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"Joe Loftus" Top Hitter & "Jake Kuschke" Leadership Award Recipients Announced

04/22/2019, 12:30pm CDT
By Adam Barta, Minnesota Blizzard

Blizzard End of Year Awards Banquet and Senior Recognition

At year’s end, the Blizzard program has an awards ceremony to recognize the top players from each team.  Plaques are awarded with each player voting for their teammates in five categories: "Johnny Price" Most Valuable Player Award, "Joe Loftus" Top Hitter Award, "Logan Shore" Top Pitcher Award, "Blue gLove" Top Defensive Player Award, and the “Jake Kuschke” Leadership Award.  The staff also awards one coach with the "Montana" Coach of the Year Award.
This week, we are releasing the "Joe Loftus" Top Hitter of the Year and "Jake Kuschke" Leadership recipients for ages 11u-18u for the Blizzard Elite Season.
You can also find a link to all past award winners here

"Joe Loftus" Top Hitter Award

The "Joe Loftus" Top Hitter Award was named for one of the best hitters to come through the Blizzard program - Joe Loftus.  Joe was a top prep athlete in Minnesota, attending Holy Angels Academy HS, where he set many of their offensive record - most notably hitting more home runs in high school than Joe Mauer.  Loftus was drafted by the Minnesota Twins out of high school, but decided to attend Vanderbilt University where he helped his team reach the College World Series in 2011.  Loftus was drafted and signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.  He continues to coach Blizzard and youth players inspiring them both on and off the field.

2018-2019 "Joe Loftus" Top Hitter Award recipients

11u Bennett Skinner
13u Blue Sam Erickson
13u Black Colin Hackl
14u Abe Reinitz
15u Blue Ragan Pinnow
15u Black Blake Guerin
16u Blue Bennett McCollow
16u Black Justin Hanson
18u Blue Marcus Cline
18u Black Jon Koehn
18u Red Logan Bjorkman

“Jake Kuschke” Leadership Award

Jake Kuschke, a 2012 graduate, played in the Blizzard program for four years and demonstrated all the characteristics of being a leader.  This award not only demonstrates achievements on the field, but more importantly, the leadership off the field.  The “Jake Kuschke” Leadership Award is awarded to the player who demonstrates the ability to being a great teammate, a mentor to younger players, a great student, hard worker and is always there for those who need to be 'picked up'.

2018-2019 "Jake Kuschke" Leadership Award recipients
11u Spencer Barta
13u Blue Hunter Carlson
13u Black Brady Lawrence
14u Hayden Torgerson
15u Blue Jackson Cooke
15u Black Trent Burkhalter
16u Blue Joe Longo
16u Black Jacob Prosch
18u Blue Jakob Kouneski
18u Black Zach Carden
18u Red Anthony Lavalle

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