With all of the hullabaloo and hoopla about the successes of all these great athletes and who should be the The Times-Delphic Drake Athlete of the Year, I hope I am able to make my case for Matt Kuhn of the Bulldogs’ men’s soccer team.
After covering the Drake men’s soccer team throughout most of the year, I have gotten to know head coach Sean Holmes, his program and his stellar group of student-athletes. I feel this gives me the ability to further make this case.
The senior Kuhn should be the Drake Athlete of the Year.
Why, you ask? Why should the men’s soccer team captain be considered as Drake’s athlete of the year?
As a redshirt senior, Kuhn has given his heart and soul to this program, riding through the highs and lows of nearly half a decade of Drake soccer. Kuhn is a part of the winningest class in Drake men’s soccer history. Over a span of five seasons (Kuhn redshirted the 2010 campaign due to an injury), he was a part of 57 wins, two NCAA tournament appearances and a Cinderella run to the NCAA tournament Elite Eight in 2009.
As far as personal accomplishments go, Kuhn started all 20 games this season, netting 11 goals, four assists and leading the team in overall points with 26, en route to an 11-8-1 season for Drake. He was a complete rock in the midfield all season for Holmes and the Bulldogs.
His season accolades include a second consecutive All-MVC first-team selection and an All-MVC Tournament first-team selection. But Kuhn’s talents extend far away from the soccer pitch.
As an accounting major, he finished the semester with a 4.0 grade point average, netting him a spot on the 2011 Capital One Academic All-America First Team (he garnered second-team honors in 2009). He fully embodies the term “student-athlete.”
With his entire athletic prowess, his leadership in the classroom and the mark he has left upon the Drake program, Kuhn has consistently been a great all-around person. Every time I interviewed him, he treated me with the utmost class and never shied away from answering a tough question.
Lastly, with all of these accolades, let us add one more. Kuhn was selected in the Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft by D.C. United after the fall campaign and began trying out with them for the upcoming season. He is the fourth Drake men’s soccer team member to be drafted by a team in the MLS. He has since been waived by D.C. United and is recovering from a knee injury. I personally wish him the best of luck in his professional endeavors, and I hope this column has made the case for him being the Drake Athlete of the Year.