencer Cuvelier saw Iowa Central as a perfect opportunity to better himself as both a student and an athlete.
Cuvelier, currently a member of the University of Northern Iowa football program, was named the 2019 Algoe Award winner, an honor that goes to the top male athlete at Iowa Central. He will be recognized along with female winner Abby Lohrmann on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
"I think going to Iowa Central was one of the best decisions in my life. Even through injures and heartache, Iowa Central gave me a chance to compete at a high level and for that I will be forever grateful," he said. "I was surrounded by athletes who were in the same position as me whether it was under-recruited out of high school or had a tough time getting exposure.
"Iowa Central was the perfect stepping stone in the right direction for me — not only as an athlete, but a student, too."
Cuvelier led the Triton defense in tackles with 96 this past fall including 22 for loss and four sacks. He also had three forced fumbles and recovered one.
His total tackles ranked ninth in the country, with his 58 assisted stops placing him third. Cuvelier had 17 total tackles in a 28-0 win over Ellsworth and 16 vs. Garden City.
"All the credit goes to the Iowa Central coaching staff for all of their hard work to put us in the positions we were in and my teammates," he said. "Without them, none of this is even a possibility."
Now in Cedar Falls preparing for the upcoming season with the Panthers, Cuvelier has continued to be "coached" by those on the Iowa Central staff.
"My first month at UNI, I had multiple coaches get ahold of me and ask how things were going," he said. "That's not part of their job description, but it goes to show what kind of people are there. I have the utmost respect for the Iowa Central coaching staff and the amount of time they spend for the game of football.
"The football coaching staff makes it a priority to connect on a personal level with all of their athletes."
Cuvelier is the first football player to earn the award since Wilmot Wellington in 2010 and 14th overall.
ALGOE AWARD (top male athlete)
2019 — Spencer Cuvelier, Football
2018 — Tray Croft, Basketball
2017 — Jared Seay, Track and Field
2016 — Tyler Hoffman, Wrestling
2015 — Blake Whalen, Cross Country/Track and Field
2014 — Cody Brandau, Bowling/Golf
2013 — Will Kenny, Baseball
2012 — Stanley Kebenei, Track and Field/Cross Country
2011 — Joey Flattery, Baseball and Tomas Cotter, Track and Field/Cross Country
2010 — Wilmot Wellington, Football/Track and Field
2009 — Joshua Sawe, Cross Country/Track and Field
2008 — Hillary Samoei, Cross Country/Track and Field
2007 — Sam Lambert, Track and Field
2006 — Tim Flattery, Baseball
2005 — Lee Elbert, Track and Field and Brock Iverson, Baseball
2004 — Justin Sokol, Baseball
2003 — Vahn Schumacher, Football
2002 — Matt Johnson, Basketball and Justin Meyer, Baseball
2001 — Nathan McClain, Wrestling
2000 — Willie McGowan, Soccer
1999 — Adam Wilde, Basketball
1998 — Ben Smith, Football
1997 — Matt Gast, Baseball
1996 — Todd Westphal, Wrestling
1995 — Ryan King, Basketball
1994 — Rich Martin, Basketball
1993 — Erik Josephson, Wrestling
1992 — Steve Kelly, Wrestling
1991 — Broderick Powell, Basketball
1990 — Don Tyndall, Basketball
1989 — Paul Weltha, Wrestling/Football
1988 — Bob Brower, Basketball
1987 — Ray Carreathers, Football
1986 — Randy Reitsma, Basketball
1985 — Steve Brown, Basketball
1984 — Larry Parrott and Greg Yergler, Basketball
1983 — Jon Cook, Wrestling
1982 — Craig Aljets, Basketball
1981 — Kevin Russell, Wrestling
1980 — Will Shupe, Football
1979 — Craig Light, Football
1978 — Kraig Knutson, Basketball
1977 — Tony Iliano, Baseball and Football
1976 — Earl Matthews, Football
1975 — Craig Michehl, Basketball
1974 — Tom Williams, Football
1973 — Jeff Gilligan, Football
1972 — Gary Fitzgerald, Football
1971 — Walt Fieseler, Football