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 four categories: "Johnny Price" Most Valuable Player Award, "Joe Loftus" Top Hitter Award, "Logan Shore" Top Pitcher Award and the “Jake Kuschke” Leadership Award. The staff also awards one coach with the "Montana" Coach of the Year Award.
John Price 1997 – 2015
"Johnny Price" Most Valuable Player Award
John Price IV has been recognized by his peers as one of the best players and teammates who has ever stepped on the field in a Blizzard uniform.
A division I recruit, the right-handed hitting Price was a versatile player manning the outfield and corner infield positions as well as logging innings as a hard-throwing right hander. At the plate, Price was a middle of the order hitter leading his Blizzard teams to the playoffs in eight separate tournaments including three championships from 2013-2015.
Price had one of – if not the top – offensive weekends in Blizzard history in the 2015 ScoutStop August Select. Price hit three home runs including two at Miesville and one in the championship game at CHS Field. Over the course of the tournament, Price, who finished his career hitting 4-hole for the top Blizzard varsity team, went 10-for-16 (.625 BA) with 3 home runs, 10 RBI and 6 runs.
While John’s contributions were certainly valued on the field, what truly made him an MVP was his impact off the field. Price, a friend to everyone, was the center of every Blizzard activity including team building exercises, hotel fun and van rides to and from the field. He taught and led younger players how to play and practice; with effort and a great attitude.
He is the person who every Blizzard player should strive to be – a vibrant young man who positively impacts other people’s lives and makes every one of his teammates better.
"Joe Loftus" Top Hitter Award
The "Joe Loftus" Top Hitter Award was named for one of the best hitters to come through MBA and 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 homeruns 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.
"Logan Shore" Top Pitcher Award
Right-handed pitcher Logan Shore was one of Minnesota Blizzard’s premier pitchers from 2006-2013 serving as the ace on almost every team he played on. Leading his team to six national tournament championships and four top-four finishes in his tenure, Shore will be known as one of the fiercest competitors in the Blizzard program’s history.
Shore was named to the Chicago White Sox Area Code team (2012) and was awarded the Star Tribune’s Player of the Year (2012), Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year (2013), Minutemen Mr. Baseball Award (2013), Class AAA Minnesota Players of the Year (2013) and earned the Blizzard’s Top Pitcher Award in 2009 and 2012 while earning MVP honors in 2010-2012. In one of the Blizzard’s biggest program wins, Shore threw a one-hit, complete game shutout, beating the nationally-ranked Cincinnati Reds Scout team 1-0 striking out 13 in the Perfect Game Kernels Championships.
In 2013, Shore was drafted in the 29th round by the Minnesota Twins but decided to attend the University of Florida. Shore led the Gators to the College World Series in 2015 winning two games before finishing third. In 2014, Shore had a stellar freshman year where he earned All-American honors and was named SEC Freshman of the Year.
Logan’s impact on the Blizzard program, however, outweighs his accomplishments on the mound by being everything the Blizzard Big 5 stands for – outstanding leadership, loyalty, humility, hardworking and phenomenal teammate.
“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'.
"Montana" Coach of the Year Award
Steve Daugherty is regarded as one of the top coaches of the program and a player favorite. As one of the first coaches in the Blizzard program, "Montana" has gone over the top in his efforts in making the Blizzard program one of the best in the country. In 2009, the first Manager of the Year Award went to Steve and was named after a program favorite - Steve "Montana" Daugherty.
"Blue gLove" Top Defensive Player Award
This award, named after a common phrase that you hear often in the Blizzard program - #BlueLove, is given to the top defensive player on each respective team. The "Blue gLove" award holds all the attributes that you want out of a top defender in the Blizzard program: steady, reliable defense, hard work and relentless work ethic on and off the field.