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Falcon Briefs: Matsushima named WIAC Co-Scholar-Athlete

Eddie Matsushima

Matsushima named WIAC Co-Scholar-Athlete

Senior Eddie Matsushima headlines a list of five Falcons named to 2018-19 All-WIAC Men's Hockey teams last week by the conference coaches.

Matsushima was the lone Falcon named to the first team while also being named co-recipient of the WIAC Max Sparger Men's Hockey Scholar-Athlete Award. Cayden Cahill, Joe Druplak and and Christian Hausinger received honorable mention to the All-WIAC team while Peter Karavos was named to the All-Sportsmanship Team.

Matsushima, a Verona native, was the Falcons' top scorer this season with 14 goals and 17 assists. He shared the scholar-athlete award with Mathias Ahman of UW-Stout.

Matsushima boasts a 3.97 grade point average and is majoring in business management. He earned a spot on the 2017-18 American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Krampade NCAA Division II-III All-American Scholar Men's Team and is a three-time member of the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll. Matsushima has been recognized on UW-River Falls' Dean's List numerous semesters and is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi, Chi Alpha Sigma and Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Societies.

A two-year team captain, he is a two-time All-WIAC first team selection and received UWRF's Don Norqual Award for student-athlete leadership. He has served as vice president for UWRF's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for three years and is president of UWRF's club baseball team.

The WIAC Scholar-Athlete Award is named after Max Sparger, who served as commissioner of the Wisconsin State University Conference for 22 years from 1971-93. He oversaw the transition of the conference from NAIA to full NCAA membership. Sparger arrived at UW-Stout in 1959 and served the institution in a variety of capacities, including an assistant football and basketball coach, head wrestling coach and head football coach. He served as UW-Stout's athletics director from 1969-71 and was inducted into the WIAC Hall of Fame in 2012.

Three named All-WIAC men's hoops

UW-River Falls junior Austin Heidecker and sophomore Julian Jackson received honorable mention to the 2018-19 All-WIAC Men's Basketball Team while senior Clay Seifert earned a spot on the All-Sportsmanship squad. Heidecker was also named to the All-Defensive Team.

Heidecker, a Prior Lake, Minn., native, recorded 12 double-doubles this season while averaging 12.8 points and a league-high 10.6 rebounds per game. His 50.4 percent field goal percentage was the fourth best in the WIAC.

Minneapolis native Jackson led UWRF and was fifth in the WIAC in scoring with an average of 15.6 points per game while hitting 48.8 percent of his shots from the field. His 6.6 rebounds per game were second on the team behind Heidecker while he blocked a team-high 22 shots.

Seifert, a Prescott High School graduate, was named to the All-Sportsmanship team made up of one player from each school that displayed exemplary sportsmanship throughout the season. He averaged 5.1 points and a team-high 2.36 assists per game.

UWRF finished the season 11-14 overall, 4-10 in WIAC play.

Paulsrud, Zeman All-WIAC HM

The UW-River Falls women's basketball team has landed three players on 2018-19 All-WIAC teams. Senior Taylor Paulsrud and freshman Jenna Zeman were named to the honorable mention squad while junior Madelyn O'Brien was named to the All-Sportsmanship team.

Paulsrud, a Rogers, Minn. native, who started all 25 games, led the Falcons and was second in the league in free throw percentage (83.8 percent). She was second on the team in scoring with an average of 10.4 points per game while hitting a team-high 34 shots from beyond the arc.

Zeman, a guard from Owatonna, Minn., led the Falcons in scoring this season with an average of 10.7 points per game. She also led the team with 50 steals and 62 assists. She was third on the team in rebounds with 103.

O'Brien, a Kimball, Minn. native, was named to the All-Sportsmanship team made up of one player from each school that displayed exemplary sportsmanship throughout the season.

UWRF finished the season 10-15 overall, 4-10 in WIAC play.

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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