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Brigitte Gross and Sam Dooyema named FCA Honor Athletes

University of Sioux Falls
University of Sioux Falls
Stephanie Pendrys

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (APRIL 16, 2014): Brigitte Gross and Sam Dooyema represented the University of Sioux Falls today at the 43rd Annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Honor Athlete Awards Luncheon.

The event, which recognizes the academic achievements, school and community involvement, athletic accomplishment and moral character of local athletes, ventured away from the accustomed awarding of two high school athletes (one male, one female) and two college athletes, to instead honoring all 16 high school and collegiate athletes for their accomplishments. 

Gross and Dooyema served as USF’s nominees in the collegiate men's and women's categories.

Brigitte Gross is a fifth-year senior at USF and is the school record-holder in the 60-meter hurdles, indoor pole vault, and outdoor pole vault. The six-time All-American (NAIA and NCAA) recently became USF’s first-ever NCAA national champion when she claimed the 2014 NCAA Division II women’s indoor pole vault national championship with a clearance of 12-11.5 (3.95m). The four-time NSIC Field Athlete of the Week has already recorded a provisional qualifying mark for the 2014 NCAA Division II Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field championships, which will be held May 22-24, 2014, at the Grand Valley Track and Field Stadium in Allendale, Mich.

A native of Alexandria (S.D.), Gross has volunteered as a youth group adult leader for Celebrate Church for the past five years. She has also served at the Banquet, worshipped alongside penitentiary inmates and packed meals for Feed my Starving Children and Kids Against Hunger.

The music education major aspires to qualify for the Olympic time trials and become a music teacher.

According to head football coach Jed Stugart, “Sam Dooyema became a terrific football player at USF by dedicating himself to learning the finer techniques of the offensive lineman position.” Dooyema went from being named the 2009 Offensive Scout Team MVP as a redshirt to earning 2011 Second Team All-Dakota Transition Team honors during USF’s NCAA provisional season.

Dooyema was an integral part of a 2013 Cougar squad that nearly doubled its season rushing total from the prior season (2,705 in 2013; 1,359 in 2012) and set new records for offensive plays (100) and total yards of offense in a game (680). During Dooyema’s five years as a member of the USF football team, the Cougars posted an overall record of 48-12.

A senior team captain and two-time member of the NSIC Academic Honor Roll, Dooyema was named to the University of Sioux Falls Dean's List for 10 straight semesters. He also spent two summers participating in a microbiology undergraduate research fellowship with the South Dakota BRIN Research program.


Dooyema’s jersey number (78) came close to matching the number of community activities he is actively involved in, including but not limited to: Habitat for Humanity, Sioux Falls Moving Assistance Program, the Ransom Church, South Dakota Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Minnesota Republican District and Rock County Republican Caucus, Casas Por Christo Missions, the Banquet, Feed My Starving Children and Kids Against Hunger.

Dooyema graduated from USF with a bachelor’s of science degree in biology (chemistry minor) in December 2013 and works as a Research Associate at the Sanford Children’s Health Research Center.

Since 1972, the FCA Honor Athlete Award has signified accomplishments, determination and prestige amongst our areas finest scholar athletes. This coveted award is presented to nominees representing the greater Sioux Falls area high schools and both colleges.